James Ward-Prowse came to Southampton’s rescue on Sunday afternoon.
After going two goals down in the first half to Brighton & Hove Albion, Saints’ captain Ward-Prowse scored two stunning goals to help salvage a point on their travels.
Brighton went ahead early. Danny Welbeck scored early for the hosts after just two minutes, before Mohammed Salisu scored in his own net shortly before half-time to double the Seagull’s lead.
Southampton were handed yet another blow in that first half when promising right-back Tino Livramento was stretchered off the pitch with an apparent knee injury.
The resulting injury time saw Saints win a free-kick outside Brighton’s penalty area, which Ward-Prowse handily dispatched as he so often does. The England international fired a low, curling effort that flew past Brighton ‘keeper Robert Sanchez, taking Ward-Prowse to 14 Premier League goals by direct free-kick. That’s a record only bested by David Beckham, who has 18.
Not long after play resumed for the second half, Ward-Prowse’s struck again from distance.
The Saints captain read Oriol Romeu’s back-heel perfectly and smashed a low, driven shot into Sanchez’s bottom right corner, leaving the Spanish shot-stopper no chance of saving it.
Southampton pushed for a winner and looked much the better side in the second stanza after a poor first half, but Brighton withstood the pressure and both teams shared the spoils.
Brighton (4-3-1-2): Sanchez; Veltman, Webster (Gross 62’), Dunk, Cucurella; Mwepu (March 61’), Mac Allister, Caicedo; Trossard; Maupay (Sarmiento 85’), Welbeck
Unused subs: Steele, Lallana, Alzate, Duffy, Offiah, Ferguson
Goals: Welbeck (2’), Salisu OG (44’)
Southampton (4-4-2): Forster; Livramento (Perraud 37’), Bednarek, Salisu, Walker-Peters; Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Tella (S. Armstrong 66’); Adams, Long (Broja 79’)
Unused subs: Caballero, Lyanco, A. Armstrong, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Valery
Goals: Ward-Prowse (45’ +4, 54’)