Southampton vs Sheffield Wednesday. Carabao Cup Round 3.
St. Mary's StadiumAttendance20,457.
Match report and free highlights as Southampton beat Sheffield Wednesday on penalties at St Mary's to reach the Carabao Cup last 16; Josh Windass gives visitors the lead before James Ward-Prowse equalises at end of first half; Dominic Iorfa sees his penalty saved as hosts win shootout 6-5
Wednesday 9 November 2022 23:47, UK
Incoming Southampton manager Nathan Jones watched on at St Mary's as his prospective new side scraped past Sheffield Wednesday on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup last 16.
On a night a deal was agreed with Luton boss Jones to replace the sacked Ralph Hasenhuttl, a much-changed Southampton - under the guidance of first-team coach Ruben Selles - came from behind to progress to the next round.
Sheffield Wednesday, who sit third in League One after 17 games, were a threat throughout the opening 45 minutes and deservedly took the lead through Josh Windass (24), but James Ward-Prowse's penalty in first-half stoppage time after Moussa Djenepo was tripped in the box got Southampton back on level terms (45+2).
The hosts improved after the break. Theo Walcott had two efforts cleared off the line and Stuart Armstrong hit the crossbar, but they couldn't find a winner in 90 minutes.
The tie went straight to penalties and it was Southampton who kept their nerve. England World Cup hopeful Ward-Prowse, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Ibrahima Diallo, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Adam Armstrong and Theo Walcott were all successful from 12 yards, but Owls defender Dominic Iorfa saw his spot-kick saved by Alex McCarthy as the Premier League side won the shootout 6-5.
Southampton will find out their next opponents in the competition on Thursday. The draw follows Manchester United vs Aston Villa, live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's near four-year reign in Hampshire ended following Sunday's 4-1 home hammering by Newcastle which left Saints in the Premier League relegation zone.
Nathan Jones quickly emerged as the frontrunner for the vacancy and he posed for photos with home fans before kick-off, having taken charge of current club Luton's 2-0 loss at Stoke on Tuesday evening.
The 49-year-old would have been concerned by a fragmented first-half performance in which the lively South Yorkshire visitors repeatedly threatened and initially led.
Livewire Josh Windass claimed the 24th-minute opener, emphatically thumping his sixth goal of the season beyond Alex McCarthy after being slipped clear by Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.
Southampton first-team coach Ruben Selles made nine changes for the visit of Sheffield Wednesday.
Captain James Ward-Prowse and defender Mohammed Salisu were the only players to keep their places following Sunday's 4-1 thrashing by Newcastle in the Premier League.
Alex McCarthy, Lyanco, Duje Caleta-Car, Moussa Djenepo, Ibrahima Diallo, Joe Aribo, Samuel Edozie, Sekou Mara and Adam Armstrong all came into the starting line-up.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore made six changes from the side that beat Morecambe in the FA Cup last week.
Skipper Barry Bannan and centre-back Michael Ihiekwe were restored to the starting XI. There were also recalls for Marvin Johnson, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Callum Paterson and Lee Gregory.
Saints almost grabbed a quick-fire leveller but Owls keeper David Stockdale superbly repelled Joe Aribo's goal-bound header from a James Ward-Prowse free-kick.
With Wednesday pushing for promotion to the Championship and Saints battling relegation, the two clubs could well be meeting again next season.
The travelling fans wasted little time in taunting their rivals about that possibility and chants of 'we're going up; you're going down' regularly rang around an increasingly exasperated stadium.
Restless home supporters, who also saw McCarthy deny goal-scorer Windass on two other occasions, as well as Owls captain Barry Bannan, seemed to be gearing up to boo off their underperforming side at the break.
But Saints players avoided that increasingly familiar treatment after Wednesday's hard work was undone in added time when defender Marvin Johnson dangled a leg to bring down Moussa Djenepo in the box.
Referee John Brooks immediately pointed to the spot and captain Ward-Prowse duly smashed the penalty down the centre of Stockdale's goal to change the complexion of the contest.
The Owls, who were on a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions before losing on the south coast, were the last club from outside the top division to lift the League Cup following victory over Manchester United in the 1991 final.
