Djenepo stunner helps Saints to first win

By SFC Media time Sat 24 Aug Brighton v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Moussa Djenepo
Sat 24 Aug 3PM
Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion
Djenepo [55'] Redmond [90+1']
Montoya (89')
yellow card
Ward-Prowse (21') Djenepo (62') Højbjerg (82')
Andone (30')
red card
Referee: Kevin Friend | Venue: American Express Community Stadium | Attendance: 30,019

Moussa Djenepo made an instant impact as a second-half substitute to score his first Southampton goal and help fire his new club to a first victory of the Premier League season.

The Malian winger arrived off the bench in the 53rd minute, before sending a sumptuous curling shot into the top corner with his first involvement moments later.

Hosts Brighton, reduced to ten men after Florin Andone’s ugly challenge on Yan Valery in the 30th minute, chased the game and made Saints work hard for their clean sheet.

But try as they did to force a late leveller, the Seagulls were exposed in stoppage time, as Djenepo’s fellow substitute Sofiane Boufal set up Nathan Redmond to clinch the points.

Ralph Hasenhüttl made two changes to his side, handing a debut to 20-year-old defender Kevin Danso, filling in for Ryan Bertrand at left-back, with the latter sidelined by an ankle knock.

Meanwhile, Danny Ings, Saints’ first goalscorer of 2019/20 against Liverpool last time out, returned to the starting line-up in an attacking move that saw Maya Yoshida drop to the bench.

It was the hosts who started on the front foot, with Neal Maupay going close from an early corner as his close-range header deflected behind off Jan Bednarek.

Then Martin Montoya found space in the box to meet a cross with a header from another promising position, but nodded wide with Angus Gunn rooted to the spot.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Kevin Danso(R) of Southampton and Martin Montoya(L) of Brighton during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton FC at American Express Community Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Kevin Danso made his Saints debut in the absence of Ryan Bertrand

Saints were just beginning to get into their stride when Andone was dismissed on the half-hour.

After forcing a couple of corners, a slick move resulted in James Ward-Prowse just being unable to take Ings’s pass in his stride.

But the game was about to take a significant swing in favour of Hasenhüttl’s men.

Romanian striker Andone was rightly shown a red card for an ugly challenge in which he stood on the ankle of Valery, who stayed down and was subjected to boos from the home fans on his return, but in reality was lucky to continue.

Saints instantly upped the tempo. Redmond drove at the Seagulls, drilling a low shot from 20 yards that Mathew Ryan did well to gather.

The already aggrieved natives grew increasingly restless when VAR stepped in to maintain the deadlock after Dunk thought he’d headed his side into a 37th minute lead.

The Brighton captain headed into an unguarded net with Gunn off balance, but rather than a foul on the keeper, the verdict was offside against the attacker obstructing his view.

This feeling of battling adversity sparked the home supporters into life, and their team responded with a sharp break early in the second half, as Solly March sent Gunn stooping to his left to make his first notable save.

Then Leandro Trossard played a cheeky nutmeg to find Maupay, before shooting wide from the striker’s return pass.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Moussa Djenepo of Southampton celebrates after opening the scoring during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton FC at American Express Community Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Moussa Djenepo made an immediate impact off the bench to open the scoring

Whether still feeling the effects of Andone’s red-card offence, Valery was sacrificed eight minutes into the second half, in favour of Djenepo, as Hasenhüttl set his sights on exploiting the depleted hosts.

Djenepo needed seconds, not minutes, to make his mark. Receiving the ball wide on the left, he attacked the penalty area with purpose, and picked his spot with a precise curling shot from just outside the box that nestled perfectly inside the far corner, high out of Ryan’s reach, to spark jubilant scenes behind the Brighton goal.

The hosts might have struck back sooner rather than later, when a short free-kick found March with space to shoot, but the winger blazed over.

At the other end, Saints set about making the game safe. Redmond charged forward, Djenepo style, ignoring the supporting Ché Adams to his right and going alone, shooting only narrowly wide as Ryan scampered across to protect his left-hand post.

Hasenhüttl later introduced Boufal and Stuart Armstrong in place of Adams and Ings, as ten-man Albion fought gallantly in pursuit of a point.

No one came closer than Jurgen Locadia, who was left unmarked at the far post from a corner, only to rifle the ball against the outside of the goal frame as the visitors survived a late scare.

But there was still time for Armstrong to be denied by Ryan, before Saints kept the ball alive and Boufal reached the byeline, laying the ball on a plate for the sliding Redmond to complete a job well done.

Brighton & Hove Albion

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Mat Ryan (GK)
Shane Duffy
Dan Burn
Lewis Dunk (C)
Solly March
replace Jürgen Locadia (68′)
Martín Montoya yellow card
Dale Stephens
replace Pascal Groß (78′)
Davy Pröpper
Florin Andone red card
Leandro Trossard
Neal Maupay
replace Glenn Murray (74′)
Glenn Murray
Jürgen Locadia
Pascal Groß
Adam Webster
David Button
Aaron Mooy


Angus Gunn (GK)
Kevin Danso
Jan Bednarek
Yan Valery
replace Moussa Djenepo (53′) yellow card goal
Jannik Vestergaard
Oriol Romeu
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C) yellow card
James Ward-Prowse yellow card
Nathan Redmond goal
Danny Ings
replace Stuart Armstrong (84′)
Che Adams
replace Sofiane Boufal (80′)
Stuart Armstrong
Alex McCarthy
Michael Obafemi
Sofiane Boufal
Moussa Djenepo
Maya Yoshida
Cédric Soares
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