Southampton 1-1 Fulham: Long on target as Saints end all-square with Fulham
Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Southampton continued their preparations for the new Premier League season continued after they drew with relegated Fulham at Staplewood Campus.

Shane Long put the Saints ahead early in the second half, before Marco Silva's Fulham snatched an unlikely equaliser from the penalty spot late on through Neeskens Kebano.

Southampton's first half XI saw starts for new signing Romain Perraud, whilst Mohamed Elyounoussi also got 45 minutes under his belt following his loan spell at Celtic last season.

Saints in control early on

It was Ralph Hasenhuttl's side who took control of the opening exchanges, going close inside five minutes.

Che Adams did well to play the ball inside into the path of Theo Walcott, but from inside the box his clever dinked finish was turned around the post by Fabricio Agosto Ramirez.

Jack Stephens almost headed the hosts in front from the resulting corner, before chances dried up as the game's pre-season element took charge.

Fulham had some joy down their left hand side, with the combination of Antonee Robinson and Kebano causing the Saints a few problems, with summer signing Perraud demonstrating his awareness to clear the danger on a number of occasions.

With the deadlock yet to be broken, the Saints looked to take control, with Adams dragging a shot wide after a prolonged period of possession, before the hosts created their best chance of the half seven minutes before the break.

After good build up play between Walcott and Kyle Walker-Peters on the right, James Ward-Prowse whipped in an inch-perfect cross to pick out Nathan Tella, whose looping header was tipped over by a stretching Ramirez.

The second half saw the Saints make 10 changes to their line-up, with only Mohammed Salisu remaining from the initial XI. 

Quick start to the second half

And despite playing in an unfamiliar role of number 10, Michael Obafemi was quick to make his mark as he provided the assist to the opening goal of the game. The young Irishman pulled the ball across to Long who was in the right place at the right time to turn the ball in from six yards.

Continuing where they left off before the break, Southampton continued to boss both territory and possession having gone in front, with a great run from Moussa Djenepo deep into the box ending with a wayward strike before the Malian saw a shot from a tight angle deflected into the side netting on the hour mark.

At the heart of the action, Djenepo was on the defensive moments later as Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa burst into the box, with his point-blank effort superbly blocked by the outstretched arm of Fraser Forster, as the Cottagers threatened for virtually the first time in the match.

Responding at the other end, Danny Ings and Long demonstrated their understanding as the former lofted a ball over the top for the latter to run onto, but after rounding an advanced Ramírez, Tim Ream was perfectly placed to clear Long’s goal bound effort away. 

Fulham deal late twist

Fulham had not got going by this point, but they were handed a lifeline after 79 minutes.

Silva's side were awarded a penalty after Djenepo was judged to have upended Anthony Knockaert, and Kebano stepped up to pick out the bottom corner to score what looked like an unlikely equaliser.

Ending the match on the front foot, it was the Cottagers who almost stole victory in the closing stages - with Forster at full stretch to deny Anguissa as Southampton's opening pre-season workout ended with a draw.

VAVEL Logo