Football Features

Southampton 0-9 Leicester: Foxes equal Premier League record and climb to second place

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 22:12, 25 October 2019

Leicester City poured further misery on Southampton at St Mary’s after inflicting a humiliating 9-0 defeat which equals the Premier League’s biggest ever win.

Brendan Rodgers’ men were not in a charitable mood, knowing victory here would temporarily place them behind leaders Liverpool albeit for 24 hours, and they subsequently matched Manchester United’s mammoth win over Ipswich Town all the way back in 1995.

The game was put beyond a miserable Saints team before a quarter of an hour was even played. However, the visitors still needed a helping hand, with Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side playing the final 72 minutes with a man less.

Such a capitulation – never before have Southampton lost a home game by this margin – will no doubt increase the pressure on their Austrian tactician who’s in danger of following Javi Gracia as the next Premier League manager sacked.

As for Leicester, who also set the record for heaviest Premier League victory on the road, they go from strength to strength and must now be considered to be in the mix for a top four finish.

With matchday 10 off to an explosive start, here are five more things we learned from this game.

1. Half-century up

It took him a while, but like London busses, you wait ages for an Ayoze Perez goal and two come along at once. His second this evening saw him register 50 goals in English football. Perez’s previous stint at Newcastle United saw him bag 48 across 195 matches in all competitions.

After signing for the Foxes this summer manager Rodgers would have already expected his duck to be broken. But here we are. Perez, sniffing a wounded Southampton, capitalised and scored two well-taken goals to double his Leicester tally in the space of 20 first-half minutes.

And minutes after the break he’d complete a second Premier League hat-trick, the first also coming against the Saints. Jamie Vardy, who wasn’t going to miss out on this party, also registered a treble with both assisted at least once by marauding left-back Ben Chilwell.

2. Seeing red again

It felt inevitable given recent history between the sides. Heading into tonight’s showdown Southampton have been show five red cards in Premier League matches against Leicester, including across both fixtures last season, and that increased with this match less than 15 minutes.

Ryan Bertrand, in the build-up to Chilwell’s opening goal, made a reckless challenge on Perez which VAR subsequently punished. His dismissal meant Southampton, for the first time ever, seen a player sent off in three consecutive outings against a single opponent in this competition.

3. A league first

Tonight’s meeting at St Mary’s would go down in Premier League history. At opposite ends of the field stood goalkeepers Angus Gunn and Kasper Schmeichel, both have enjoyed contrasting form of late, but it’s not the numbers they’ve been producing which those presiding over the record books were salivating over but rather their lineage.

Gunn and Schmeichel are both sons of former Premier League shot-stoppers. Gunn’s father Bryan kept for Norwich and would have crossed paths with Kasper’s old man Peter in the league’s early days. Never before has a Premier League game seen the offspring of two ex-keepers face each other. That was until this evening on the south coast.

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4. Joining an exclusive group

It goes without saying Southampton are struggling of late. This latest setback means they’ve now gone seven consecutive Premier League home games without a win. Having failed to be victorious in any of their opening five matches this campaign, which matches last season’s feat, means they join an unwanted group.

Only two clubs before in English top-flight history managed this particular feat: Bury in 1904-05/1905-06 and QPR in 1973-74/1974-75. And their poor state is reflected in even more damaging stats; conceding now in five successive home Premier League games is something they’ve not done since January 1997.

5. Friday night fever

This was an opportunity for Leicester City to set the record straight. In seven previous Premier League games played on Friday, the Foxes would end the day without registering a single win (two draws and five defeats), a struggling Saints made easy prey to finally get a victory on this day of the week.

Brendan Rodgers’ men started as they meant to go on, with a helping hand from the hosts, and wrapped up all three points before the first quarter was even played. Bagging three goals inside the opening 19 minutes was something Foxes supporters have not see their club do since April 1998 against Derby County (but those strikes came in eight minutes).

Also, in their championship-winning season, after 10 games they had accumulated 19 points. It’s 20 at present, Rodgers has played down comparison with that historic team, but you can’t predict how far this class will go.