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Southampton versus Brighton – the relegation battle begins to heat up

Southampton played host to Brighton Hove Albion on Wednesday night at St Mary’s.

Prior to the match Chris Hughton’s squad had failed to score in their previous 6 Premier League away games. Southamptons run of form is not much more exquisite with 0 wins out of the previous 11 matches.

Three points on the board were vital for both teams, and Brighton started the game with an excellent opportunity from Izquierdo, however his effort blazed over the bar and failed to give his team the lead.

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Rectification beckoned for him as a mazy run into the Southampton box and an accurate pass to March allows Brighton to win a penalty through a very clumsy challenge from Hoedt. Glen Murray makes no mistake and calmly slotted the ball past McCarthy into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Southampton came painfully close to equalising after Hojbjerg closed down Ryan’s clearance and hit the crossbar. The best effort the Saints had on goal so far in the match. Southampton were creating the better chances with a well worked corner from ward prouse and Bertrand only narrowly missing the top corner.

The pressure was capitalised on with Jack Stephens getting his first Premier League goal for the Saints from a JWP free kick, won skilfully by Boufal. The match finished 1-1 just as the previous encounter also finished. A much needed point for Brighton as they continue to hover precariously over the relegation zone.

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However, previously high flying Southampton are sitting 18th and are in very real danger of facing the drop. Pellegrino has issued a statement saying that he is not concerned with the security of his job.

Naive? Potentially. Secure in this day and age? Questionable. With only one signing in the transfer window it seems only a miracle can save the Saints. Southampton play West Brom away on the 3rd of February and Brighton play West Ham – two vital games as the race to avoid the drop begins to heat up.

Written by Niall Henry.

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