Southampton relegated from the Premier League with a 2-0 loss against Fulham
The 2022-23 English Premier League campaign is nearing its end with one of the tightest relegation fights still on with only two matchdays to go in the top-division league. Southampton has lost the status of being an EPL club as they were relegated to the EFL Championship after a 2-0 loss to Fulham at the St. Mary’s Stadium.
The James Ward-Prowse-led club will finish at the bottom of the league table as they currently have only 24 points in the bag with 6 wins and 6 draws. A disappointing campaign that saw three different managers taking charge of the Saints has ended in dismay in front of the fans who witnessed the 11-year journey in the top-division league.
After getting promoted in 2012 courtesy of finishing second in the 2011-12 EFL Championship, Mauricio Pochettinto led the club to a 14th-placed finish and an 8th-placed finish in the Premier League before Ronald Koeman took over the club as the Argentine head coach departed for Tottenham Hotspur.
The Dutch manager continued the good work despite selling some of the club’s biggest stars Sadio Mane, Danny Ings, Adam Lallana, and Toby Alderweireld but the Saints still managed to qualify for the UEFA Europa League for two consecutive seasons and even made it to the EFL Cup Final in 2017 but lost the chance to lift silverware with a 3-2 defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
The 2022-23 season was far from ideal for the Saints who first parted ways with Ralph Hasenhuttel and then Nathan Jones to appoint Ruben Selles but the young manager failed to save the side from relegation. With 24 losses in the season, Southampton looked like a shadow of the side that was part of the EFL Cup final and fought toe-to-toe with United, being undone by the brilliance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic towards the end of that match.
On Saturday, Carlos Vinicius scored the first goal to blow Southampton’s spirits away while another goal from the returning Aleksander Mitrovic saw some of the home supporters leaving the stadium even before the full-time whistle.
The ongoing Premier League season has been a memorable one for Fulham as they are very close to a top-half finish with matches against Crystal Palace and Manchester United left in the run-in. This is the first occasion that the London-based club has reached the mark of 15 wins in the Engish Premier League.
Club captain James Ward-Prowse, Carlos Alcaraz, Romeo Lavia, Kyle Walker-Peters, the experienced Jan Bednarek, Stuart Armstrong, and the potent Che Adams are some of the players who could be hacked away from the club as they fall into the financial uncertainty of the second-division of English football pyramid.
Ward-Prowse felt that the team haven’t done nearly enough in the season to stay away from the drop zone and didn’t want to answer the questions regarding his future at the club he joined two decades ago.The 28-year old said, “It has been coming, we need to go away individually and as a club and assess if we’ve done everything we possibly could. The standards have slipped away and that is why we are where we are now.”