Middlesbrough extended their unbeaten run to five games and although the gap to the top six is now nine points, Michael Carrick's side left Southampton on a high after Emmanuel Latte Lath's last gasp equaliser.

Here are the main talking points from the game:


It's easy to fall into the trap of lazily hailing the spirit of a side after a last minute goal but in Boro's case on Friday it was undoubtedly merited when you consider all that had gone before.

The international break is supposed to be an opportunity for something of a reset but Michael Carrick has had to deal with one setback after another in the last fortnight. First Marcus Forss, then Riley McGree - both out for the season.

And Paddy McNair will miss a bulk of the remaining games as well, with Carrick saying the defender is out for "a few weeks" after suffering a knee injury in the last minute of Northern Ireland's win over Scotland.

Rav van den Berg should hopefully be back sooner rather than later. He was in contention to play at St Mary's but it was decided late on he wasn't ready, which - after McNair's setback - forced the late reshuffle with Jonny Howson dropping into the defence.

As if all of the above wasn't disruptive enough, Boro then had a hair-raising journey to the south coast, with 70mph winds resulting in an aborted landing and a late arrival at the hotel.

When, then, Boro conceded early on to Adam Armstrong, it would have been easy to feel sorry for themselves. Instead, they clawed their way into the game, dug deep and got their rewards.

"I've told you many times now the spirit is good but of course it's helped and enhanced by things like that, when you're looking next to you and the lads are giving everything they've got and that trust builds," said Carrick.

"Unity develops and we've had some good days on that side of things this year. The boys have shown what they're capable of and have showed again today. They're a good team, we came here with a few jabs we've taken in terms of injuries and we've managed to come through."



There was delight in the away dressing room but fury across the corridor where the Southampton players were situated.

So angry was Russell Martin after dropping two points in the last minute, the Southampton boss admitted he needed to take time to compose himself before speaking to his players after the game.

It was a costly draw for Southampton, who could have taken advantage of Leicester's defeat earlier in the day and Leeds dropping two points on Friday night.

“I’m really disappointed and frustrated," said Martin.

"We should have scored three or four goals with some massive chances that we’ve had. If you’re not going to be clinical at one end then you have to defend with your lives at the other. The goal we concede is rubbish, nowhere near as good a chance as any of ours really. He takes it really well.

"I was pleased with a lot of it - we created a lot of really good chances against a really good team. The only real period of the game I’m frustrated with is the last 15 minutes of the first half because it just turned into a bit of a nothing game really.

"They would have gone in at the break feeling there might be a chance for us at some point. On another day though, we would have scored a lot more goals. We couldn’t get that next one on the day, and it’s really, really hurt us. We should still defend the game better and win 1-0."


Let's take a moment to appreciate Matt Clarke making a goal-saving tackle with his head. Yes, you read that right.

Here it is in all its glory.

Praise for Clarke is becoming a weekly occurrence. He was tremendous again at St Mary's, standing tall against a tricky and talented front three. To repeat a point that can't be stressed enough, Clarke deserves immense credit for the way he's come back from such a testing and frustrating long spell on the sidelines.

He does everything in his power to protect the goal behind him. Friday was a tale of two headers - Emmanuel Latte Lath's equaliser at one end, Clarke's clearance at the other.


What does the future hold for Anfernee Dijksteel? He's very much on the fringes at Boro and even with six defenders ruled out through injury, the 27-year-old had to settle for a place on the bench at St Mary's.

Dijksteel hasn't started a game in 2024 and has been in the XI on only seven occasions in the Championship this season.

Luke Ayling came in in January and jumped straight ahead of him in the right-back pecking order and Tommy Smith will be fit again for the start of next season.

Carrick clearly doesn't see Dijksteel as a centre-half or he'd have played the former Charlton man alongside Matt Clarke on Friday. Instead, he dropped captain Jonny Howson into the defence.

Dijksteel is moving into the final 12 months of his contract this summer. Fortunes can very quickly change in football so he shouldn't be written off, but as things stand his days at the club look numbered.


Finn Azaz achieved a dream during the international break when he made his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland and he built on his midweek delight with a fine display at St Mary's.

He found pockets of space and was the link between the midfield and attack, going close to a leveller when his shot bounced back off the inside of the post.

With McGree and Forss out for the season, Azaz - it seems - will be a weekly starter in the remaining seven games. It's a chance to finish the campaign on a high. Boro have high hopes for him next season.