The rundown of what happened when Southampton were 7-1 victors against Swansea City in a behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, with the match split into four 30-minute quarters…
Team: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Redmond; Adams, Ings.
Starting brightly from the off, Saints took just six minutes to take the lead at St Mary’s courtesy of Ché Adams.
When Alex McCarthy’s perfectly placed ball over the top bypassed the majority of Swansea’s defence and found the run of Ryan Bertrand, the full-back had the simple task of squaring to Adams who made no mistake with a composed finish from close range.
Swiftly moving the ball from back to front with confident free-flowing football, Adams had the chance to double his tally for the afternoon on the 10-minute mark.
Playing a through ball for Danny Ings to race onto, last season’s top scorer reversed the favour and picked Adams out at the back post, only for his powerful volley to flash wide of the target.
However, it wasn’t long before Hasenhüttl’s side were rewarded once again for their relentless play, as Nathan Redmond doubled the lead on 13 minutes.
Winning possession high up the pitch courtesy of some tenacious work from Oriol Romeu, Adams had the opportunity to try and work some space in the box, but when the ball squirmed to Redmond six yards out, the winger emphatically fired past a hapless Freddie Woodman.
Mirroring the intensity levels shown at the end of the 2019/20 season, the visitors struggled to contain Saints and after narrowly avoiding further punishment, eventually conceded a penalty with 20 minutes gone.
Recycling possession from a corner, Stuart Armstrong charged into the box only to be felled, giving Ings the chance to pick out the bottom corner from 12 yards to make it 3-0.
Whilst the hosts continued to dominate both possession and territory, the scoreline remained the same as the first 30-minute period came to an end.
Remaining unchanged for the second quarter, the pattern of play also continued, with Saints adding a further two to their tally in quick succession.
Just four minutes after the restart, James Ward-Prowse sent Woodman the wrong way from the penalty spot after Redmond was brought down, only for Ryan Bertrand to slam home an eye-catching fifth goal just 60 seconds later.
Expertly switching the play from right to left, Redmond’s lay off found the overlapping run of Bertrand, who dispatched a strike in off the crossbar.
Cutting through the Championship outfit with ease, Ings secured his second of the afternoon with a trademark finish after 42 minutes.
Collecting Bertrand’s pass to cut back inside onto his right foot, the Saints number nine then coolly curled a strike into the far corner.
With the encounter becoming a procession of goals, it was only a further three minutes until the hosts made it 7-0.
Ings broke the offside trap to run in behind, and after patiently waiting for support to arrive, found Ward-Prowse who arrived to sweep a first-time left-footed strike into the bottom corner.
Unable to contain a rampant Southampton side, Swansea survived the 15 minutes to half-time without further damage, but trudged into the break having failed to call Alex McCarthy into any form of action.
Team: Forster; Valery, Vestergaard, Klarer, Vokins; Slattery, Smallbone, Djenepo, Boufal; Long, Obafemi.
With both sides completely changing line-ups for the third quarter, the dynamics of the friendly altered, becoming a more evenly contested affair.
Swansea enjoyed more territory than in the previous 60 minutes, whilst at the other end only Yan Valery’s dangerous ball across goal marked the opening 10 minutes of the quarter.
Chances remained at a premium as both defences managed to snuff out any imminent danger, until with four minutes of the quarter remaining Swansea struck the post.
Intricate play on the edge of the box saw Jamal Lowe play in Liam Cullen, with the striker’s chip over Fraser Forster coming back off the post before being hacked clear.
Team: Forster; Valery, Vestergaard, Klarer, Vokins; Jankewitz, Smallbone, Djenepo, Boufal; Long, Obafemi.
Heading into the final half-an-hour, the host retook control of possession and went in search of adding to their already imperious lead.
Moussa Djenepo’s weaving run to the by-line resulted with Marc Guehi making an important clearance with Michael Obafemi lurking, whilst the Swans looked to benefit from space on the break.
Connor Roberts looked to pick out a teammate in the middle after finding himself alone on the right, but Christoph Klarer was perfectly placed to intercept.
However, the visitors did reduce the arrears to six with 10 minutes remaining, as Jay Fulton pounced on Roberts’s strike that had come off the post to tuck home from close range.
The goal did little to take away from the positives of the afternoon, as Saints marked their first pre-season friendly with an impressive 7-1 victory.