A wonderful curling effort by new Southampton signing Moussa Djenepo helped the Saints beat ten-man Brighton at the Amex on Saturday to pick up their first points of the season.
The goal came early in the second half only minutes after Djenepo was brought off the bench as Southampton seized on their numerical advantage.
An utterly reckless challenge by Florin Andone on Yann Valery gave referee Kevin Friend no choice but to send the Romanian off. He dug his foot high on the leg of Valery to leave the young Frenchman writhing in pain.
Even with ten men it appeared that Brighton had taken the lead from Lewis Dunk's header from a corner late in the first half, but VAR intervened and ruled it out. Dan Burn, who had also been involved in a VAR incident at West Ham last week, was judged to have been obstructing the goalkeeper from a clearly offside position.
Nathan Redmond sealed the points in stoppage time when he tapped home Sofiane Boufal's low cross.
Key Talking Point
What exactly was Andone playing at with that reckless challenge? It will be one of the easiest decisions Kevin Friend has to make this season and helped destabilise a Brighton side that had been playing with their tails up.
How much Graham Potter can take from this game is up for debate considering how the red card swung the momentum of the match, but he will likely be impressed with the fight his team showed in the second half.
Burn also won't believe his luck after VAR penalised him for a second week in a row to deny his team a goal, but his clear interference with the goalkeeper probably justified the decision.
Starting XI: Ryan (7); Duffy (6), Dunk (6), Burn (5); Montoya (6), Stephens (7), Propper (6), March (6); Maupay (5), Andone (3), Trossard (7).
Substitutes: Locadia (5), Murray (6), Gross (6).
Star Man - New signing Leandro Trossard continues to impress following his goal against West Ham last week.
He was the one player who tried to make things happen both before and after Brighton were reduced to ten men, and he'll look to build further on his performances.
Key Talking Point
Southampton may consider sending a bouquet of flowers to Andone. Without the baffling act that resulted in the striker's dismissal, it is not hard to imagine the Saints losing this match. Brighton were on top until the red card and could have taken the lead on multiple occasions had Neal Maupay and Martin Montoya been more accurate with their headed chances.
Ultimately, three points is three points and it was desperately needed for Hassenhuttl's men. The difference Djenepo and Boufal made after their introductions may give the Austrian some new ideas on who deserves a place in his starting lineup in their next league game, especially with Che Adams and Danny Ings repeatedly failing to conjure up attacking chemistry.
Starting XI: Gunn (7); Valery (6), Bednarek (7), Vestergaard (7), Danso (7); Ward-Prowse (6), Romeu (7), Hojbjerg (7), Redmond (8); Adams (5), Ings (5).
Substitutes: Djenepo (8), Boufal (7), Armstrong (6).
STAR PLAYER - Southampton were lacking quality and cutting edge despite the best efforts of Nathan Redmond and needed something different.
That something came in the form of Djenepo, introduced after 51 minutes, to bring a whole new dimension to the away side's attack. Within minutes he found space and curled an absolute beauty into the top corner. Ralph Hassenhuttl can't have made too many better substitutions in his career.
It's a trip to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup for Brighton in midweek before they go to the Etihad next weekend for the slightly difficult challenge against Manchester City.
Meanwhile Southampton travel to face a very difficult Fulham side in the cup on Tuesday before hosting Manchester United side that look vulnerable.