Darren Moore's men were not about to roll over, albeit defender Michael Ihiekwe twice cleared off the line from substitute Theo Walcott just after the hour mark following sloppy distribution from Stockdale.
Saints thought they had won the game three minutes from time, but Stuart Armstrong's deflected effort came back off the crossbar and Duje Caleta-Car was unable to head home the rebound.
The tie ended with a penalty shootout and McCarthy was the match-winner, saving Dominic Iorfa's spot-kick to send the hosts through to round four.
Southampton first-team coach Ruben Selles said: "This team is a team that can do great things but everything needs time in this life and when you're building a new team, it's never easy in the beginning.
"Some of those boys need patience. That's what we need to learn, to be a little bit more patient in situations when we want to build something good.
"I know sometimes this growing process is not hand in hand with the competing, with the score, with the need to win every game.
"If you lose today then it's a big loss, if you win that's what needs to be done. We didn't expect to win it that late. Second half, we had chances to finish it before.
"It didn't happen and in the penalties we did it so it was a well done, it's mission accomplished for everybody - not only about going through to the next round but also about feelings, togetherness, performance and we got everything we wanted from the game."
Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore said: "I'm really proud of the team. We kept Premier League opposition over 90 minutes to a draw to force it to penalties. I thought we were outstanding in the first half.
"Even at half-time when we gave the penalty away, we just had to continue, tidy up in areas and make the right decisions. The game wasn't over, it was still wide open for either team to win the game. Both teams had a go, both teams changed systems to try to win the game.
"I've got no problem with it at all [the nature of the defeat]. I wanted to see where my team was at. It was a barometer against Premier League opposition and they did really well, all of them."
Sky Sports' Dan Sansom at St Mary's:
A lot of Southampton fans got the news they had been hoping for on Monday when it was confirmed the club had decided to part ways with Ralph Hasenhuttl. With their side sitting in the Premier League relegation zone after losing six of their past nine games, most felt it was time for a change.
Southampton first-team coach Ruben Selles took charge for the midweek Carabao Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday, with incoming manager Nathan Jones watching on at St Mary's.
Despite Southampton fielding a much-changed team from the one that was heavily beaten by Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday, Jones was still able to gain some useful insight into what he is about to inherit.
Southampton had 18 shots against Sheffield Wednesday. They scored once. It's the story of their season and one that undoubtedly contributed to Hasenhuttl's dismissal. In their 14 Premier League games so far, only during defeats at Wolves and Manchester City have they managed fewer than nine shots in 90 minutes. But they've managed just 12 goals - the joint-fourth lowest in the division.
Despite lacking a cutting edge in the final third, though, Saints' ability to create so many chances will encourage Jones - especially given the average age of his prospective new side. During an £83m overhaul this summer, 10 new players arrived at St Mary's - six of them aged 20 or younger. Southampton now have the second-youngest starting line-up (24.3) in the Premier League.
Jones has a track record of nurturing youth - just look at Leicester's James Justin and Bournemouth's Jack Stacey - and he would have been particularly impressed with 19-year-old Samuel Edozie's performance against Sheffield Wednesday. Signed from Manchester City in September, the winger's pace and trickery caught the eye of the home fans and he deservedly received a loud round of applause when he was substituted in the second half.
Make no mistake, though, scraping past League One opposition on penalties shows the scale of the task facing Jones. Saturday's trip to Liverpool - likely to be the Welshman's first game in charge - is a free hit, but if Southampton lose it will be the first time they have spent Christmas in the Premier League's bottom three since 2004/05. They were relegated that season.
However, with Jones' ability to develop youngsters and get the most out of his players, the St Mary's hierarchy will be hoping he is the man to steer Southampton away from that very same fate. Despite their recent struggles, there are reasons for optimism.
Nathan Jones is likely to take charge of Southampton for the first time on Saturday when they travel to Liverpool in the Premier League - their final game before the World Cup (kick-off 3pm).
Sheffield Wednesday, whose League One season continues during the winter tournament, make the trip to Accrington Stanley on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).