Southampton defeated a ten-man West Ham United at the St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday with thanks to a penalty in both halves, whilst debutant Mario Lemina also had an eventful time in the middle of the park.
Italy international Manolo Gabbiadini opened the scoring for the Saints in the 10th minute, slotting past Joe Hart in the Hammers goal.
West Ham record-signing Marko Arnuatovic saw red for elbowing Jack Stephens, after he felt Lemina had done the same to him just before, however, nothing had come of it.
Dusan Tadic managed to double the home side’s lead from the penalty spot after former Southampton defender Jose Fonte brought down Steven Davis, before Javier Hernandez managed to bag one back before the break.
The Mexico international managed to level the scoreline, although another Saints penalty was awarded late in stoppage time, which Charlie Austin converted to keep all three points at St Mary’s Stadium.
Club-record signing Lemina, who joined from Juventus in past couple of weeks, had an eventful 65 minutes in his first appearance for the team.
He was fortunate to not receive any form of reprimand for a challenge on Arnuatovic, who went down to an apparent stay elbow, however, he was on the receiving end of a challenge from Mark Noble that could have caused him some serious harm.
Lemina’s pedigree, given that he has played for both Marseille and Juventus, will surely be a boost for Southampton this season and add another option in midfield for manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
Saints fans would have been pleased to see their newest player take to the field, although they took to social media to discuss the midfielder’s performance.
Many took to Twitter to state that he had a positive debut, however, he looked a little rusty and struggled slightly, although they are willing to let time tell on the Gabon international.
Here is the best from Twitter:
Think Lemina struggled today but I'll put that down to misunderstanding, fitness, nerves & adapting to EPL. Time will tell.
— Mauricio PellegriNO (@KyranSaintsFC) August 19, 2017
See I thought he was very sold, I recon him and Romeu will build an amazing understanding
— Gazzy Lothbrok (@MrGToYou) August 19, 2017
Thought he did really well until he picked up that knocked at the end of the first half, then he faded pretty quick. Solid debut though.
— Ian Lane (@19Saintian84) August 19, 2017
As for new boy Lemina; played a number of loose balls and a tad rusty, but you can see the intensity and energy he brings #saintsFC
— Fresh Saints (@FreshSaints) August 19, 2017
So what did we think of Lemina? I think he looked a little sloppy and wasn't used to the pace of the PL, but promising signs. #saintsfc
— Chris Rann (@crstig) August 20, 2017
Mario Lemina was bossing the midfield last night, with Gabonese Iniesta in the midfield, Soton could be a serious contender for the PL title
— Zico Agustian (@zicostian) August 20, 2017
Agreed. Not Carricks biggest fan myself mate but do get how important he was years ago. Watch our boy Lemina. Im telling ya. Suited to PL 👌
— Les' Lamborghini (@saintbannerman) August 19, 2017
I'm very excited about the Romeu – Lemina partnership… so much potential. #SaintsFC
— Jasper Shiner (@repsajshiner) August 19, 2017
In Romeu & Lemina I feel we could finally have our Morgan & Vic type partnership back.
Early days though #SaintsFC
— Adam (@Ajthundersticks) August 19, 2017
Indeed! There are similarities in their styles. Lemina shares qualities with Wanyama and Schneiderlin, imo. Hopefully he's as good.
— Luke Osman (@LukeOsmanRS) August 19, 2017
Thoughts on Lemina today, #saintsfc fans? I thought the first few passes were wayward but he slowly asserted himself in a feisty game.
— Lucy Highnett (@lucyhighnett) August 19, 2017
And lemina wouldn't look out of place in a top 4 team
— Louis Holme (@LouisHolme) August 19, 2017