English Premiership

Southampton held to draw at St Mary's

2017-12-23 20:19
Charlie Austin (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Southampton's inconsistency continued after Huddersfield secured a well-earned point in their 1-1 Premier League draw at St Mary's on Saturday.

Charlie Austin handed the hosts a well-deserved lead midway through the first half as they looked towards securing a way into the top-half of the table.

However, Lauren Depoitre's header in the 64th minute made sure the two teams shared the spoils as pressure increases on Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.

Southampton were looking to avoid a seventh game without a win when they welcomed an unpredictable Huddersfield to the south coast.

Following their 4-1 triumph over Watford last week, spirits in the Terriers camp were sky high, but Pellegrino would have been confident his talented players would have enough to end their barren run in the league.

But after the first 15 minutes of play, he witnessed a team well short of confidence from the defence all the way forward, committing school-boy errors and inviting pressure from the visitors.

Defender Christophe Schindler went close to breaking the deadlock in the 16th minute when he smashed a header from full-back Florent Hadergjonaj's cross, but goalkeeper Fraser Forster got his fingertips onto the effort before it hit the post and went out.

The save proved vital as the hosts drew first blood with a well-worked corner routine which resulted in the in-form Austin nodding the ball into an empty net at the back post.

His sixth goal of the season kept the Saints in the lead until the break but he was lucky to remain on the field after kicking out at goalkeeper Jonas Lossl's face, as the Terriers stopper dived for the ball at his feet.

After the challenge, Lossl seemed dazed and almost gifted the Saints a second goal, but Austin's chip from 40 yards was comfortably saved as the keeper's misplaced pass did not come back to haunt him.

Nonetheless, just after the hour mark, the home defence switched off as has been the case for most of the season by allowing Tommy Smith to dink a ball into the area for Depoitre to level matters and come away with a point on the road.

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Saturday, 24 February 2018
Leicester City v Stoke City, King Power Stadium 14:30
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Swansea City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Huddersfield Town, The Hawthorns 17:00
Burnley v Southampton, Turf Moor 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United, Vitality Stadium 17:00
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Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur, Selhurst Park 22:00
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