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Southampton manager Nigel Adkins was denied a much-need victory by Swansea City as another former academy graduate returned to haunt their former club.
Two weeks after Gareth Bale helped Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-1 victory at St Mary's, Nathan Dyer came off the bench to deny the south-coast club three points.
Southampton dominated the first half, continued well after the break and took a deserved lead through Morgan Schneiderlin, but Maya Yoshida failed to control a pass from goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, allowing Dyer to nip in to collect the ball and secure a point for the Welsh side.
Adkins named 17-year-old Luke Shaw in his starting XI, making the left-back the youngest player to start a Barclays Premier League match for the club. 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.
Southampton captain Adam Lallana forced Gerhard Tremmel in the Swansea goal into action with a quick turn and strike, before Gaston Ramirez curled a left-footed effort just wide of the German's right post from 25 yards.
It was an opening brimming with confidence that belied Southampton's lowly position.
But only the fine reactions of Gazzaniga stopped Ki Sung-yeung breaking the deadlock 20 minutes in, while Garry Monk did well at the other end to stop Puncheon getting a shot away on the counter.
Southampton were looking the better of the two sides and Ramirez did well to jink into space and fire just wide in the 26th minute.
Ramirez took a free-kick that 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.
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.
The latter was replaced by former Southampton winger Dyer moments later, before Ramirez twice had shots blocked. Ramirez failed with an attempted scissor kick and then Lallana was booked for diving when he went down under pressure from Williams.
The home side's intense pressure soon told, though, as Lallana swung a ball in from the left and Rickie Lambert's cushioned 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 64th-minute lead.
Clyne saw a low cross cleared as Southampton pushed for a second, before Yoshida's error cost the home side. Gazzaniga played the ball out to Yoshida but the Japan defender miscontrolled and Dyer latched on to the loose ball to fire in off a post. The 73rd-minute goal was met by a muted celebration by the substitute out of respect for his former club.
Southampton went on the attack in search of a winner. Lambert nodded wide shortly after Dyer's goal and Jack Cork flashed a strike over, before Tremmel caught a tame header by the former.
|17 Nov 2012||v QPR (A)|
|25 Nov 2012||v Newcastle (H)|
|28 Nov 2012||v Norwich (H)|
|01 Dec 2012||v Liverpool (A)|
|08 Dec 2012||v Reading (H)|
|22 Dec 2012||v Sunderland (H)|