TEN-MAN Southampton's automatic promotion hopes were dealt a big blow by losing 3-2 at Ipswich Town on Monday.

Substitutes Jeremy Sarmiento and Nathan Broadhead completed the comeback after goals from Adam Armstrong and Che Adams had Saints ahead at the break.

Southampton were forced to cling on in the final stages after James Bree was given his marching orders after tripping Leif Davis - who netted the opener - just outside the box.

Ipswich made the most of the man advantage when Sarmiento scored with essentially the final kick of the game.

Russell Martin made three changes from the side that drew 1-1 against Middlesbrough as Kyle Walker-Peters was benched for the first time this season.

Jan Bednarek, Joe Aribo and Ryan Fraser came into a more defensive-minded starting lineup - those changes meant Jack Stephens started at left-back.

Ahead of kick-off, Martin explained how he felt this was the best XI to secure a win over Ipswich, who sat 10 points clear of Southampton.

The occasion was made more frantic by the developing story of Manchester United's approach for director of football Jason Wilcox in the lead-up and during the match.

Ipswich were 6-0 winners over Sheffield Wednesday in their last home outing and had scored three or more goals in their last four games at Portman Road.

Kieran McKenna’s side looked likely to continue that trend after Davis rifled them in front on 13 minutes, his thunderous strike beating Gavin Bazunu at his near post.

Southampton only trailed for 106 seconds before Adams beat a tight offside and converted from close range having been teed up by Joe Aribo.

The Scotland international's goal put Saints in the ascendancy as they took control of the game, much to the frustration of the home support.

They soon completed a 10-minute turnaround when A Armstrong raced on to a brilliant through ball from S Armstrong and fired a first-time finish past Vaclav Hladky.

An injury to Kieffer Moore forced Ipswich into an early change - Ali Al-Hamadi replaced him to lead the line.

Southampton were inches away from grabbing a third minutes before the break, Fraser seeing his crossbody effort roll just past the far post.

Hladky produced two important saves in quick succession to deny Bednarek and A Armstrong as Saints started the second half well.

Buoyed by the home fans, Ipswich wrestled back control of the tie, leading to Al-Hamadi seeing a well-hit shot come crashing back off the post

Saints were only given a brief rest bite before substitute Broadhead pulled the Tractor Boys level with a central strike that went through Taylor Harwood-Bellis' legs.

The game descended into chaos which was typified by Bree being sent for a last-man foul on Davis with five minutes of regular time left.

Sarmiento entered after Saints were reduced to 10 men and popped up in the final minute with a flicked effort that nestled in the bottom corner.  

Ipswich: Hladky; Tuanzebe (Clarke, 60'), Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis; Morsky, Luongo (Taylor, 60'), Hutchinson, Chaplin, Jackson (Broadhead, 60'); Moore (Al-Hamadi, 35’). 

Unused subs: Walton, Edmunson, Harness, Sarmiento, Travis.

Booked: Morsy, Taylor, Chaplin.

Saints: Bazunu; Bree, Bednarek, Harwood-Bellis, Stephens; Downes, Aribo, S Armstrong; A Armstrong, Fraser (Brooks, 71'), Adams (Edozie, 77').

Unused subs: Lumley, Walker-Peters, Manning, Rothwell, Smallbone, Kamaldeen, Mara.

Booked: Bednarek.

Sent off: Bree.

Referee: Michael Salisbury.

Attendance: 29,393.