Saints suffered their heaviest opening day defeat since returning to the Premier League as they conceded three goals in 12 second half minutes to lose 3-0 at Burnley.

After a closely contested first hour of the match Saints fell apart and saw Ashley Barnes score twice before Johann Berg Gudmundsson ensured Saints would return home empty handed.

It was far from the start to the Premier League season that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was hoping for, especially given they have to face Liverpool at St Mary’s next.

Hasenhuttl was dealt a blow before kick-off with captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg having to take a place on the bench due to an illness which came on during the trip north.

But the Saints boss stuck with a 5-2-3 formation for his side in the wind and rain at Turf Moor.

Saints created their first chance of the season after just two minutes as Yan Valery whipped in a dangerous right wing cross. Che Adams threw out a leg on the stretch and reached the ball but could only direct it wide.

James Ward-Prowse was the next to have a go with a stinging drive from 20 yards which was beautifully struck but straight at Nick Pope.

Saints had their first taste of VAR on 16 minutes. Ashley Barnes chased the ball down the right and was able to press into the Saints area and square for Chris Wood to turn home after Jack Stephens slipped.

The linesman had flagged indicating that Barnes was offside when the initial ball was played over the top and VAR upheld the call.

Burnley came close on 27 minutes as they worked the ball to Johann Berg Gudmundsson whose shot from outside the box whistled narrowly wide of Angus Gunn’s near post.

Moments later VAR stopped play to check for a red card as Adams downed Ben Mee with a challenge which raked down his shin but decided it was no more than just a foul.

The game was looking for a moment of inspiration and Nathan Redmond so nearly provided it two minutes before the break.

He chased down Oriol Romeu’s high ball down the left channel, tricked his way into the area and onto his right foot, releasing a curling shot that Pope had to dive to turn over the bar.

Wood had the final sight of goal of the first half but slashed wildly off target.

Saints had the first opening of the second period when they won a free kick right on the edge of the Burnley area.

Ryan Bertrand was the man entrusted to take it and his left footed effort curled just over the bar.

Redmond was the next to have a go but his shot sailed over as Saints pressed on seeking the opener.

But, largely against the run of play, it was Burnley who grabbed the lead on 63 minutes.

Erik Pieters hooked a high and fairly aimless looking ball forward that caught the wind.

Jannik Vestergaard failed to read it correctly and ended up on the deck having missed his header, allowing Barnes in behind.

The Burnley striker brought it down on his thigh before hitting a quick half volleyed finish from 12 yards out that whistled through the legs of Gunn and into the net.

Hasenhuttl quickly responded by bringing on Michael Obafemi for Danny Ings.

It got even worse for Saints as they conceded a second on 70 minutes.

Pieters was again the provider with a cross under no pressure from the left to Barnes, who simply strolled in past the Saints defence and was in acres of space to side foot home a first time volley from close range.

Hasenhuttl went for it with a double substitution as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sofiane Boufal replaced Jack Stephens and Adams to allow the change to a 4-2-2-2.

But it did little to stem the flow as Burnley scored again on 75 minutes.

Vestergaard failed to clear with a header before Gudmundsson caught Bertrand dwelling over a clearance, stole the ball, chased into the area and produced a superb left footed curling shot into the far corner.

Barnes nearly completed his hat-trick moments later but Gunn saved at his near post.

The last notable action of the match rather summed up the day for Saints as a well worked late corner gave Boufal a chance to shoot but he fell over allowing Jan Bednarek to try his luck only for the centre half to sky his effort well over the bar.