Southampton edged out Brighton in a tightly-contested south coast clash, with a penalty from Danny Ings - returning from injury at half-time - proving the difference.
The home side were buoyed by the presence of support for the first time since March, and the 2,000 Brighton fans had something to celebrate when James Ward-Prowse gave away a ludicrous penalty for handball, which was clinically converted by Pascal Gross.
The Saints captain made up for his indiscretion with his customary corner-kick assist, however, as Jannik Vestergaard used every inch of his towering frame to launch a header past Mat Ryan.
Ings had been out since October with an injury and Southampton would have been delighted to see him back on the pitch when he replaced Moussa Djenepo at half-time. They would have been even happier when Kyle Walker-Peters, assisted by VAR, won a penalty, and gave Ings the platform to get back among the goals.
He did, because obviously.
Let's get into some player ratings!
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Mat Ryan (GK) - 6/10 - No chance with Vestergaard's opener and even less with Ings' stupidly clinical penalty. Did the rest of his job well though he didn't have too many saves to make.
Joel Veltman (CB) - 5/10 - Lost Vestergaard for the Southampton equaliser but that was perhaps just a symptom of some poorly executed zonal marking. Distribution was fairly impressive again.
Lewis Dunk (CB) - 6/10 - Loud and commanding at the heart of the three, but looked a little hesitant at times and unsure how to handle the dual threat of Theo Walcott and Che Adams in the first half.
Adam Webster (CB) - 6/10 -Brought the ball out of defence well enough but his positioning was off at times. Looks as if he still needs to learn the system.
2. Midfielders & Wing-Backs
Tariq Lamptey (RWB) - 6/10 - Got the better of an intriguing battle with Moussa Djenepo before the latter's half-time withdrawal. Seems to add something to his game with every passing week and impressed again here both defensively and going forward.
Ben White (CM) - 5/10 - Not really sure what the point is of playing him in midfield. Doesn't play to his strengths and the game seems to pass him by. May just be a lack of central midfielders with Adam Lallana, Davy Propper and Alexis Mac Allister all out of action.
Yves Bissouma (CM) - 7/10 - The heartbeat of Brighton's play was the most impressive of the central three but the task of being all things to all people seemed a bit too much to ask.
Solly March (LWB) - 6/10 - Being used to fill a hole at wing back but actually beginning to look like a good fit. Put the work in defensively here and carried a real threat going forward. Couple of rash moments though including a foul on Walker-Peters that gave away the penalty.
Pascal Gross (AM) - 6/10 - The most advanced of Brighton's midfield three held his nerve when he had to to convert from the spot but was otherwise quiet. Growing in importance to Brighton after his return.
Danny Welbeck (CF) - 6/10 - Put himself about well and made his presence felt without really impacting things. Almost murdered Jan Bernarek with his shoulder early in the second half.
Aaron Connolly (CF) - 5/10 - Barely had a kick for the first hour before he was brought off for Maupay.
Neal Maupay - 6/10
Leandro Trossard - 5/10
Alireeza Jahanbakhsh - 5/10
5. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Alex McCarthy (GK) - 6/10 - Didn't really have much to do. Sent the wrong way on the penalty but wouldn't have gotten near it if there were two of him and both guessed correctly.
Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) - 6/10 - One of his quieter games though did win a penalty thanks to a charge forward. Did his defensive work with minimal fuss.
Jannik Vestergaard (CB) - 7/10 - Towering header to level things up. Kept Connolly limited to absolutely nothing as he delivered a commanding defensive performance. Surprisingly impressive in possession too.
Jan Bednarek (CB) - 6/10 - Lost the physical battle to Welbeck at times but organised things well and rarely put a foot wrong.
Ryan Bertrand (LB) - 5/10 - Caught napping against Lamptey a few times and fairly anonymous going forward.
Stuart Armstrong (RM) - 7/10 - Slowly but surely becoming absolutely critical to Southampton's pressing game. Sets the pace down the right and has no problem fulfilling the slightly awkward role between Walker-Peters and one of the forwards drifting wide.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 7/10 - Comical handball for the Brighton opener but made up for it with, you guessed it, an assist from a set piece. Despair to think where Southampton would be without his dead balls but given he never misses a minute of action, that's a purely hypothetical problem.
Oriol Romeu (CM) - 6/10 - Kept his passing neat, simple and tidy and looks a good fit alongside Ward-Prowse in the engine room.
Moussa Djenepo (LM) - 4/10 - Nowhere to be seen in the first half and didn't return after the break with Danny Ings taking his place.
Theo Walcott (CF) - 5/10 - Quiet compared to his recent performances, moved out wide to accommodate Ings' arrival before being replaced by Nathan Redmond for the final 20.
Che Adams (CF) - 6/10 - Showed for the ball frequently but struggled to make anything happen. Notably better after his partner in crime emerged from the bench.
Danny Ings - 7/10 - Danny Ings scores goals. Simple.
Nathan Redmond - 6/10
Source : 90min