Southampton are off the mark with their first victory of the Premier League season after defeating Brighton 0-2 at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton came into this match unbeaten under their new boss Graham Potter, and this reflected in their confident start against the Saints. New Seagull’s signing Leandro Trossard set up Maupay’s tame effort on goal and delivered an in-swinging cross which was headed wide by Montoya, as Brighton dominated the early stages of the game. The only opportunity for the Saints in the first half came through skipper Redmond, whose low effort from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Mat Ryan.
Florin Andone’s sending off on the half-hour mark – after a malicious challenge on Yan Valery near the halfway line – was arguably the turning point in the match, as the Saints failed to register a shot on target up to this point. Despite defender Dunk’s header disallowed by VAR due to Dan Burn appearing active, Brighton never seemed to recover and the momentum soon swung Southampton’s way, as they capitalised on their numerical advantage.
Just two minutes after entering the fray, Moussa Djenepo’s proved the super sub for the Saints: he cut in from the left, and curled it into the right hand corner, to set Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side on their way. Fellow second-half substitute Stuart Armstrong’s attempt on goal was denied by Ryan late on, before Southampton faced a scare as Locadia’s shot struck the frame of Angus Gunn’s goal. The Saints then wrapped up the three points in added time as Sofiane Boufal’s clever cross was converted by Redmond to wrap up the three points.
Southampton appear to be improving each week – after a 3-0 opening day defeat at Burnley, the Saints responded with a vastly improved performance against Liverpool last weekend, but were left rueing their chances in a 1-2 home defeat. This victory thereby epitomises the Saints’ gradual improvement, and represents their first Premier League clean sheet since their last victory over Brighton in March.
Next up for the Saints is a trip to Fulham at Craven Cottage in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, before hosting Manchester United at the St Mary’s in the Premier League’s lunchtime kick-off at 12.30pm.