Southampton Under-18s suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in their penultimate game of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League season.
Three first-half goals gave the home side a convincing lead at London Colney –one which Craig Fleming’s side were unable to reserve in the second 45 minutes.
Saints had won 4-1 when the two sides met earlier in the season and almost took the lead when Jake Vokin’s cross looped over George Phillips, but hit the crossbar and bounced away.
It would be the hosts who took the lead, as Josh Da Silva found the back of the net and the Gunners never looked back from that moment.
Joe Willock added a second 12 minutes later, before the Arsenal midfielder scored a spectacular third just before the break as he lobbed Harry Lewis from distance.
Saints hit the woodwork for a second time through Joe Lea after a neat move, but the scoring was completed when Donyell Malen fired home with eight minutes remaining.
Fleming’s side end their regular season with a home game against Leicester City before the play-offs get under way.
Arsenal Under-18s: George Phillips, Chiori Johnson, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Kostas Pileas, Tyrell Robinson (Eddie Nketiah 75), Aaron Eyoma (Ilias Chatzitheodoridis 72), Charlie Gilmour, Josh Da Silva (Savvas Mourgos 58), Yassin Fortune, Joe Willock, Donyell Malen. Unused substitute: Jordan Perrin (GK), Vlad Dragomir.
Goals: Da Silva (22), Willock (34, 45), Malen (82)
Booked: Fortune (73), Willock (85).
Southampton Under-18s: Harry Lewis, Yan Valery, Ollie Cook, Harry Hamblin, Jake Vokins (Harlem Hale 66), Ben Rowthorn, Joe Lea, Harley Willard, Olufela Olomola (c), Stuart Wilkin, Dan N’Lundulu (Tyreke Johnson 46). Unused substitutes: Neal Osborn (GK), Archie Thomas, Connor Langan.
Booked: Johnson (89)