Southampton let slip three points through their grasp as Watford equalised late in a bizarre 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.
Manolo Gabbiadini was on target for Saints for the first time since May when he secured the club’s Premier League safety in a win at Swansea City, but Jose Holebas rescued a point late in the second-half, which was not without controversy.
Ryan Bertrand escaped giving away a clear penalty when he brought down Nathan Chalobah, before Charlie Austin appeared to have doubled Southampton’s lead.
Simon Hooper, refereeing just his fourth league game ever, waved off the penalty appeal and called back the goal — both of which would’ve changed the fortunes either side.
With Cardiff, who is joint on eight points with Southampton, and Newcastle both winning on Saturday, Saints has slipped to 17th in the standings and out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Southampton: McCarthy, Bertrand, Hoedt, Yoshida, Cedric, Hojbjerg, Lemina, Armstrong (Ward-Prowse 74), Redmond (Obafemi 90), Ings (Austin 40), Gabbiadini.
Unused subs: Gunn (GK), Vestergaard, Stephens, Elyounoussi, Obafemi.
Goals: Gabbiadini (20).
Bookings: Bertrand (38), Cedric (64), Hojbjerg (88).
Watford: Foster, Femenia, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas, Hughes (Deeney 40)., Chalobah, Doucoure, Pereyra (Gray 68), Success, Deulofeu.
Unused subs: Gomes, Bakasele, Wilmot, Masina, Okaka.
Goals: Holebas (82).
Bookings: Chalobah (55), Deulofeu (80).