By James Agberebi:
Odion Ighalo was in action but did not get on the score sheet as 10-man Watford opened the new English Premier League campaign with a 1-1 away draw against Southampton on Saturday.
Record signing, Success Isaac, did not feature for Watford as he was ruled out with injury.
Etienne Capoue gave Watford the lead before former Norwich forward Nathan Redmond drew Southampton level.
Southampton had the game’s first chance on second minute but Heurelho Gomes was on hand to stop Dusan Tadic’s free-kick and made another quick save off Virgil van Dijk.
In the eighth minute, Cedric Soares tried a long-range strike which was well saved by Gomes.
A minute later, Capoue put Watford in front from close-range off Troy Deeney’s assist.
Nordin Amrabat on 14 minutes tried a powerful shot from nearly 30 yards but his effort went wide.
In the 27th minute, Tadic swung in a corner which was headed clear by Deeney.
Shane Long came close to equalising for Southampton on 32 minutes following an assist from Tadic but he could only nod wide at the back post.
With five minutes left, James Ward-Prowse sent a ball across Watford’s goal but it evades everyone before Nathan Redmond drills wide.
Two minutes into added time, Soares hit a right-footed strike from distance which Gomes parried to safety.
Southampton had the first chance in the restart only for Ward-Prowse to see his effort deflected away for a corner.
Ten minutes into the second half, Southampton made their first change with Pierre-Emil Hoejbjerg replacing Ward-Prowse.
Redmond almost made it 1-1 in the 58th minute as he cuts inside only to see his right-foot strike tipped away by Gomes.
Redmond finally got the equaliser for Southampton a minute later as he volleyed in Gomes’ poor clearance.
In the 60th minute, Steven Davies headed Tadic’s free-kick into the roof of the net.
Watford made their first substitution on 64 minutes with Valon Behrami going off for Ben Watson.
Watford had another good chance on 68 minutes as Amrabat sent in a cross which was not taken advantage of.
In the 76th minute, Watson was shown a straight red card for fouling Long.
With 10 minutes remaining, Ikechi Anya was introduced for Ighalo as Watford sought to plug the hole caused by Watson’s dismissal. .
Redmond had the ball in the net in the 86th minute but was ruled out for offside.
On 87 minutes, Charlie Austin headed over Jeremy Pied’s cross.
And in two minutes into added time, Redmond almost won it for Southampton but he sliced his effort wide of the post.