The Saints’ No1 was by far the busier of the two keepers produced five great saves of which three were outstanding as Southampton were forced to hang on to avoid an embarrassing home defeat in their first game of the season.
McCarthy saved with his feet, his body and his hands in a display of athleticism and instinct as Burnley shook off jet lag from Thursday’s Europa League trip to Turkey with a surprisingly energetic performance.
Hart, who joined Burnley for £3.5 million in the summer from Manchester City, had only one save to make – a decent but comfortable effort to thwart a flicked header by Mario Lemina in the first half.
Indeed, Hart did not even have to make the best save for his team – that was down to Ashley Westwood who was handily positioned under his own crossbar to get his nut in the way of a wayward header by Ben Mee which was en route to an own goal before the timely intervention.
Hart’s last Premier League game was to watch four goals sail past him in a humbling 4-1 defeat at Arsenal last season while on loan at West Ham.
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He was ditched from England’s World Cup squad for Russia in June and has now turned to Burnley to revive his fading reputation.
He did that no harm with two further impressive saves in the second half – in particular another dive to deny Lemina’s aerial threat with 15 minutes to go.
Saints boss Mark Hughes was lucky not to receive a sanction for falling foul of the new disciplinary regulations regarding managers’ conduct.
Hughes angrily booted a water bottle which had rolled into his technical area from the opposition’s – one of the new specific offences for which coaches will be warned and then punished under new Premier League regulations.
But fourth official Lee Probert either did not see the 60th-minute incident or chose to ignore it even though Hughes’ outburst drew ironic cheers from the crowd nearby who clearly had clocked it.
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