Che Adams scored the finest of goals, leading Southampton to all 3 points away at Vicarage Road.
Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted competition within the teams is making selection difficult. This week he was without Armando Broja so he went for two to replace one, Che Adams and Adam Armstrong partnered up top as they did to start the season. James Ward-Prowse returned, which should have been to no surprise, but Ibrahima Diallo who filled in while the captain was suspended showed plenty of ability in his three match spell.
Che Adams scored a brilliant goal, but Southampton should have been 3-0 at the half. Adam Armstrong is likely flabbergasted he was not on the scoresheet. A header over the bar, 2 well-created chances wide of the post, and a cutback driven into the stands scarred his first half. Che Adams could have made it a double diving in at the back post, but his awkward header hit the ground and launched over the bar.
Watford switched tactics in the second half creating a more balanced match. Tino Livramento made Cucho Hernandez’s life miserable in the first 45 and he was lifted to help defend the Saints’ right-back. Southampton still created a plethora of chances from Kyle Walker-Peters on the left and Nathan Redmond was able to orchestrate a number of attacks through the centre. Still Southampton were only able to push ahead 1 goal.
Alex McCarthy made the play of the day, saving a sure goal from 8 yards, diving low to his right on instinct. Southampton rode out the final 15 sitting deep, a refreshing 180 from a year ago where they would never stop pushing for a second. They did just enough to gain three points, but hopefully the team will figure out a way to make things more comfortable in the end.
Here are the Saints’ player ratings.