Southampton’s third penalty shoot-out of the season ended in defeat as Derby County inflicted a sense of déjà vu on Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men in a tense Emirates FA Cup third round replay at St Mary’s.
Quick-fire goals from Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond seemingly had Saints coasting through with only 14 minutes to go, but Harry Wilson’s free-kick reduced the deficit before Martyn Waghorn’s 82nd minute header forced extra time.
The Rams had come from 2-0 down, just as they did at Pride Park 11 days prior. With nothing to separate the teams after extra time, penalties were necessary to find a winner.
The only man to miss was Redmond, who skewed his kick wide from Saints’ second effort, meaning it will be the Championship team who travel to Accrington Stanley for a place in the last 16.
Hasenhüttl resisted the urge to make wholesale changes to his side, with just five alterations to the team who started the 2-1 victory at Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday.
Among them was a first start for Tyreke Johnson, operating at left wing-back, and a second start for Kayne Ramsay on the right side of a back three.
Visitors Derby had already played at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge this season and performed admirably, so were unlikely to be overawed at the home of top-flight opponents.
Waghorn fired the game’s first warning shot – a low drive well held by Angus Gunn, who was restored between the sticks.
Otherwise most of the action was taking place inside the Derby half, with Jack Stephens going close from James Ward-Prowse’s outswinging corner.
It was from a Stephens interception that Saints should really have taken a 22nd minute lead.
Ward-Prowse fed Johnson on the left, whose inviting cross looked certain to be converted by Shane Long from six yards, only for goalkeeper Kelle Roos to make an outstanding reflex save. Even then, Armstrong was primed to score, but could not adjust his feet in time.
Derby responded to Saints’ best move of the game with their own version, as Wilson flicked Waghorn’s pass cleverly into the path of Mason Mount, but the midfielder blazed over from the edge of the box.
The Rams spurned another presentable opportunity when Craig Bryson got in behind on the right, but overhit his cross with options well positioned in the middle.
This was the first time VAR had been used at St Mary’s, and the technology would take centre stage six minutes before the interval.
Mount’s low pass was stepped over by Bryson, played around the corner by Waghorn and finished calmly by the onrushing Bryson with a low left-footed shot just inside the far post.
There was no debate and no appeal anywhere in sight, but referee Anthony Taylor prevented Saints from restarting the match, and a ray of hope emerged for the home fans.
Sure enough, Taylor was soon drawing an imaginary screen in the sky and awarding Saints a free-kick for offside against Waghorn in the build-up.
An awkward landing for Long clearly unsettled the striker with half time approaching, but the Irishman was able to play through the pain barrier.
When Hasenhüttl did make a half-time change, Johnson was the man sacrificed, with Redmond – scorer of two goals in the original tie at Pride Park – introduced.
That prompted a switch to a back four, with Redmond playing through the middle as the closest support to Long, flanked by Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi.
The substitute soon threatened to make the breakthrough from Long’s pass, only to be denied by Roos and flagged offside in any case.
But the game then descended back into the subdued affair it was before the break. Gunn made simple saves from Richard Keogh and Wilson; Roos a rather more difficult one, diving to his right, from Redmond’s long ranger.
The breakthrough would arrive midway through the second half, instigated by Long’s pass through the legs of a defender to free Elyounoussi in the box.
The Norwegian kept his head with admirable composure, waiting for Long’s run and standing up a cross met by the number seven at the far post.
His header beat Roos but was cleared off the line by the covering Scott Malone, before Armstrong reacted quickly – and bravely – to stick his head in where it hurts for a close-range opener.
Within two minutes, it was two. Stephens stepped confidently out of defence and slid the ball through for Redmond with all the confidence of an assured midfield player.
Talking of confidence, Saints’ in-form man was full of it as he waited for Roos to advance and just clipped the ball delightfully over the right shoulder of the Dutchman to double the lead.
Just as Saints looked assured of a trip to Accrington, Cédric was booked for a foul on Jayden Bogle and Wilson whipped in the resulting free-kick – all the way in, from the right side of the box with his devilish left foot.
Hasenhüttl must have felt he was experiencing a dose of déjà vu as opposite number Frank Lampard threw caution to the wind, sending on more and more attacking players with 14 minutes to stay in the cup.
They would need only five to draw level. Wilson again the architect, he checked back on to his left foot and crossed from the virtually the same spot the free-kick was taken, this time on to the head of Waghorn, who finished with a thumping header from eight yards.
It had taken its time to come to the boil, but the cup tie was well and truly alive now. In the final 90 seconds of added time, both sides might have avoided extra time.
First, Waghorn’s cross from the left was headed over by unmarked substitute Tom Lawrence, before Redmond tiptoed his way into the box and saw his deflected cross evade the sliding Elyounoussi by a matter of inches.
Alas, another half an hour would be required. Callum Slattery was Hasenhüttl’s third change, replacing goalscorer Armstrong to make his first senior appearance on home soil – the previous two coming on the road.
After the first period passed without incident, Lawrence passed up another opportunity to complete the turnaround when David Nugent flicked on a long throw, but again headed over.
After going down with cramp, 18-year-old Ramsay was replaced by Matt Targett, before Redmond was denied by Roos from Saints’ best moment since Redmond won the aforementioned duel 40 minutes prior.
After Elyounoussi’s attempted curler – the last kick of the game – was held by Roos, Saints would be subjected their third penalty shoot-out of the season.
It was advantage Derby when Redmond skewed his kick wide from Saints’ second and the Rams never looked like missing with an impressive display of composure.
Ward-Prowse, Jannik Vestergaard and Targett all scored, but Saints were subjected to the same manner of defeat they experienced in the Carabao Cup at Leicester in November.
Shots on target77
Angus Gunn (GK)
Kayne RamsayMatt Targett (110′)
Oriol Romeu (C)
Tyreke JohnsonNathan Redmond (45′)
Stuart ArmstrongCallum Slattery (90′)
Shane LongSam Gallagher (73′)
Kelle Roos (GK)
Jayden BogleDuane Holmes (94′)
Richard Keogh (C)
Tom HuddlestoneTom Lawrence (80′)
Jack MarriottDavid Nugent (76′)
Harry WilsonMason Bennett (102′)