Saints exit Carabao Cup

By SFC Media time Wed 16 Sep Saints v Brentford
Photo by Matt Watson
Wed 16 Sep 7.45PM
Carabao Cup
Nørgaard [40'] Dasilva [45+1']
McCarthy (8')
yellow card
Thompson (12') Dalsgaard (52') Goode (58')
Referee: John Brooks | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 0

Southampton exited the Carabao Cup at the second round following a 2-0 loss to Brentford on Wednesday evening, succumbing to two quick-fire, and ultimately decisive, first-half goals.

Christian Nørgaard broke the deadlock from a corner, before Josh Dasilva put the finishing touch on a well-crafted move five minutes later, with Saints unable to find reply.

The home side improved as the tie grew, with Ché Adams hitting the post and latterly the introduction of Shane Long proving dangerous in the final third, but that ultimately led to little reward, as Saints crashed out of the cup to a side in the tier below.

Attention will quickly turn to Sunday's Premier League meeting with Tottenham, which will again be hosted at St Mary's, as Saints look for a quick response to a disappointing few days.

Both sides entered the tie having suffered the same fate on the opening day of 2020/21, with Brentford also losing their respective Championship clash by a single goal.

It meant Ralph Hasenhüttl, keen to atone for a lackluster opening weekend, went with a strong first XI, containing 10 of 11 starters from the trip to Selhurst Park.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Nathan Tella of Southampton during the Carabao Cup 2nd round match between Southampton FC and Brentford FC, at St. Mary's Stadium on September 16, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Nathan Tella makes his full Southampton debut

Young Nathan Tella was the only change, making his full Southampton debut, in place of fellow Academy graduate Will Smallbone, who dropped down to the bench.

Both teams ended last term, which only finished some seven weeks ago, in a strong vein of form which comparatively made for a fairly slow start to the game, as neither side were quite able to hit the heights that many became accustomed to seeing from post-lockdown performances.

Nevertheless, aware that Saints could ill-afford to replicate the cautious start to last season's campaign, the combination of Adams and Danny Ings were first to make an impression. The former drifted inside and looked to reverse the ball into the path of Ings, who wasn't able to catch the pace of a well-directioned pass.

But that wasn't before Alex McCarthy went into the book for a clash with Tarique Fosu-Henry who was looking to latch onto a long ball - born out of the fact that the Saints stopper was forced into playing defensive sweeper more than once in the opening exchanges. The visitors' game plan revealed, perhaps.

Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo mopped up a loose pass from McCarthy in the ninth minute, who had attempted to clear one of those aforementioned lofted punts, and fashioned a chance to shoot at goal with McCarthy caught off his line, but Jack Stephens had noticed the danger and volleyed away.

A golden chance was presented to Saints' golden boy in the 20th minute. Ryan Bertrand was the provider, signalling life to the tie, but Ings's eventual connection could only divert the ball wide of the mark. Fosu-Henry went close moments later but shot straight at McCarthy, who made a routine save.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Danny Ings of Southampton after going close during the Carabao Cup 2nd round match between Southampton FC and Brentford FC, at St. Mary's Stadium on September 16, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Danny Ings fires narrowly wide of the far post

Tested but not necessarily stretched, McCarthy was forced into another save from Mbeumo midway through the first period, which he palmed effectively to safety. He was certainly the busier of the two keepers, without too much concern.

A breakaway, led by Nathan Redmond, represented one of Saints' more purposeful attacks as the clock ticked over 30 minutes, but Adams had strayed offside and subsequent support from Ings and Tella had attracted covering defenders.

Saints then, albeit momentarily, turned on the style. The best move of the game was rounded off by Adams, who looked certain to place a perfectly-weighted Bertrand pass into the corner of the net, but was agonisingly thwarted by the post, before the hosts fell behind.

Defender Nørgaard gave the visitors the advantage five minutes before the break, emerging unmarked to head powerfully past McCarthy from a corner. A blow, considering Hasenhüttl's side had just began finding some meaningful rhythm.

Then, cruelly, Dasilva added a second in stoppage time. Brentford firmly wrestled ascendancy by creating an incisive move of their own, cutting through Saints' defence with some crisp one-touch passing. The combination allowed the 21-year-old a relatively simple side-foot finish, leaving the hosts trailing by two at the interval.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Ché Adams of Southampton during the Carabao Cup 2nd round match between Southampton FC and Brentford FC, at St. Mary's Stadium on September 16, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Che Adams attempting to force an opening

With work to do, Adams endeavored to make a dent in the scoreline on the hour mark, but hooked his effort off-target, as he was marshaled by Mads Bech Sørensen. Ings forced a reaction save from Luke Daniels with a looped header during Saints' next wave of attack, but it was far from troubling.

Brentford, who will undoubtedly push again for a spot in the top flight this season, relinquished much of the possession, but had a two goal cushion in their favor and therefore no need to force control of the ball.

70 minutes had elapsed before Saints made a change, calling upon the services of Moussa Djenepo as Redmond departed. Long was also introduced late on, and made an impact, giving the attack more drive and impetus, but unfortunately not more potency.

An evening to forget, but a chance for redemption in just four day's time, as Spurs visit St Mary's in Premier League competition.


Head to Head Stats

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Alex McCarthy (GK) yellow card
Ryan Bertrand
Kyle Walker-Peters
Jan Bednarek
Jack Stephens
James Ward-Prowse (C)
Nathan Tella
replace Michael Obafemi (84′)
Nathan Redmond
replace Moussa Djenepo (71′)
Oriol Romeu
Danny Ings
Che Adams
replace Shane Long (84′)
Jake Vokins
Moussa Djenepo
Shane Long
Fraser Forster
Michael Obafemi
Jannik Vestergaard
William Smallbone


Luke Daniels (GK)
Dominic Thompson yellow card
replace Rico Henry (71′)
Mads Bech Sørensen
Charlie Goode yellow card
Henrik Dalsgaard (C) yellow card
Christian Nørgaard goal
Shandon Baptiste
Josh Dasilva goal
replace Emiliano Marcondes (71′)
Tariqe Fosu-Henry
Bryan Mbeumo
Marcus Forss
replace Halil Dervisoglu (77′)
Emiliano Marcondes
Rico Henry
Halil Dervisoglu
Ethan Pinnock
Jan Zamburek
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