Southampton missed out on a huge opportunity to move out of the relegation zone, but failed to capitalise against Chris Hughton’s Brighton and Hove Albion side.
Mauricio Pellegrino made two changes to the side that drew against Spurs. Mario Lemina and Manolo Gabbiadini were dropped and Steven Davis and Shane Long were brought in. Record signing Guido Carrillo is yet to start a game for the Saints.
It was Brighton who were piling on the early pressure through José Izquierdo and Davy Propper, but it was Glenn Murray who converted from the spot after 15 minutes, after Solly March was brought down by Wesley Hoedt.
The first half was a story of near misses for Southampton, as they came close through Shane Long and Ryan Bertrand’s efforts and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg hitting the crossbar after his pressing prompted an error from Mathew Ryan.
Saints went into the tunnel at half-time to a chorus of booing from the home support, and Pellegrino made two changes at the break, bringing on Carrillo and Sofiane Boufal for Oriol Romeu and Dusan Tadic.
55 minutes in, Jack Stephens had Southampton’s first chance of the second half from James Ward-Prowse’s cross, but it was the centre half who equalised for the Saints. Ward-Prowse’s low free kick flew between Brighton’s defence, and Stephens got the slightest of touches to guide the ball beyond Matt Ryan.
That was the only meaningful highlight from the second half, from either side. Saints were booed off and several booes were probably aimed towards Les Reed sat in the director’s box.
Disappointment was set to continue after the game, as deadline day passed and no new signing was made, whether it was Quincy Promes or Erik Lamela, no new addition was made to our squad. Teams around us in the relegation zone, which we shouldn’t be in in the first place, have all replaced their managers, and have seen positives from it, yet we aren’t doing anything yet.
This was probably Saints’ most important fixture of the season, a real six-pointer, and we have failed. Next up is West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, and I am worried, as are thousands of other Saints fans I am sure.