Claude Puel could not get off to the perfect start to his adventure at the St Mary’s as his team managed to take just the one point against a stubborn Watford side who held on to the point even as they went down to 10 men for the last 15 minutes of the game. Walter Mazzarri’s side managed to keep away the Saints who did not look fluent on the day but a sumptuous volley from Nathan Redmond was enough for the hosts to cancel out an early lead given to the visitors by Etienne Capoue.
The new manager will have learnt a lot in his first Premier League game in charge of Southampton and will hope to set his team out stronger in the next game. Here are the player ratings for the Southampton players in the 1-1 draw.
Fraser Foster (3/5)
The Southampton shot-stopper did not have much to do with the visitors able to conjure just the 1 shot on target all game. Looked solid for most game and could not have done much to stop Capoue’s goal.
Cedric Soares (2.5/5)
Looked solid on the right side of defence and though gave away the ball repeatedly on the flank, he was a constant presence at the back for the Saints.
Maya Yoshida (3/5)
Came in for Jose Fonte at the back and was decent for most of the game until he had a dreadful movement with an under-hit back pass. Might not be able to keep his place ahead of Fonte.
Virgil van Dijk (3.5/5)
Continuing his excellent performances from the previous season, Van Dijk was once again a pillar at the back for the home side as he won close to everything thrown his way by the Watford side on the night.
Matt Targett (3/5)
A decent performance for Targett on the left flank at the back for Saints. He kept it simple and made sure that his area was away from danger for most game. An assured performance from the 20-year old.
Oriol Romeu (2.5/5)
Was a constant liability for the Saints in the middle of the park as he was beaten far too easily by the visitors. He was supposed to provide cover for the back four but he was responsible for giving away the ball on more than once occasion in an ordinary performance from the midfielder.
James Ward-Prowse (2.5/5)
Given a chance early in the season to prove himself, Ward-Prowse was not able to make the most of it as he failed to pull the strings in the midfield and was over-run by the visitors in the final third.
Steven Davies (3/5)
Had an exciting first half where he saw a lot of the ball in the midfield but was completely absent in the second half as he failed to create anything of note on the night.
Dusan Tadic (3/5)
Tadic was played in a central role on the day and he seemed to adjust to the role after initial jitters as he started to create chances and controlled the midfield more as the game progressed.
Shane Long (2.5/5)
A forgettable day for the 29-year old who failed to find any kind of space for himself in the final third. He found it hard to keep possession of the ball and did not really affect the game as he would have wanted.
Nathan Redmond (3.5)
The player of the day for the Saints, Nathan Redmond, the summer buy, made sure that he stamped his name on his debut as he thumped a superb volley past Heurelho Gomes in the second half to bring his team back into the game and give them a point to take home. He was involved in most of the exciting stuff for Southampton in the final third and was the player of the day for the home side.
Pierre Emile Højbjerg (3.5/5)
Came into the game early in the second half and took over Ward-Prowse to immediately quicken the passing for the Southampton side in the midfield which led to the equaliser.
Jeremy Pied (3/5)
Came in with just over 10 minutes left to replace Cedric Soares on the flank as the manager tried to make the most of the red card to Ben Watson with 15 minutes to play. Did not managed to create or find a winner.
Charlie Austin (2.5/5)
Did not have enough time to have any impact on the game as he hardly even got to test the Watford defence late in the game.