Christian Eriksen showed why he is being linked with Man United and Tottenham by helping Brentford pile the misery on struggling Southampton… even when he’s not at his best, the Dane inspires the Bees
They say the sign of true champions is winning even when you are not playing well. The same can be attributed to individuals.
Yet even though he failed to hit the heights of some of his recent virtuoso performances, he was still at the heart of all that went right for his side against the struggling Saints.
Christian Eriksen impressed again as Brentford beat Southampton 3-0 in the Premier League
The midfielder’s current deal is about to expire and the Bees want to persuade him not to leave
It was his pinpoint corner that found the chest of Ivan Toney after 13 minutes, the striker able to bring the ball down and tee up Pontus Jansson for the opener.
It was his surging run a minute later that was halted by Mohammed Salisu’s foul, only for referee Michael Salisbury to play advantage and allow Yoane Wissa to make it two.
It is the kind of influence that has seen the 30-year-old linked with Manchester United and even a return to Tottenham. His short-term deal comes to an end this summer and interest is understandably mounting.
Captain Jansson and those at Brentford are still hopeful Eriksen can be persuaded to stay put.
MATCH FACTS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND PLAYER RATINGS
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya 6; Ajer 7, Jansson 7, Sorensen 6, Henry 6.5; Norgaard 6.5, Jensen 6 (Young-Coombes, 87), Eriksen 7.5; Mbeumo 6 (Baptiste 81), Toney 8, Wissa 7 (Dasilva 69, 6).
Scorers: Jansson 13, Wissa 14, Ajer 79.
Manager: Thomas Frank 7.5.
Southampton (4-4-2): Forster 5; Walker-Peters 5.5, Bednarek 5, Salisu 4.5, Perraud 5.5; S Armstrong 6 (Romeu 83), Ward-Prowse 6, Diallo 5.5 (Elyounoussi 64, 6), Redmond 6; A Armstrong 5, Broja 5.
Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl 5.
Referee: Michael Salisbury 7.
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‘He has made a huge difference with what he has done in the last three months, it’s been unbelievable,’ said the Bees skipper. ‘Hopefully he stays. He is a world-class player.
‘He would start most games for any club he went to because he is one of the best players in the Premier League. Of course we want him to continue to play for us.’
How Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl must miss that feeling of being wanted. The Saints manager was subjected to chants of ‘sacked in the morning’ from his own fans in the 83rd minute. A run of one win in 10 games has cranked up the pressure on the Austrian.
‘We were really poor,’ said Stuart Armstrong. ‘Apologies to the fans, it must have been a hard watch. The good form seems a long time ago now.’
Ralph Hasenhuttl faces pressure over a run of seven losses and one win in 10 for Southampton