The first Premier League adventure of the two Nigerian internationals has ended in disappointment
Paul Onuachu and Joe Aribo’s contributions were not enough to help Southampton avoid relegation in their home defeat to Fulham, Soccernet.ng reports.
Onuachu, making only his fourth Premier League start, failed to find the net once again, extending his goal drought to 11 league games since joining the Saints in January.
Meanwhile, Aribo, who joined Fulham from Rangers last summer, remained an unused substitute, indicating that he has not met the desired level of quality expected by the Southampton management.
The match itself proved to be a dismal affair for Southampton, as they struggled to muster any meaningful response to Fulham’s dominance.
Despite having a Carlos Alcaraz strike disallowed for a marginal offside just before Fulham’s opener, the hosts failed to exhibit the necessary urgency and energy required for a survival mission.
Fulham displayed confidence and control throughout the game, with Willian’s first-half volley being cleared off the line by Southampton’s Lyanco.
Fulham eventually sealed Southampton’s fate, as Carlos Vinicius broke the deadlock, capitalizing on Lyanco’s clearance that fortuitously fell to him off Harrison Reed.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, making his return from an eight-game ban, then added to Southampton’s misery with a stooping header from Harry Wilson’s cross, securing his 12th league goal of the season.
As a result of this defeat, Southampton will be plying their trade in the Championship next season, marking their first relegation to the second tier since 2012.
For Onuachu and Aribo, unless they choose to depart St. Mary’s Stadium, their future lies in the Championship, as they aim to regroup and potentially help Southampton bounce back to the Premier League in the future.