Ings nets winner on return from injury

By SFC Media time Mon 07 Dec Brighton and Hove Albion v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Danny Ings
Mon 07 Dec 8PM
Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion
1
Southampton
2
Groß [26']
goal
Vestergaard [45'] Ings [81']
Dunk (56') Groß (80') Bissouma (89')
yellow card
Djenepo (13') Romeu (47') McCarthy (86')
Referee: David Coote | Venue: American Express Community Stadium | Attendance: 2,000

Danny Ings celebrated his return from injury with a decisive late penalty as Southampton came from behind to win at Brighton and move up to fifth in the Premier League.

Saints were below par in the first half, falling behind to a spot-kick from Pascal Gross, but Jannik Vestergaard’s towering header in the final minute levelled the scores.

Ralph Hasenhüttl wasted no time in calling for Ings at half-time, and Saints improved after the interval, as Theo Walcott and Nathan Redmond went close.

After VAR ruled a foul from Solly March on Kyle Walker-Peters had occurred inside the box and not outside, as originally signalled by referee David Coote, Ings stepped up to win the game nine minutes from time, as Saints tasted victory at the Amex Stadium for the third season running.

Hasenhüttl resisted the temptation to throw Ings straight back into his starting line-up, instead naming the same team for a third straight game, despite seeing Saints’ seven-match unbeaten run come to a cruel end at the hands of Manchester United last time out.

Ings’s return to the squad after five weeks out was a welcome sight nonetheless, joined on a stronger-looking bench by the returning Redmond and, for the first time since joining the club, Mohammed Salisu, the Ghanaian defender signed in the summer from Real Valladolid.

Playing in front of fans for the first time in nine months, there was undoubtedly an added spark to the occasion, even with a modest attendance limited to 2,000, as the socially-distanced locals, spread across three stands, made themselves heard.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Brighton fans in place during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton at American Express Community Stadium on December 07, 2020 in Brighton, England. A limited number of fans (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
The Amex Stadium welcomed back supporters for the first time since March

It seemed to spur the home team on. Brighton started brightly, with March escaping down the left and crossing low for Danny Welbeck, who forced an early save from Alex McCarthy, before captain Lewis Dunk headed wide from a set-piece.

Then Moussa Djenepo picked up a booking in the 13th minute for tripping Tariq Lamptey, underlining the fact that Saints were still to settle.

Brighton’s main problem this season, which saw them 16th in the table at the start of play, had been their failure to convert easy-on-the-eye approach play into goals, but the hosts were gifted an opportunity to edge in front after 26 minutes.

From a throw-in on the left, Welbeck received the ball and lifted it above the head of James Ward-Prowse, whose hand was up and made contact – intentional or not, VAR was never likely to overturn Coote’s on-field decision, and up stepped Gross to send McCarthy the wrong way.

Gross was threatening again soon after, when Welbeck’s loose touch in the box inadvertently fell his way, but the German instinctively volleyed over.

Saints were second best, at this stage, and struggling to make the most of fleeting counter-attacks and sustained spells of possession. 

Walcott drilled a low shot across the face of goal, but Mat Ryan had the luxury of playing the whole first half without making a save.

Yet the Australian goalkeeper still had to pick the ball out of his net in the final minute when Ward-Prowse’s corner was met by the towering figure of Vestergaard, who directed it brilliantly into the far corner with a powerful and precise header from 12 yards. 

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Jannik Vestergaard of Southampton rises highest to score and make it 1-1 during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton at American Express Community Stadium on December 07, 2020 in Brighton, England. A limited number of fans (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Jannik Vestergaard's brilliant header levelled the scores

Hasenhüttl must have been buoyed by the timely equaliser, but the boss did not allow the goal to cloud his judgement, as Ings was immediately summoned at the interval, replacing the cautioned Djenepo as Walcott moved out to the left.

Ings’s first contribution was to make a telling touch in the penalty area, albeit his own, to intercept a dangerous Gross free-kick, winning a foul for his troubles.

Slowly but surely, Saints began to look more like their usual selves, pinning Brighton back and going close on the hour through Walcott, whose attempted curler just dipped a yard wide after he was found by Armstrong’s intelligent square pass.

The Scot was involved again when his first-time cross provided a first chance for Ings, whose header was comfortably held by Ryan.

Now it was the Seagulls finding themselves on the back foot, but in Lamptey they have a constant outlet down the right whose pace is a major threat, and after his first cross from his latest foray was blocked, he set up Gross to fire over from the edge of the box. 

Hasenhüttl turned to Redmond with 20 minutes left, as the winger replaced Walcott to make his first appearance for a month.

He was involved three minutes later from one of the better chances of the game, though far from clear cut, as Ings’s ball juggling lifted the ball into his path, but Redmond’s attempted volley with the inside of his foot sent the ball sailing into the stand behind Ryan’s goal where Saints’ supporters would usually be housed.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Danny Ings(centre right) of celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton at American Express Community Stadium on December 07, 2020 in Brighton, England. A limited number of fans (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ings was the hero, arriving off the bench to win the game from the spot

Having gained increasing momentum of the course of the second period, Saints had the chance to turn the game around after some VAR controversy ruled in their favour.

From Vestergaard’s diagonal pass to release Walker-Peters, the right-back surged into the box where he was brought down by March, initially prompting the award of a free-kick.

But after a lengthy delay, much to the disgruntlement of the home fans, the technology ruled the offence was just inside the area.

Up stepped Ings to do the honours on his return to the side, finding the side-netting as Ryan chose wrong in diving to his left, and Saints were in front for the first time.

The feeling of adversity seemed to give Brighton a second wind, prompting a nervy finale in which substitutes Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard both went close – the latter forcing a stoppage-time save from McCarthy – but Saints held on to get back to winning ways.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    48
    comparison angle
    52
  • Shots
    12
    comparison angle
    10
  • Shots on target
    4
    comparison angle
    3
  • Corners
    4
    comparison angle
    3
  • Passes Complete
    276
    comparison angle
    319

Brighton and Hove Albion

1
Mat Ryan (GK)
4
Adam Webster
34
Joël Veltman
5
Lewis Dunk (C) yellow card
3
Ben White
replace Alireza Jahanbakhsh (81′)
8
Yves Bissouma yellow card
20
Solly March
2
Tariq Lamptey
18
Danny Welbeck
replace Leandro Trossard (81′)
7
Aaron Connolly
replace Neal Maupay (64′)
13
Pascal Groß yellow card goal
30
Bernardo
9
Neal Maupay
33
Dan Burn
23
Jason Steele
16
Alireza Jahanbakhsh
17
Steven Alzate
11
Leandro Trossard

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK) yellow card
3
Ryan Bertrand
2
Kyle Walker-Peters
4
Jannik Vestergaard goal
35
Jan Bednarek
6
Oriol Romeu yellow card
8
James Ward-Prowse (C)
17
Stuart Armstrong
12
Moussa Djenepo yellow card
replace Danny Ings (45′) goal
10
Che Adams
32
Theo Walcott
replace Nathan Redmond (69′)
27
Ibrahima Diallo
7
Shane Long
5
Jack Stephens
9
Danny Ings
44
Fraser Forster
11
Nathan Redmond
22
Mohammed Salisu
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