Southampton were punished again for their lack of a killer instinct as Ashley Barnes’ second half goal gave struggling Burnley a 1-0 win.
The striker beat Fraser Forster at his near post after a slight deflection off Toby Alderweireld, following good work from Danny Ings to close down Nathaniel Clyne’s clearance which fell perfectly for Barnes to slot home.
The Saints will rue a Dusan Tadic missed penalty ten minutes before that could have set them up for victory, instead Tom Heaton made a fine save which inspired the home side on to victory.
Quiet opening period
Ronald Koeman brought Toby Alderweireld back into his defence at the expense of Maya Yoshida, whilst he gave a full debut to young Jake Hesketh after his cameo appearance against Manchester United last week.
Hesketh’s afternoon did not last long however as he was forced off through injury after a thumping tackle from Michael Keane and was replaced by James Ward-Prowse.
The first half otherwise was action less as both teams looked to hold their position for the opening 45 minutes so as not to go behind.
Penalty save costly
The second half saw Southampton grow into the game and when Ryan Bertrand was felled by George Boyd in the box, Dusan Tadic stepped up to try and put the Saints in front from the spot.
Tom Heaton though made a fine save to his left which was Southampton’s first missed penalty since 1997 in the Premier League.
The miss would soon prove costly as the save spurred Burnley to rally back into the match when the Saints were in control.
Hard work pays off
Although struggling near the bottom of the table, Burnley never give up and continued to fight to get something out of the game.
A short Southampton throw-in saw Nathaniel Clyne’s attempted clearance blocked by the energetic Danny Ings and the ball ricocheted to Ashley Barnes.
The former Brighton man was left with a clear shot at Forster and after trying to bend the ball into the far corner, it took a nick off Toby Alderweireld and wrong-footed Forster who dived away from the ball as it hit the net.
Chances to level
Ronald Koeman’s side did not give up without a fight either and they also had some golden chances to get back into the game.
First Jose Fonte’s header was straight at Tom Heaton before Nathaniel Clyne flashed an effort inches wide of the far post.
The best chance came in injury time as James Ward-Prowse’s cross found Victor Wanyama unmarked from eight yards out but the Kenyan’s header was high and wide and with it went Southampton’s final chance of the
The Saints have only taken one point from the last 15 available and will be looking to bounce back in the Capital One Cup quarter final against Sheffield United on Tuesday night.
Southampton player ratings
Forster – 6
Clyne – 7
Fonte – 6
Alderweireld – 6
Bertrand – 7
Wanyama – 7
Hesketh – 6
Davis – 7
Tadic – 6
Mane – 6
Pelle – 6
Ward-Prowse – 7
Long – 6