Southampton 2 Leeds 2: Saints spoil Leeds away party after Aribo and Walker-Peters late strikes

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KYLE WALKER-PETERS took the knives out of gaffer Ralph Hasenhuttl’s back with a dramatic equaliser against Leeds.

Two-goal Leeds ace Rodrigo looked set to heap more misery on Saints‘ under-fire boss.

The Spaniard beat home goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu with a deft flick from Jack Harrison’s exquisite near post cross just 33 seconds into the second half.

And a simple header on the line on the hour from Harrison’s corner tightened the noose around Hasenhuttl’s neck.

The Saints were staring at a club equalling record six defeats in a row with rumours that the manager had lost the dressing room which hardly helps.

But Leeds, who lost captain Patrick Bamford to an early leg injury, were denied their best Premier League start for 20 years by winning two games in a row.

Southampton were desperate to make-up for last weekend’s 4-1 drubbing at Spurs.

And it was Leeds defender Diego Llorente who was sweating on 15 minutes when he took out Stuart Armstrong with a last-ditch tackle but VAR saved him from a red card.

And Armstrong immediately upped the temperature in the visiting defence when his shot deflected off a defender and then his own leg before rolling wide.

Bamforth’s departure was the last thing the visiting fans wanted to see after battling against train strikes and holiday traffic for 232 sun-drenched miles.

But their mood brightened up when his replacement Daniel James latched onto Harrison’s pass and forced Saints stopper Bazunu to turn the ball away with his left arm.

And United should have gone ahead from Brenden Aaronson’s resultant corner which was flicked on by Rodrigo only for the unmarked Rasmus Kristensen to miss a sitter from five yards.

But Southampton’s relief didn’t last long because Leeds went ahead from their first attack after the break when Rodrigo converted Harrison’s near-post cross.

The home side still didn’t learn from Kristensen’s earlier miss when Rodrigo was left all alone to nod in Pascal Struijk’s flick-on header from Harrison’s corner.

Saints sub Joe Aribo ignited the home fight-back when he side-stepped goalkeeper Ilan Meslier to make it 2-1 on 72 minutes.

And Walker-Peters saved his boss’s blushes nine minutes from time by lashing the ball into the far corner.

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