Watford 1-1 Southampton: Shane Long’s historic Premier League strike cancelled out by late Andre Gray goal


Watford 1-1 Southampton: Shane Long’s historic Premier League strike cancelled out by late Andre Gray goal

Shane Long broke Ledley King’s record of scoring the fastest goal in Premier League history to help Southampton edge ever closer to safety.

The striker put Saints ahead after 7.69 seconds after charging down Craig Cathcart’s clearance.

Long celebrates his historic goal

But his first-minute goal was cancelled out by a last-minute one from Andre Gray as Watford secured a 1-1 draw.

The strains of Sir Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ had barely finished booming over the loudspeakers when Long gave Southampton lift-off.

Amazingly, the goal actually came from Watford’s kick-off. Roberto Pereyra played the ball from the centre-circle back to defender Craig Cathcart some 40 yards from his own goal.

As Cathcart attempted to launch the ball up field, Long charged it down and raced through before lifting it over Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Long showed superb composure when he chipped Foster


The goal was a fraction more than two seconds quicker than the Premier League’s previous fastest, scored by Tottenham’s Ledley King after 9.82 seconds against Bradford in December 2000.

As well as writing a little piece of history for himself, and becoming an answer to a pub quiz question, Long must have thought he had all but guaranteed Southampton’s survival until Gray struck.

Had they held on, Saints would have been eight points clear of Cardiff, who sit in the final relegation spot and have just three matches remaining.

As it is, the six-point gap should be plenty, with the mission of Ralph Hasenhuttl, the manager brought in to save them from relegation, almost complete.