Southampton bossed the second half, Danny Ings scored an equaliser, but the Saints settled for their 3rd straight draw versus Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ralph Hasenhuttl made five changes to the team who drew with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Jake Vokins was handed his Premier League debut and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was reinstated to the starting eleven as a right wing-back. Jannik Vestergaard got a shot at centre-back with Jack Stephens being rested, and Michael Obafemi earned a start after his stoppage time equaliser. Finally, Stuart Armstrong was rested and promising youngster Will Smallbone was on call after a positive cameo Monday night.
Southampton had a couple early flourishes and right-back Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg wound up with the best of the chances. Jannik Vestergaard found him smartly with a diaganol pass, which his Danish teammate took well off his chest before using the outside of his boot to strike the ball at the keeper. A little more finesse and the much talked about Hojbjerg could have put his current team in the lead.
Neal Maupay was handed a gift from a Brighton long throw-in, putting the Seagulls in the lead. Vestergaard was late challenging a header and Will Smalbone and Jan Bednarek were not close enough to block the shot. However, this would be one of the few chances for Brighton as second half changes gave the Saints control of the match.
Kyle Walker-Peters took over at right-back and injected some instant energy. Oriol Romeu was removed while on a yellow, and Hojbjerg slid back into the middle of the field. Monday night’s hero Michael Obafemi gave 45 minutes of limited contribution and gave way for Che Adams to partner with Danny Ings the rest of the way. It was a smart and proactive half time adjustment for Hasenhuttl who was visibly unsure of his side.
Danny Ings is a man on a mission and does not appear ready to give up on the golden boot. He looked leggy at times, but played every minute and picked up his 20th Premier League goal for the Saints. Nathan Redmond found him with a beautiful pass and every Saints fan in the world knew once he broke free he was scoring. Another amazing cap on an unforgettable season for the Southampton striker.
It was not the cleanest game, but something has to be said for the Southampton schedule. Ralph made his changes, but with players who had not featured for some time. In a game that meant very little for the Saints there was unsurprisingly a mixed bag of performances. Here are the player ratings for all Southampton players from Thursday’s draw with Brighton.