|AFC Bournemouth 0 v 2 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 19th July 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Bournemouth The Verdict
Sunday, 19th Jul 2020 17:38
Saints made hard work of a game that they dominated but just couldn't close out, missing several great chances and a penalty setting up an injury time finish that saw VAR save us from another draw and put the Cherries on the brink of relegation.
Ralph Hasenhuttl restored his first choice side, but was missing Jan Bednarek who missed the game with a muscle injury.
His team started brightly but Bournemouth had a clear game plan and it didn't appear to involve too much pretty football, it was route one all the way, with the ball hoofed forward at every chance and looking to get the ball in the box from set pieces.
In the main though Saints coped and when they didn't Alex McCarthy was in fine form and he soon started to command his box and deal with the crosses.
In front of him both Jack Stephes and Jannik Vestergaard coped with the aerial bombardment and got in some timely interceptions when needed.
Danny Ings scored the opener just before half time with a typical finish, getting the ball and running across the edge of the box before placing the ball in the far corner, the lead was deserved from our doinance and possession, but you felt harsh on the Cherries who had huffed and puffed and gone for our jugular with a vengeance but ultimately had lacked the quality.
In the second half it was very much a carbon copy of the first, Saints having a lot of the ball and Bournemouth pumping it forward with increasing desperation, Saints should have finished it off when they won a penalty, but Danny Ings fired tamely into the corner and the keeper guessing right saved easily, this means that Saints have missed 3 of the 4 penalties that they have had in the Premier League this season.
In the closing stages Bournemouth kept pumping the ball forward with seemingly half their team strikers and started leaving gaps at the back and we really should have put the game to bed before it went into 5 minutes of extra time and the drama started.
There was less than a minute left when one of countless long throws was again hurled into the box, it was nodded on and Alex McCarthy previously faultless couldn't hold the ball and spilled it out to Surridge who fired home an equaliser to send the home team wild.
But their celebrations were cut short when suddenly VAR told the ref to hang on a minute, a review took more time than it needed, but Callum Wilson's leg was clearly offside in the build up from any angle and the goal was quite rightly disallowed.
Bournemouth were now totally dejected, and in the 4 minutes added on to the initial 5, Che Adams doubled his tally for the season with a goal that could be best described as Danny Ings esque to put the game beyond doubt.
The final whistle was not long after the restart, this goal could be prove fatal to Bournemouth come the final day.
In truth the draw was no good to Bournemouth, if the equaliser had stood it would not have changed much they would still have had to go to Everton and win next week whatever, it just makes it a little more complicated.
The Saints performance was comprehensive in terms of match stats and the TV gave Ramsdale in the Bournemouth goal man of the match, but truth is our spirit carried us through, we didn't do too much wrong, but too often we failed to clear or gave the ball away cheaply as well as kill off the game when we had the chance.
But there were still plenty of plus points, Kyle Walker Peters impressed and had his best game of his loan spell, he can keep the ball and use it well and is a tidy player and is growing in confidence going forward.
Nathan Redmond for me looked a little jaded, but he was still a constant threat and his assist for Ings goal means that is three consecutive matches he has achieved an assist.
Che Adams scored a great goal and is showing why we bought him and Danny Ings is just sublime, things are starting to look good, we still need a key signing or two, but we have a decent squad with spirit and playing for their manager.
In contrast Bournemouth looked like they had lost their motivation spirit and organisation, Eddie Howe has to shoulder most of the blame for this, his side have barely won a game since Xmas the question is why have they gone into freefall since November when they were in the top 7 and we were in the bottom 3, back then Bournemouth fans were already gloating about this fixture and how they were going to send "The Scummers down" they are not gloating this evening.
Photo: Action Images
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