Brentford thump Southampton 3 – 0.
Both sides began the day on 40 points but Brentford’s victory moved the Bees up to 12th in the Premier League, 11 points clear of the bottom three. Two goals in 77 first-half seconds set Brentford on their way to a comfortable victory over Southampton.
They went in front when center-back Pontus Jansson forced home Ivan Toney’s cross from close range, before Yoane Wissa curled into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area moments later.
Kristoffer Ajer sealed the win in the second half when he skipped away from two Saints players in the area before poking the ball beyond Fraser Forster. Despite the defeat, Southampton should be safe from relegation, with an eight-point cushion between themselves and 18th-placed Everton, although Saints have the fewest games remaining of any of the bottom six.
Saints limping over the line
Southampton were ninth in the table in February, but seven defeats in their last 10 Premier League games have sent them sliding down to 15th in the table.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have two tricky-looking fixtures to come against title-chasing Liverpool on Tuesday before a final-day trip to Leicester. They still should have enough points to avoid worrying about the drop, but could face a nervy run-in if Everton, Burnley and Leeds pick up victories.
A poor start cost them here, with Brentford unlucky not to be more than two goals up in the opening half hour, when Wissa and Mathias Jensen both went close.
After that poor start, Saints did rally but were mainly restricted to efforts from distance, with home goalkeeper David Raya equal to efforts from James Ward-Prowse and Mohamed Elyounoussi either side of the break.
Brentford ending on a high
In contrast to their opponents, Brentford are ending the season in fine form after a run of six wins from nine games.
The attacking spark provided by January signing Christian Eriksen has certainly helped. The Denmark midfielder has been on the winning side in six of his eight starts for the club.
But Thomas Frank’s side have been equally impressive defensively, keeping clean sheets in five of their last six home matches, including the last four in a row – making them just the fourth side to have such a run this season after Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
This result was never really in doubt after their quickfire early double, with Jansson doing well to divert the ball into the net after Toney had chested Eriksen’s high, hanging corner to the far post.
Eriksen was involved in the second goal too, and when referee Michael Salisbury played the advantage after the Dane was fouled, Wissa picked up the loose ball and curled it into the corner.
The Bees killed off any remaining Saints resistance with 11 minutes left thanks to Ajer’s fine turn and finish, and the hosts were able to comfortably see out the match.
Source – BBC News