Brighton and Southampton extend unbeaten runs with 1-1 draw
BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Brighton and Southampton extended their unbeaten runs in the Premier League to three games with a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
The Saints took an early lead through Steven Davis but newly promoted Brighton drew level shortly after halftime thanks to Glenn Murray’s header.
Neither side could complain at the result which stabilizes both clubs’ solid starts to the season, leaving Southampton ninth in the table with a point more than Brighton.
Having scored a stunning winner against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, Sofiane Boufal was given a start by Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino and the Algeria winger’s confidence was evident from the start.
It was his smart footwork that won Southampton the free kick leading to the opening goal after just seven minutes.
James Ward-Prowse, also restored to the starting lineup in place of the injured Mario Lemina, was unlucky to see his curling free kick rebound off the post, but Davis was on hand to nod into the empty net.
Boufal was the architect of the Saints’ next clear opportunity when he teed up Dusan Tadic 10 minutes before halftime, only for Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy to deflect his shot wide.
Brighton finally mounted its first meaningful attack of the game in the closing stages of the half, as Anthony Knockaert was unable to find a teammate as he directed Izquierdo Mena’s delivery back across goal.
From the same passage of play Knockaert was more accurate as he crossed to Duffy at the back post, only for the defender to head narrowly over.
Brighton maintained its impetus after the break and was rewarded in the 52nd minute as Pascal Gross crossed to the back post for Murray, whose header beat Fraser Forster with the help of a deflection off Cesar Soares.
Gross’s fifth assist of the season was almost immediately followed by a sixth, as he found Murray once more, but Virgil van Dijk was on hand to put the striker off at the near post.
Both sides went in search of a winner with Manolo Gabbiadini coming closest for Southampton as he attempted to guide Ryan Bertrand’s cross in at the near post.
Knockaert set up Duffy once more for Brighton but the defender’s lack of attacking prowess was evident as he fluffed his chance from the edge of the box.