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Jay Rodriguez saves the day and earns Southampton 1-1 draw with Espanyol

All in all, it has been a fairly positive pre-season for Ronald Koeman's Southampton.

Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images

Jay Rodriguez saved Saints with a superb long-range strike in the dying minutes to earn his team a draw in Southampton's final pre-season friendly against Espanyol before the Premier League campaign starts away at Newcastle.

The English striker's screamer signaled his triumphant St. Mary's return in his first start in a senior match at his home stadium since the end of March in 2014.

Rodriguez suffered a horrific knee injury in April 2014 against Manchester City which ruled him out of action for over a year.

Saints' Spanish opponents took the lead on 11 minutes through a low strike from Salva Sevilla after just 11 minutes.

In a fairly muted affair, Espanyol rarely bothered Kelvin Davis (and substitute Paulo Gazzaniga) in the Southampton goal after that as the St. Mary's faithful held with baited breath, hoping for an equaliser.

Rodriguez's sumptuous strike from distance on 85 minutes did the trick and send Southampton fans home with something to smile about after a largely dull 90 minutes.

Steven Caulker made his Saints debut while Cuco Martina made his St. Mary's bow. Fellow new signing Jordy Clasie missed out on today's friendly after suffering a suspected hamstring injury in Thursday's  3-0 win over Vitesse Arnhem.

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