(Reuters) – Southampton began life under new manager Ralph Hasenhuettl with a tame 1-0 Premier League defeat at fellow strugglers Cardiff City on Saturday.
Makeshift striker Callum Paterson took full advantage of a defensive howler by Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard to slot in the winning goal in the 74th minute.
Vestergaard failed to deal with a ball forward and paid the price as the versatile Paterson, who can also play as a midfielder and full back, pounced to finish neatly past Alex McCarthy for his fifth league goal this season.
Defeat meant Paul Sturrock is still the last Southampton manager to start with a victory, guiding them to a 2-0 win against Liverpool in 2004.
The Saints began brightly and were unlucky not to grab an early lead when Charlie Austin’s flick from Matt Targett’s cross went wide. Austin had another opportunity four minutes later but could not control his volleyed effort.
Cardiff took control of the game and secured their fourth win of the season to move to 14 points. Southampton are on nine points and remain in the relegation zone.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)