Brighton had a plan and it was working a treat ...for 30 minutes.
Florin Andone and Neal Maupay came in for Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross and the duo, making their first starts of the seaso, brought tenacity and mobility to the front line.
Southampton’s defensive trio of Kevin Danso, Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard are all six-foot plus and absolute specimens, built to withstand the most physical of challenges the Premier League can bring. Their ideal day at the office would be a stand-up slug fest with the likes of Glenn Murray and Jurgen Locadia.
Their worst scenario is twisting and turning in 30 degrees heat and dealing with aggression and pace from small, nimble players. Maupay 5ft 6in, Trossard 5ft 5in and Andone, the tallest at 5ft 9in, were dynamic.
Indeed Andone was excellent right up until the 30th minute when the Romanian went a little mad and decided Yan Valery’s right leg would look better in two pieces. His two-footed lunge just inside his own half on the 20-year-old was awful. It brought an instant red from referee Kevin Friend, quickly confirmed by VAR. Andone’s promising start was over and Brighton were now seriously up against it.
Southampton’s best player, Nathan Redmond, threatened with a jinking run from midfield and his shot from 18-yards was well gathered by Mat Ryan. But Brighton were still doing okay with 10-men - more than okay.
On 38 minutes Albion had the ball in the net when Lewis Dunk’s firm header found the top corner following a corner. The place erupted but for the second consecutive match, Brighton suffered at the hands of VAR as the goal was ruled out for an offside.
Trossard and Maupay provided Albion’s attacking threat after the break while Solly March, Dale Stephens and Davy Prooper were tasked with covering the ground in midfield.
Trossard had a couple of efforts, Burn’s long legs ate up ground on the left as he marauded with attacking intent but inevitable there were gaps for the visitors to exploit. Moussa Djenepo came on for Valery - never quite the same after Andone’s assault - and the Mali international made quite the impact.
Djenepo gathered the ball on the left, cut inside and curled an absolute belter into the top corner. Ralph Hasenhüttl, sensing his first win and points of the season, skipped on to the pitch punching the air in celebration.
Murray and Locadia were eventually called to battle. They bounced into and locked horns with Vestergaard and co for 20-odd minutes. Locadia did smack the outside of the post after a scramble in the box but there was no way through.
Each Brighton player grafted for no reward and Redmond added to the pain with a stoppage time second from close range.
Andone, no doubt offered sheepish apologies and kept his head down in the changing room afterwards.