(Reuters) - Southampton beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane to pick up their second victory of the Premier League season after a brilliant individual effort in the second half from Moussa Djenepo on Saturday.
On his first league start, the 14 million pound ($17.51 million) close season signing scored his second goal of the campaign to give Ralph Hasenhuettl’s side all three points and their third straight away win in all competitions.
“That’s important. I think that was the biggest problem last season,” Hasenhuettl said.
“This season it’s not the case that we don’t give them any chances. They still have chances because it’s very difficult in the Premier League to not give them a chance.”
Although the first half lacked goals, it was not short of action with both teams coming close to opening the scoring in the 13th minute.
Southampton striker Che Adams went close with a volley which ricocheted off the far post, setting the home side off on a counter-attack where Oliver McBurnie released David McGoldrick but his one-on-one chance was saved by goalkeeper Angus Gunn.
Adams had another chance to give the visitors the lead in the 26th minute when he connected well with a cross only to see his downward header denied by a reflex save from Gunn.
United thought they had the lead early in the second half when McBurnie’s side-footed effort from an Oliver Norwood free-kick hit the back of the net, but VAR overturned the decision after John Egan was found to be offside in the build-up.
Djenepo then put the visitors in front with a scintillating solo run through the middle, initially refusing to go down when Norwood tugged at him from behind before side-stepping two defenders to fire a low angled shot past Dean Henderson.
United’s problems were compounded when substitute Billy Sharp was sent off for a red card challenge when he caught Stuart Armstrong on the shin.
They almost managed to nick a point through McGoldrick, who had two chances to level the score, only to see his first effort saved by Gunn while his second blazed over the crossbar.
“We were a little bit under pressure but in the end, after the goal, we were very calm on the ball,” Hasenhuettl added.
“We tried to let them run and this is a step of development I want to see from my players because we have the players that can stay in possession.”
The result moved Ralph Hasenhuettl’s side up to 10th while United dropped to 13th. Southampton next host Bournemouth on Friday while United travel to Everton next weekend.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar