08 December 2020 08:33
Southampton overcame a 0-1 deficit to take down Brighton & Hove Albion, moving into 5th place in the Premier League table. Ralph Hasenhuttl named his strongest match day squad with Danny Ings returning from injury. The English striker wasn't quite fit enough to start, but it was uplifting to see his name on the team sheet and more so with his second half performance. Finally, Mohammed Salisu made his first appearance in a Southampton kit, foreshadowing his imminent selection during the festive fixtures. Brighton's best defender early on was the pitch itself.
Southampton players struggled to keep footing and Ralph Hasenhuttl could be seen complaining about the surface. Moussa Djenepo was free 1v1 in the penalty box and slipped, Oriol Romeu completely missed two tackles without the ability to safely stop, and Stuart Armstrong lost an opportunity to drive forward because the grass was not holding up. The match itself was very open throughout the first half while lacking attempts on goal. Southampton feasted in pressing Brighton in their own defensive third while the Seagulls looked best breaking against the Saints' centre-backs. A penalty kick was the early difference as James Ward-Prowse threw a hand in an unnatural position with the ball finding a way to graze it before falling to his feet. However, Ward-Prowse would have the last laugh delivering a set piece right to Jannik Vestergaard's forehead. Danny Ings was introduced in the second half giving Southampton a boost in morale. Stretching the side-netting with a perfect penalty pushed his teammates even further toward the three points. The VAR decision was lengthy, but Jannik Vestergaard's pass to Kyle Walker-Peters induced Solly March just enough to award the match-winning penalty. There were some top-notch performances in the Saints' side, even on a difficult night to play Ralph's way. Credit to Brighton for handing Southampton possession and staying away from the press. Although, Jannik Vestergaard and Danny Ings did just enough get the victory and propel the team to 5th place. Here are the player ratings for Saints and their win over Brighton!