Leicester Sink Southampton With 9-Goal Drubbing - Season Highlights

Josh Sim
Southampton FC v Leicester City - Premier League
Southampton FC v Leicester City - Premier League / Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Before 25 October 2019, no one had Leicester City's trip to Southampton down as a must-watch game. Sure, it was a Friday night game, so there was little football being played that evening, but it seemed to be a routine Premier League game.

The Foxes may have been favoured by many to win the fixture, but St Mary's wasn't the easiest place to go - Southampton had already held Manchester United to a draw there earlier in the season.

Yet by the time Andre Marriner blew the final whistle, those who hadn't watched the game were understandably shocked at the scoreline: Southampton 0-9 Leicester.

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No, this wasn't the goal alerts on your phone malfunctioning. This was the actual result. It brought up questions - were Leicester that great, or Southampton that bad?

The answer was a bit of both.

It took only ten minutes for the opening goal to come, with Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn parrying a shot into the path of Ben Chilwell, who didn't even hesitate in firing the ball into the net.

And once Southampton supporters had finished moaning about their team's defending, their misery was compounded by the sending off of Ryan Bertrand, who was adjudged by VAR to have fouled Ayoze Pérez in the build-up to the goal.

A goal and a man down after just 12 minutes, the rest of the game looked ominous for Ralph Hasenhüttl, who had his game plan virtually thrown out of the window already.

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And just like the rain, the goals came down heavily on the Saints. Youri Tielemans and Pérez would score a one each within the space of three minutes to give Brendan Rodgers' side a commanding lead inside the first quarter of the game. By half-time the scoreboard read 0-5, as the Spaniard got his second from a Chilwell cross, before Jamie Vardy got on the act with a close-range finish of his own.

Tactically, there was one clear weakness in Hasenhüttl's side - they couldn't stop the visitors' attacking full-backs and wingers from wreaking havoc on the sidelines.

The hosts' inability to defend from wide areas meant that the Foxes constantly kept switching the ball from the right to the left flank, where Chilwell and Harvey Barnes were ready to exploit the oceans of space left for them.

While the Austrian manager tried his best to enforce damage limitation by taking off striker Danny Ings for defender Kevin Danso, it didn't work at all, as Pérez wrapped up his hat-trick seconds before Vardy nodded in a seventh. And there was still time for James Maddison to curl home a free-kick late on, before Vardy capped off his impressive performance by converting a penalty he had won in the dying stages, ensuring he too bagged a hat-trick.

It was a big win for Rodgers and his players, who continued to show they were capable of fighting for a top-four spot this season. Their slick counter-attacking style was on full display and won over many admirers, while the high quality of their squad was evident all over the pitch.

Of course, they were also helped by the shambolic defending of the Saints, which led to Hasenhüttl apologising publicly to supporters afterwards. His team now were in the relegation zone, and looked to be candidates for the drop.

Though we didn't know it at the time, this would prove to be the turning point in Southampton's 2019/20 season. They have since climbed away from the relegation zone, and claimed a few scalps along the way - including a win at Stamford Bridge and victory against Leicester in the reverse fixture.

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Maybe this game did more for Saints in the long-term than people thought possible at the time. And as for Leicester, they've not been able to sustain their excellent results, with only three league victories in 2020 so far.

So was this result a fluke and a one-off? Yeah, it was. But as a single game, this one is easily one of the most memorable.