Southampton 1 Swansea 1: Saints off the bottom but Dyer haunts former club
17:21 GMT, 10 November 2012
Southampton's under-fire manager Nigel Adkins was denied a much-need victory by Swansea today as another former academy graduate returned to haunt their former club.
Two weeks ago Gareth Bale helped Tottenham to a 2-1 victory at St Mary's, and this afternoon Nathan Dyer came off the bench to deny the south coast club all three points.
Saints came into the game under no illusions of how important it was to pick up a victory, as speculation mounted over the future of manager Adkins.
Comeback kid: Swansea's Nathan Dyer returned to haunt his former club with a second-half equaliser for Swansea
Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw (Fox 74), Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Lambert, Ramirez. Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka.
Booked: Schneiderlin, Lallana.
Goals: Schneiderlin 64.
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies, Ki, Britton (Shechter 66), De Guzman (Agustien 86), Hernandez, Michu, Routledge (Dyer 56). Subs not used: Cornell, Tate, Moore, Tiendalli.
Booked: Williams, Agustien.
Goals: Dyer 73.
Ref: Andre Marriner.
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The hosts responded in the ideal
manner and, having dominated the first half, continued well after the
break and took a deserved lead through Morgan Schneiderlin.
But, like so many times before this
season, Saints' defence proved their undoing as Maya Yoshida failed to
control a pass from goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, with Dyer nipping in to
collect the ball and fire home to secure a point for the Welsh side.
Adkins named 17-year-old Luke Shaw in
his team for today's game, which saw the left-back become the youngest
ever player to start a Premier League match for Saints.
His appearance came in a match of
grave importance for the hosts, whose fans chanted 'one Nigel Adkins'
from the outset in support of their manager.
The hosts started well and, soon
after Ashley Williams cleared a threatening corner, Schneiderlin blazed
over from the edge of the box.
Saints captain Adam Lallana forced
Gerhard Tremmel into action with a quick turn and strike, before Gaston
Ramirez curled a left-footed effort just wide of the German's right-hand
post from 25 yards.
First up: Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin turns to celebrates after scoring the first goal at St Mary's
It was an opening brimming with
confidence that belied Southampton's lowly position, although their
defensive weaknesses were soon being exposed.
Only the fine reactions of goalkeeper
Gazzaniga stopped Ki Sung-yeung breaking the deadlock 20 minutes in,
but Garry Monk did well at the other end to stop Puncheon getting a shot
away on the counter.
Under pressure: Southampton manager Nigel Adkins went into the came with his side at the foot of the table
Saints were looking the better of the two sides and Ramirez did well to jink into space and fire just wide in the 26th minute.
Schneiderlin and Williams were booked as the match continued, with the latter penalised for clattering in-flight Ramirez.
On the move: Southampton's Jason Puncheon looks to go past Swansea's Ben Davies
The Uruguay international took the
resulting free-kick, which caught the Swansea defence on the hop as he
floated the ball wide to the unmarked Jose Fonte, whose cutback and shot
were both blocked.
Lallana claimed a penalty against Angel Rangel and then scooped a curled right-foot effort as half-time approached.
Hold up: Southampton striker Rickie Lambert (L) vies with Swansea defender Angel Rangel (R)
The Swansea right-back saw a shot
deflected behind off Yoshida when play resumed for the second half,
before Shaw was caught out for the first time.
The teenager was impressing for Saints but Pablo Hernandez got behind him and cut back, only for Wayne Routledge to place over.
Head boys: Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin (L) loses out to Swansea's Jonathan De Guzman
The latter was replaced by former Southampton winger Dyer moments later, before Ramirez twice had shots blocked.
The home side were dominating play but dawdling too often in possession in the final third.
Ramirez failed with an attempted scissor kick and then Lallana was
booked for diving when he went down under pressure from Williams.
No way through: Nathaniel Clyne (L) and Jason Puncheon (R) charge down Swansea winger Wayne Routledge
The home side's intense pressure soon
told, though, as Lallana swung a ball in from the left and Rickie
Lambert's cushion header was controlled by Schneiderlin.
The French midfielder took the ball
on the run and continued to head past Tremmel to give Adkins' side a
deserved 64th-minute lead.
Making a point: Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup barks out his orders from the touchline
Clyne saw a low cross cleared as Southampton pushed for a second, before defensive frailties again cost Adkins' side.
Gazzaniga played the ball out to
Yoshida but the Japan international miscontrolled and Dyer latched on to
the loose ball and fired home off the post.
Stuck in: Adam Lallana gets tangled up in a challenge with Swansea's Angel Rangel
The 73rd-minute leveller was met by a
muted celebration by the substitute in respect to his former club, who
returned the attack desperate for a winner.
Lambert nodded agonisingly wide
shortly afterwards and Cork flashed a strike over, before Tremmel caught
a tame header by the former.
Referee Andre Marriner waved away
Lallana's strong penalty appeals in the 85th minute after going down
under pressure from Monk, before Ki saw a shot blocked at the other end
and Yoshida cleared a cross with a last-ditch challenge.