Southampton Lose Six Successive Premier League Games for the First Time in the Club’s History

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After a 2-1 defeat at home to Wolves, Southampton have now lost six games in succession in the Premier League for the first time in their history.

During that run, the Saints have suffered three home defeats on top of a 9-0 thrashing away at Manchester United.

How have Southampton lost that games, where can they improve and are they in danger of dropping further down the table?

Southampton Need to Show Signs of Improvement After Suffering Club Record Sixth Straight Premier League Loss

Saints Suffer Six Successive Defeats

Ralph Hassenhuttl has a couple of unwanted records as manager of Southampton. Not only did his side lose 9-0 at home to Leicester City in October 2019, but the Saints boss has now overseen the clubs worst ever losing streak in the top flight.

To make things worse, Southampton lost 9-0 again during this run with a humiliating defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Win Over Premier League Leaders Liverpool

Before this winless run, Southampton recorded a 1-0 win over Liverpool. Danny Ings’ second-minute goal, and his 50th in the Premier League, was enough to sink the Reds, who led the division at the time.

As a result, it moved the Saints to sixth in the table, just four points behind Liverpool, who were level at the top with Manchester United.

The result also meant that Southampton became the first team to beat all seven winners of the Premier League in the season after a title win.

Losing Streak Begins for Southampton

Despite the win over Liverpool, Saints lost in their next match against Leicester, despite creating a few opportunities in a fairly even game.

Back to back FA Cup games followed with wins over Shrewsbury Town and Arsenal respectively, but the Gunners got their revenge when the sides met in the league four days later. Despite taking an early lead, Mikel Arteta’s side secured a 3-1 win on the south coast.

Southampton followed the Arsenal defeat with another home loss, this time against Aston Villa. Similarly to the Gunners game, Hassenhuttl’s side had more possession and more shots on goal but came off the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline.

A 9-0 defeat at Manchester United followed. Debutant Alexandre Jankewitz was dismissed for a reckless challenged just 79 seconds into the game. It presented an uphill struggle for the Saints who found themselves four goals down at half time.

Jan Bednarek, who scored an unfortunate own goal in the first half, conceded a dubious penalty and was also dismissed late on as the Red Devils scored three goals in the final four minutes to equal the Premier League record.

Four days later, Southampton headed to Newcastle to face a Magpies side also looking for wins. Steve Bruce’s side had won just once from their previous 11 Premier League games, losing eight. However, Newcastle twice led by two goals with Saints reducing the deficit to 3-2. Newcastle even had a man disadvantage for the majority of the second half and ended the game with nine men but Southampton couldn’t find an equaliser.

Southampton bounced back again in the FA Cup, winning 2-0 at Molineux against Wolves, but it was Nuno Espirito Santo’s that that inflicted a sixth straight league defeat when the sides met at St. Mary’s. Again, Southampton took the lead but a penalty and individual effort from Pedro Neto earned Wolves the win.

VAR Controversies

There could be many reasons as to why Southampton suffered those losses, but VAR will certainly be a topic of debate for supporters.

In the build-up to Leicester’s opener at the King Power Stadium, Ibrahima Diallo appeared to be held back by Wilfred Ndidi and lost possession as a result.

Against Villa, VAR decided not to award Southampton a penalty after Matty Cash handled the ball in the box. Later in the game, Ings saw a goal ruled out for offside after his arm had strayed beyond the last defender.

Although Southampton were already six goals down against Manchester United when Bednarek was sent off, the decision to award a penalty and dismissal was soft. The defender even claimed that Anthony Martial admitted there hadn’t been any contact.

Saints would have also felt harshly done by against Wolves. Nelson Semedo’s shot hit Ryan Bertrand on the arm as the defender turned away from the shot with his arms tucked in. The penalty was awarded, and converted, before they went on to take all three points.

Injuries a Key Factor in Southampton Premier League Decline

Kyle Walker-Peters was forced off against Wolves while Stuart Armstrong has also been sidelined at times this season.

Will Smallbone faces a long spell on the sidelines with a knee injury he sustained against Leicester and Danny Ings, Jannik Vestergaard, Oriol Romeu, Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo and Mohammed Salisu have all had spells on the sidelines during this run.

Where Can Ralph Hassenhuttl Improve His Side?

Ralph Hassenhuttl has managed to revitalise his side before following their 9-0 mauling against Leicester, but is this too much to ask?

He has done a tremendous job on the south coast and has even seen his side sit top of the table for a brief period this season, but results have gone against his side who are now 13th in the league and 24 behind the leaders, when they were just four adrift when facing Liverpool seven games ago.

Luck is a factor that the Saints boss has acknowledged. “Luck is for me never a parameter for winning or losing,” he said. “When you concentrate on the luck you do or don’t have, then you are not a really good manager.”

During this run, Saints have had VAR issues and injury concerns but the manager still needs to find the energy and desire to resuscitate once again. He isn’t under pressure and is still backed by the fans, but something needs to change.

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