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    Southampton 1-1 Watford: Points shared on opening day

    By Alex Easley
    Etienne Capoue (left) gave Watford the lead before Nathan Redmond rescued a 1-1 draw for Southampton.
    Nathan Redmond’s debut goal rescued a 1-1 draw for Southampton against Watford on the opening day of the Premier League season at St Mary’s.

    The visitors were in front after just nine minutes through Etienne Capoue’s first league for the Hornets, but Redmond equalised 13 minutes into the second half.

    The home side pushed on for a winner, and had a man advantage with 14 minutes to go as Ben Watson was shown a red card for denying Shane Long a goal scoring opportunity.

    Redmond, who joined from Norwich, came closest to earning the win and the three points, but his late effort was ruled out for offside.

    There were new managers in both dugouts for the first game of the season on Saturday afternoon, and it was Claude Puel’s Southampton who started the brighter in front of their own supporters.

    They almost had the early lead when Heurelho Gomes spilled Dusan Tadic’s free-kick, but the Watford goalkeeper made up for the error as he prevented what seemed a sure-fire own goal after Miguel Britos miscued his clearance.

    The visitors struck first, however, through French midfielder Capoue after he latched on to skipper Troy Deeney’s knock-down and blasted the ball past Fraser Forster in the Saints’ net.

    That goal settled Watford and they then dominated the next 20 minutes, with Southampton careless on the ball and rather lethargic going forward.

    As the half-time break neared, Puel’s men did improve and Long came closest to levelling the score when Tadic’s wonderful individual skill created the chance, but the striker nodded wide.

    The hosts’ momentum carried on in the second half, with Redmond and Tadic proving a real handful for Watford’s three centre-backs.
    Southampton debutant Nathan Redmond had an influential debut has scored one and had another ruled out for offside.
    It was Redmond who got his side back on level terms with a fine volley, aiming his strike into the far corner past Gomes.

    A nightmare back-pass by Maya Yoshida almost gifted Deeney the perfect chance to put Watford back in front, but an alert Forster managed to scramble clear.

    And Watford were down to ten men when Watson was sent off for pulling down Long, who had raced through on goal after a quick Southampton counter attack.

    The hosts penned their opponents back, with Tadic and Redmond denied by Gomes, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Roger East after a challenge by Juan Camilo Zuniga.

    Redmond thought he had snatched the three points late on, but his smart finish was chalked off for offside.

    Southampton resume their Premier League campaign on Friday night against Man Utd, the first Friday night live game on Sky Sports, while Watford host Chelsea next Saturday.

    New Watford boss Walter Mazzari said post-match: "We were unlucky because it came in a moment when we were playing well.

    “Unfortunately it left us with 10 [players] and didn't allow us to play our best way.

    "At this moment I don't look too much at the point, I look at the performance of the team. I am happy with how the team performed.

    "When our energy was at the top we played in a great way, unfortunately we could have ended the game in the first half and we didn't do it and this is something that upsets us."


    Southampton: Forster, Cedric, Yoshida, Van Dijk, Targett, Davis, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Tadic, Long

    Subs: Hojbjerg, Austin, Pied

    Watford: Gomes, Cathcart, Prodl, Britos, Amrabat, Capoue, Behrami, Guedioura, Holebas, Deeney, Ighalo

    Subs: Zuniga, Anya, Watson

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Dusan Tadic
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    Item Reviewed: Southampton 1-1 Watford: Points shared on opening day Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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