Austin heads Saints into third round

By SFC Media time Tue 28 Aug Brighton v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Charlie Austin
Tue 28 Aug 7.45PM
Carabao Cup
Brighton & Hove Albion
Austin [88']
Bissouma (32')
yellow card
Davis (41')
Referee: Andre Marriner | Venue: American Express Community Stadium | Attendance: 13,651

Substitute Charlie Austin headed a late winner to secure Southampton’s first victory of the season and book a place in the Carabao Cup third round.

Austin, introduced nine minutes from time in a double change, headed home a cross from fellow replacement Nathan Redmond in front of a boisterous away following to decide a tightly contested cup tie that Saints shaded.

Both managers made wholesale changes – ten apiece – from the sides that took to the field in Premier League action on Saturday.

The lucky duo with another chance to impress were Saints’ Mohamed Elyounoussi and Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.

Among the alterations included a competitive debut in goal for Angus Gunn, but it was opposite number David Button who had to be alert to keep his team on level terms early on.

From James Ward-Prowse’s cross, Elyounoussi bravely put his head in where it hurts only to be denied by Button at point-blank range, before Maya Yoshida’s follow-up was cleared to safety.

At the other end, Bissouma powered through the middle of the pitch and fired over from the edge of the box in a first statement of intent from the hosts.

Iranian forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh then came even closer, letting fly from 20 yards with a blistering left-footed drive that only just whistled over Gunn’s crossbar.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Mohamed Elyounoussi of Southampton hurdles Brighton goalkeeper David Button during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton at American Express Community Stadium on August 28, 2018 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Mohamed Elyounoussi hurdles Brighton goalkeeper David Button

Mark Hughes’s men responded with a burst down the left from Matt Targett, making his first Saints appearance since Boxing Day, whose cross fell kindly for Manolo Gabbiadini in the box.

The Italian looked to cut the ball back for a simple tap-in, but found Markus Suttner in the way to uncomfortably clear the danger over his own goal.

Gabbiadini was involved again when he combined with Armstrong and tried his luck from distance with a fierce shot from distance that bounced awkwardly in front of the diving Button, who did well not only to make the save, but also push the ball well away from goal.

Saints were probing. Midfield schemer Armstrong showed his creativity with a clever chip over Button, who was grateful to see it drop over his crossbar, as clear chances remained at a premium going into the break.

The visitors continued to carry the greater threat after the restart, without fully extending Button in the Brighton goal.

The former Fulham stopper made routine saves from Elyounoussi and Gabbiadini, before Gunn made his first notable contribution in a Saints shirt on the hour mark.

Albion had been subdued since the interval, but sprung into life when Victor Gyokeres peeled away at the far post and sent a downward header back across the keeper, who threw himself to his left to keep the Swede at bay.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Charlie Austin of Southampton celebrates after scoring during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton at American Express Community Stadium on August 28, 2018 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Austin takes the congratulations from his teammates after heading Saints in front

The game was opening up. When Armstrong was upended near the left corner of the penalty area, Ward-Prowse’s eyes lit up at the prospect of a free-kick in shooting range.

The midfielder did everything right – lifted his shot up over the wall and dipped it down to hit the target, but Button was there, diving to his right, to repel the danger and maintain deadlock.

Every time Saints applied pressure, the home team responded. Jan Bednarek blocked crucially as Beram Kayal pulled the trigger inside the box, before Gunn was called into action again to deny Gyokeres at his near post.

Hughes introduced Sam Gallagher as a supplementary striker with 20 minutes left, and the substitute was not shy in making his presence felt.

After threatening to get on the end of a Steven Davis cross, he showed a clean pair of heels to defender Bernardo and ran across the byeline before forcing a save from Button, when perhaps a cutback would have been the better option.

With time running out, Gallagher did cut the ball back after nicking it away from the scrambling Button, but fellow substitute Austin saw his shot blocked on the line by a covering defender with the goal otherwise unguarded. 

The introduction of Austin along with Redmond for the closing stages did inject extra life into the Saints attack, and the pair combined to deadly effect two minutes from time.

At the end of a sustained spell of pressure, the ever-willing Redmond crossed from the left and Austin gleefully headed home, beyond goalkeeper Button who got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out, sparking scenes of jubilation among the travelling fans.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Head to Head Stats

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Brighton and Hove Albion

David Button (GK)
Markus Suttner
Ben Barclay
Will Collar
Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Viktor Gyokeres
Beram Kayal (C)
replace Aaron Connolly (90′)
Yves Bissouma yellow card
Pascal Groß
replace Davy Pröpper (63′)
Jürgen Locadia
Jason Steele
Dale Stephens
Martín Montoya
Aaron Connolly
Anthony Knockaert
Davy Pröpper
Leon Balogun


Angus Gunn (GK)
Jan Bednarek
Matt Targett
Maya Yoshida
Jack Stephens
James Ward-Prowse
Oriol Romeu
replace Sam Gallagher (70′)
Steven Davis (C) yellow card
Mohamed Elyounoussi
Stuart Armstrong
replace Nathan Redmond (81′)
Manolo Gabbiadini
replace Charlie Austin (81′) goal
Nathan Redmond
Harry Lewis
Jannik Vestergaard
Sam Gallagher
Sam McQueen
Charlie Austin
Wesley Hoedt
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