Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl pointed critisim towards striker Armando Broja, on loan from Chelsea, following the Saints’ defeat to Crystal Palace at St Mary’s
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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl singled out striker Armando Broja for criticism following the Saints’ 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at St Mary’s.
Hasenhuttl’s men threw away the chance to break into the top half of the Premier League table on home soil on Saturday, despite taking the lead inside ten minutes when Oriol Romeu found the target.
Palace leveled on the hour mark when Eberechi Eze scored his first goal since last May, with Wilfried Zaha coming off the bench to score a stoppage time winner that saw Palace climb above Southampton and Brentford to move up to 12th in the table.
Having thrown away three points despite leaving more than half of the tie, the Saints’ Austrian boss was left incredibly frustrated by the result and did not hold back in his criticism at full-time. He also singled out the Albanian striker Broja, on loan from Chelsea, who has failed to score in any of his last 11 Premier League outings.
“Maybe we are not good enough,” said Hasenhuttl. “Certainly our opponent wasn’t that good. I expected more from my guys – Broja’s not what he was – and we lacked quality. Everything has to change. ”
Southampton had been hoping to end the season in the top half of the Premier League table for the first time in five campaigns, however defeat to Patrick Vieira’s Eagles has significantly dented Southampton’s chances of doing exactly that.
Palace meanwhile sit 12th following their win in Hampshire and ending in that position when the season ends would give Palace their best end to a league season for three years, having ended 14th in each of the last two campaigns.
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Broja, currently on loan from Chelsea, is a player that the Saints have been heavily linked with wanting to sign on a permanent basis. However, Hasenhuttl’s latest comments may suggest that they may not necessarily have the same desire to keep Broja when his loan expires.
The Albanian international, who spent last season in a loan with Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands and has also been linked with a move to Arsenal, has scored nine goals in 36 appearances in all competitions under Hasenhuttl.
Only midfielder and captain James Ward-Prowse (ten), who set up Romeu’s opener against the Palace, has more.
Saints’ chances of a top half finish undoubtedly took a blow with defeat to the Palace in what has been a wretched run of form for Saints. They have picked up just five points from a possible 27 in their last nine league games.
They sit 15th in the table, but are only three points behind Newcastle United in tenth. However, they will need a U-turn in the form of any hopes of breaking into the top half of the table in their last three games.
Southampton’s last three games of the campaign start with a trip to Brentford on Saturday. They they face Liverpool on home soil on the penultimate day of the season before ending the campaign away at Leicester City five days later.
Palace meanwhile, whose highest ever Premier League finish is tenth, face Watford, Aston Villa, Everton and Manchester United in their final four matches of the season.