Saints came back from two goals down to beat Celta Vigo 3-2 in the first of their back-to-back pre-season friendlies at St Mary’s.

Mark Hughes’ team found themselves 2-0 down to the La Liga side at half time, but two goals in four minutes in the second period from Charlie Austin and Stuart Armstrong and a late winner from Mohamed Elyounoussi secured victory.

Saints started the game strongly and should have taken the lead after just seven minutes.

Ryan Bertrand, who was a real threat with his quality delivery from left wing back, played in a superb cross that picked out right wing back Sam McQueen in space inside the six yard box, but he made a mess of the header and missed the target.

Saints were behind on 11 minutes as Pione Sisto produced a piece of genuine quality.

He cut in from the left wing and with little pressure on the ball opted to take a shot and bent a superb right footed effort into the opposite top corner from 20 yards out.

Saints struggled to create many decent chances and were largely limited to shots from outside the box.

Stuart Armstrong fired over after a positive run, as did Oriol Romeu, while Manolo Gabbiadini twice forced saves from Sergio Alvarez.

After Celta Vigo had gone close again as Claudio Beauvue guided a header from ten yards wide, Gabbiadini laid the ball off to Long who opened his body and curled a shot across goal that hit the crossbar.

Long had a moment to forget two minutes before the break as Celta Vigo doubled their lead.

He gave the ball up to Iago Aspas who tricked his way into getting a yard on the outside of Jan Bednarek and fired a fierce shot across goal and past McCarthy from a tight angle.

There was the inevitable raft of substitutions at half time - four for Saints and six for Celta Vigo – and that changed the dynamic of the game.

It was a welcome shift of momentum for Saints who had got themselves level come the hour mark.

Matt Targett, deputising at right wing back, was the architect of them both.

On 56 minutes his right footed cross was attacked by Charlie Austin who produced an excellent, guided downward header into the corner.

It was 2-2 four minutes later as Targett intelligently laid the ball into the path of Armstrong, who didn’t have to break stride to sweep a composed finish past the keeper.

As the changes continued to be rung the game got more disjointed.

Celta Vigo did manage a short bright spell but a poor finish from Andrew Hjulsager and a decent save from Angus Gunn meant they didn’t add to their tally.

The summer signing had to stay strong late on to make another good save before Saints sealed the win in the closing seconds.

James Ward-Prowse took aim and hit a fizzing low shot from distance that smashed against the foot of the post.

The rebound fell to Mohamed Elyounoussi in space in the penalty area and he produced calm first time side footed finish into the empty net to seal the win.

Saints now have just one pre-season friendly remaining before the start of the Premier League with Borussia Monchengladbach providing the opposition at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Saints: McCarthy (Gunn 46), Bednarek (Stephens 61), Vestergaard, Hoedt, McQueen (Targett 46), Romeu (W-Prowse 77), Davis (Hojbjerg 46), Bertrand (Reed 81), Armstrong (Elyounoussi 61), Long (Austin 46), Gabbiadini (Gallagher 77).

Att: 12,434