Brighton and Hove Albion’s solid start to life back in the top flight continued as Glenn Murray’s second-half header earned them a point in a 1-1 home draw with Southampton on Sunday.
Hoping to build on a 3-0 away win at West Ham United in their last game, Brighton were rocked after seven minutes when Steven Davis put the Saints ahead. But an improved second-half display by Brighton saw Murray head in Pascal Gross’s swirling cross.
Both sides looked reasonably happy with a point in the first top-flight clash between the south coast sides since 1983. Brighton moved up a place to 11th with 12 points from 10 games while Southampton, who have conceded only three goals on the road so far, are one point better off in ninth.
“We hung on a bit at the end so I think 1-1 was the right result,” Murray, who also scored twice against West Ham, said. Southampton barely gave Brighton a kick in the opening minutes and James Ward-Prowse sized up a free kick after Sofiane Boufal was fouled by Dale Stephens.
Ward-Prowse curled his 30-metre effort against the crossbar and as the ball bounced down Davis reacted first to guide his header back into the empty net. Southampton were comfortable for the rest of the half with Brighton failing to exert any real pressure. The visitors started the second half threatening a second goal with home keeper Mat Ryan forced into action by Dusan Tadic.
Rumbles of discontent among the home fans changed to cheers though after 52 minutes. Gross was given far too much time to measure his cross and his delivery was met by Murray at the far post with a header that slow-to-react Saints keeper Fraser Forster got a hand to but could prevent entering the net.
There were few clear-cut chances after that although Manolo Gabbiadini went close for Southampton when his goal-bound effort from Ryan Bertrand’s cross was blocked by Lewis Dunk.