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Ings penalty fires Southampton to fifth in Premier League

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Brighton (United Kingdom) (AFP)

Danny Ings returned from injury to score a controversial winner from the penalty spot as Southampton came from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 on Monday and climb to fifth in the Premier League.

Brighton took the lead from the spot, with Pascal Gross sending goalkeeper Alex McCarthy the wrong way after James Ward-Prowse handled the ball in the area.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's men then found the equaliser just before the half-time whistle with Ward-Prowse making up for his earlier error to pick out Jan Vestergaard, who headed home the corner.

Then, with nine minutes remaining, substitute Ings fired home on his return from injury after Southampton were awarded a controversial penalty, with Brighton players claiming the foul took place outside the area.

Brighton started brightly in front of 2,000 supporters -- back in the stadium for the first time in nine months.

They took the lead in the 26th minute when referee David Coote pointed to the spot after a Danny Welbeck cross hit the raised arms of Ward-Prowse.

Gross fired in the penalty, sending McCarthy the wrong way to put the Seagulls a goal ahead.

The home side looked to get forward at every opportunity while Southampton struggled to get going.

Against the run of play, Saints struck the equaliser just before the break. Ward-Prowse continued his impressive record from set-pieces, crossing the ball from a corner for Vestergaard to head past Mat Ryan.

At the start of the second half, Tariq Lamptey looked to get forward down the right before playing the ball back to Gross, who fired over the bar.

With 13 minutes to go, Kyle Walker-Peters was brought down by Solly March. The referee initially awarded a free-kick before a lengthy VAR intervention changed the decision to a penalty.

Ings made no mistake and his side held on for the victory.

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