By Johnny Edward.
Super Eagles duo Joe Aribo and Paul Onuachu were relegated with their Southampton teammates from the Premier League after the Saints lost 2-0 at home by Fulham on Saturday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The defeat brings to an end their 11-year spell in the English top flight after they cannot reel in 17th-placed Everton.
Ruben Selles’s side are bottom of the league on 24 points from 36 games, while Fulham’s win moves them up to ninth.
In a scrappy and disjointed opening 45 minutes, neither side were able to take control of the game, with Fulham having more possession and slightly better attempts but no luck in front of goal.
Both teams tried to play with more attacking intent in the second half, as Carlos Alcaraz had a goal disallowed before Carlos Vinicius latched on to a loose ball in Southampton’s box and tapped home the opener for Fulham in the 48th minute.
Substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic then marked his return from an eight-match ban with a goal, sealing the win for Fulham at St Mary’s Stadium with a stooping header in the 72nd minute.
Southampton had the lion’s share of possession in the closing spell, but were unable to create anything of note and prevent a return to the second-tier Championship, with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a Southampton native, watching on from the stands.
Aribo who has been ostracised from the squad lately was an unused substitute in the encounter. He made 27 appearances across all competitions for the Saints he joined last summer from Glasgow Rangers for £10m.
His countryman, Onuachu who started the encounter against Fulham has 11 Premier League appearances since his deadline day move from Genk without a goal nor assist.
It remains to be seen if the duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi will help Leicester City avoid the drop.
The Foxes are currently placed 19th in the EPL standings with 30 points from 35 games.
They host Liverpool in their next league game on Monday at the King Power stadium.