Lightning strikes twice for Neal Maupay with second equalizer in added time in a week
Neal Maupay made a silent gesture after dramatically saving a draw for Brighton at Southampton with an equalizer in the eighth minute of added time.
Maybe he realized the flak that would have come his way – and for his team – if he hadn’t hit, turn and hit. Instead, the player who was criticized was Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy who let in the final leveler. – and angered his manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, for failing to inform him of the extent of the injury he was carrying.
McCarthy, who was playing with a hamstring injury, was powerless to stop Maupay’s goal and that left Hasenhuttl furious, questioning his player’s professionalism. The Southampton manager said: “I had a change and we couldn’t take it because he didn’t say anything.
“It’s not acceptable to me. But I didn’t know how difficult it was (the injury). If I could do it again, I would change it.”
Brighton, on the other hand, had exhausted all of its subs – and fell to 10 men in the finals when Leandro Trossard was injured. Maupay however, surprisingly, struck a thunderbolt twice.
For the second time in four days, he scored late away to secure a 1-1 draw for ten men – after doing the exact same thing against West Ham United on Wednesday. On that occasion, it was a kick over the head after Adam Lallana injured himself. Maupay had the courage to continue here and, in the end, fortune favored the brave.
The St Mary’s leveler covered the cracks, however, for Brighton who were second best behind bustling Southampton. Brighton equaled the club’s record without a win in the top flight, the 10th in a row. It could and should have been worse though.
Armando Broja, the 20-year-old Albanian striker on loan from Chelsea, calmly gave Southampton the lead and things looked grim for Graham Potter’s men. Potter’s Men should be credited for the number of times they’ve fought until the end of this season, however.
Potter said, “What I have no doubts about the players is their character, their spirit, their willingness to carry on to the end.”
The Southampton players looked broken at the end without then screaming in the dressing room – despite the tension between the manager and the goalkeeper.
Brighton’s strong start to the season means they’re still in the first half, but they looked disjointed here without injured captain Lewis Dunk at the back. Trossard must have been lying on a stretcher with his elbow injury, but Potter thinks it might not be as bad as it looks.
St Mary’s has remained a difficult place to visit this season, with only one team – Wolves – winning here in eight. Ralph Hasenhuttl, their manager, has kept in regular contact with the board about the buyout talks that still surround the club – and additional funds would be a welcome help.
âIt’s a horrible feeling,â Hasenhuttl said, reflecting on the result. “It was unnecessary.”
In Dunk’s absence due to a knee injury, Potter started with three full-backs plus wingers – and they had a lot of problems. Southampton ran out of the blocks with visiting goalkeeper Robert Sanchez saving his side with a double save from Broja and then Che Adams.
Broja scored after taking a touch of cushioning to escape Shane Duffy, then moved 12 yards away, on a kick from Nathan Redmond. Brighton were largely at fault themselves as they ceded possession trying to play behind Sanchez.
Southampton continued to look for the more dangerous side – and Maupay missed Brighton’s best chance, shooting wide and then having a close range effort prevented by McCarthy. He had the last laugh from 10 yards after Jakub Moder’s free kick was not cleared. “He’s just not giving up,” Potter said of Maupay. “The harder you work, the luckier you will be.”