Not many sides can succumb to a 9-0 defeat in front of their supporters and see it as the season-defining moment that changed them for the better, but Southampton isn’t your usual club.
We all know what happened that infamous night on the south coast in late October. The Saints were decimated, destroyed, and ransacked against Brendan Rodgers’ side in one of the most damming defeats in Premier League history, and one that broke a multitude of records as reported by BBC Sport.
Southampton looked dead and buried, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, at that moment in time, sitting in the relegation zone and not looking likely to climb out of the pits of the Premier League table. But then something extraordinary happened.
Was the 9-0 defeat the season-defining moment?
Yes, it gave us the kick we needed
No, other results were more important
The defeat seemed to unite the club and its supporters in the following weeks, and following two back-to-back wins against Watford and Norwich City and St. Mary’s, the belief had returned to Southampton that the club could fight their way out of the relegation zone.
Which brings us to the festive period just gone, where 10 points from 12 saw the Saints rocket up the Premier League standings up to 12th, and a whole five points above the relegation zone, and with Southampton set to do battle today with the side that seemingly kick-started this mini-renaissance, the confidence and mood around the Saints has never been higher.
The growth Southampton have endured since the 9-0 defeat has been nothing short of incredible, and with the Saints living on a high they haven’t felt in some time, vengeance will be on the mind of Hasenhuttl, the players, and the supporters making the trip up to Leicester.