Brentford ease to win over Southampton
Last updated on .From the section Premier League
Two goals in 79 first-half seconds set Brentford on their way to a comfortable victory over Southampton.
They went in front when centre-back Pontus Jansson forced home Ivan Toney's cross from close range, before Yoane Wissa curled into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area moments later.
Kristoffer Ajer sealed the win in the second half when he skipped away from two Saints players in the area before poking the ball beyond Fraser Forster.
Despite the defeat, Southampton should be safe from relegation, with an eight-point cushion between themselves and 18th-placed Everton, although Saints have the fewest games remaining of any of the bottom six.
Southampton were ninth in the table in February, but seven defeats in their last 10 Premier League games have sent them sliding down the table.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have two tricky-looking fixtures to come against title-chasing Liverpool on Tuesday before a final-day trip to Leicester.
They still should have enough points to avoid worrying about the drop, but could face a nervy run-in if Everton, Burnley and Leeds pick up victories.
A poor start cost them here, with Brentford unlucky not to be more than two goals up in the opening half an hour, with Wissa and Mathias Jensen both going close.
After that poor start, Saints did rally but were mainly restricted to efforts from distance, with home goalkeeper David Raya equal to efforts from James Ward-Prowse and Mohamed Elyounoussi either side of the break.
In contrast to their opponents, Brentford are ending the season in fine form after a run of six wins from nine games.
The attacking spark provided by January signing Christian Eriksen has certainly helped that upsurge in form. The Denmark midfielder has been on the winning side in six of his eight starts for the club.
But Thomas Frank's side have been equally impressive defensively, keeping clean sheets in five of their last six home matches, including the last four in a row - making them just the fourth side to have such a run this season after Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
The result was never really in doubt after their quickfire early double, with Jansson doing well to divert the ball into the net after Toney had chested Eriksen's high, hanging corner to the far post.
Eriksen was involved in the second goal too, although credit also has to go to referee Michael Salisbury, who played the advantage when the Dane was fouled, allowing Wissa to pick up the loose ball and curl it into the corner.
The Bees killed off any remaining Saints resistance with 11 minutes left thanks to Ajer's fine turn and finish, and the hosts were able to comfortably see out the match.
• None Reaction to Brentford v Southampton and the rest of Saturday's Premier League matches
• None Go straight to all the best Southampton content
• None Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever before - here's everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment