JAMES WARD-PROWSE saved Southampton from a bottomless pit with a sensational winner against Watford.
Ward-Prowse curled home a stunning free-kick winner seven minute from time to complete a sensational fight-back at a rocking St.Mary’s Stadium.
And Southampton’s first home win of the season was enough to keep the hornets rooted to the basement.
And yet the Saints looked down and out by the break having been driven mad by Ismaila Sarr.
This fixture had such an air of desperation about it which was not surprising considering the circumstances.
Hasenhuttl and Flores are both walking a sacking tightrope as football’s “killing field season” was in full swing.
If the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery could lose their jobs at Tottenham and Arsenal what chance have these two big-time losers got?
Austrian Hasenhuttl is overseeing the worst defensive record in the Premier League conceding 32 goals in the bargain.
And Watford’s Spanish gaffer Flores arrived on the south coast having won just one of his nine games in charge since he returned to the club.
The Hornets did muster the game’s first chance in the second minute when Sarr broke clear but shot tamely at Alex McCarthy.
Nathan Redmond did his best to lift the home team’s spirits when he made room for a shot that flew straight at Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.
And it didn’t take long for the weakest defence in the top flight to show their nervous imposition.
The home fans soon made their feelings known as simple passes went astray, some rolling straight off the pitch!
And Watford soon took advantage of their hosts hospitality by storming ahead on 24 minutes.
Captain Etienne Capoue hooked the ball down the line where Saints defender Jack Stephens lost his head and possession.
Sarr took full advantage by storming into the box before smashing the ball over McCarthy’s outstretched body into the net.
And if that wasn’t bad enough for the Saints Sarr could have notched his hat-trick by the half-hour mark.
Jose Holebas swept in a free-kick to the back post where the unmarked Sarr volleyed towards goal.
Luckily for the Saints McCarthy wasn’t asleep in his defensive duties and his outstretched leg deflected the ball over the top.
Now the locals were really getting restless and were booing every mistake.
But two minutes later McCarthy had to rescue the home team again.
This time Gerard Deulofeu’s driven cross was heading towards Sarr before McCarthy tipped the ball away for a corner.
The St.Mary’s atmosphere was getting more toxic by the minute as the Saints fumbled around as if their heads had gone.
However they came close to equalising a minute before the break when Jame Ward-prowse’s cheeky back heel rolled agonisingly wide of the back post.
But even that one gesture of hope didn’t save the home team from the boo boys and girls as the half-time whistle went.
And Sarr was soon causing havoc after the break when he came in from the wing and drove the ball just over the bar from 25 yards.
Hasenhuttl had seen enough and quickly made a double substitution in a desperate effort to lift his team’s morale.
But the home fans didn’t like seeing Redmond being replaced by Sofiane Boufal, who hurt his big toe kicking a kitchen table in midweek.
And Shane Long was introduced in place of Michael Obafemi as the Saints tried to win their first home game since April.
Yet it did give the side a boost as if they should have needed it in a game of such importance.
Foster was a little fortunate to get away with a penalty shout when he appeared to pull down Danny Ings when he tried to dribble the ball in his box.
Then referee Michael Oliver had to consult VAR when Moussa Djenepo went down under Capoue’s challenge but no penalty was given.
At least the Saints had woken up from their malaise and Long saw his clever flick tipped over the bar by Foster.
Long went even closer on 77 minutes when his close range prod was cleared off the line by Watford’s Craig Cathcart.
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But the Hornets finally caved in to the pressure and two quick fire goals sealed their fate.
Djenepo raced into the box on 78 minutes and crossed to Danny Ings who lashed the ball home.
And five minutes later Ward-Prowse brought the house down when his sizzling free-kick was helped into the net by Foster.
This post written by Jack Figg originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.