Southampton vs Leeds: Saints grab point after stirring comeback
Southampton and Leeds battled it out to a thrilling 2-2 draw, as Saints surged back late on after being 2-0 down.
Rodrigo’s double put Leeds 2-0 up in the second half but Joe Aribo and Kyle Walker-Peters made it 2-2 and both teams had chances to win it late on.
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The point was Southampton’s first of the season, while Leeds now have four points after two games but Jesse Marsch will be disappointed with the way his team crumbled.
What we learned from Southampton vs Leeds
Rodrigo takes his chance: He scored twice and that is now three goals in the first two games of the season. Rodrigo hasn’t really hit the heights during his time at Leeds so far but the Spaniard struck twice and is just popping up in the right areas in the penalty box.
Southampton’s defensive woes continue: Saints were all over the place defensively and it looked like they were going to be punished for that once again. They had the fourth worst defense in the PL last season and they have to improve if they’re going to push up the table this season. After two games they’ve now conceded six goals.
Hasenhuttl’s subs make a difference: Aribo, Mara and Armstrong all had a big impact off the bench and this is a real positive for Southampton. During ‘Project Restart’ Saints were exceptional and that was when five subs were last allowed. Hasenhuttl seems to be able to manage having a larger squad better and that could be a big benefit for Southampton this season.
Leeds’ trademark intensity was matched by Southampton in the first half but Jesse Marsch’s side kicked at the start of the second half. Patrick Bamford going off with an injury actually helped Leeds, as Dan James came off the bench and his pace in-behind stretched Saints and caused them problems. However, Saints’ substitutes had a huge impact as Joe Aribo, Adam Armstrong and Sekou Mara pinned Leeds back and this was reminiscent of how Saints looked in ‘Project Restart’ when five substitutes were last permitted.
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Stars of the show
Rodrigo: Scored twice and gave Leeds a real cutting edge.
Joe Aribo: Lovely finish to spark Saints’ comeback after being surprisingly left on the bench.
Southampton travel to Leicester City next Saturday, Aug. 20 and Leeds host Chelsea at Elland Road on Sunday, Aug. 21.
How to watch Southampton vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, SaturdayTV Channel: PeacockOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
Hasenhuttl and Southampton have gone all-in on signing young players this summer and it is a big risk. Saints are still reeling from their awful finish to last season and they really need a fast start to this season. Losing 4-1 at Tottenham after taking an early lead wasn’t what Hasenhuttl wanted but it is these games against the likes of Leeds which will define their season. Romeo Lavia and Gavin Bazunu look like top young prospects, while Joe Aribo and Armel Bella-Kotchap will also give Saints a different look as the new signings continue to settle in. Saints are desperately trying to sign a new striker to give them more cutting edge in attack and it will be intriguing to see if Hasenhuttl persists with the 3-5-2 formation or switches back to his usual 4-2-2-2.
Leeds were delighted to get a win on the opening weekend and their two new USMNT stars, Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams, both had very good Premier League debuts. Marsch has been protective of that duo but expectation levels are rising among the Leeds fanbase. After staying up on the final day of the last season, many believe Leeds could push for a top 10 finish and be well clear of another relegation scrap. Marsch is a close friend of Hasenhuttl and studied his tactics extensively in Leipzig, so you can expect a very tight encounter at St Mary’s this Saturday.
In-form players to keep an eye on
For Southampton, the main positive from the defeat at Spurs was that Romeo Lavia, 18, looks like a really top central midfielder. Also, James Ward-Prowse is off and running as he scored a fine volley.
Leeds looked sharp in attack with Patrick Bamford and Aaronson linking up well, while Illan Meslier made several top saves to keep Wolves at bay in Leeds’ big win last time out.
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup
Saints only have a few injury issues as Lyanco is out with a knee problem, while Theo Walcott isn’t available and Tino Livramento continues his long recovery from the serious knee injury he suffered in April.
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup
Marsch has revealed a very positive injury update as Liam Cooper, Adam Forshaw and new signing Luis Sinisterra are all available for this game and are on the bench. Luke Ayling, Stuart Dallas and Junior Firpo remain out injured.