Southampton extended its unbeaten run against Brighton to eight games and moved into fifth place in the English Premier League with a 2-1 win on Monday.
As 2,000 Brighton fans were welcomed back in their home stadium for the first time following a nine-month absence because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Southampton rallied after going a goal behind.
Brighton took the lead from the spot in the 25th minute, when Pascal Gross sent goalkeeper Alex McCarthy the wrong way after James Ward-Prowse handled the ball in the area.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s lineup equalized just before halftime after Ward-Prowse made up for his earlier error to pick out Jan Vestergaard, who headed home the corner.
With 10 minutes remaining, substitute Danny Ings fired home on his return from injury after Southampton was awarded a disputed penalty, with Brighton players claiming the foul took place outside the area.
Kyle Walker-Peters was brought down by Solly March and the referee initially awarded a free kick until a lengthy VAR intervention changed the decision to a penalty.
“The longer it (the VAR review) took, the more I was convinced that it was inside the box because otherwise they wouldn’t have looked so long,” Hasenhuttl said.
“But it was the right decision I think … and this is what we have VAR for and I can absolutely understand and I’m very happy.”