Southampton At Bournemouth The FA Cup Verdict
Sunday, 21st Mar 2021 09:38
A day when negativity was not allowed in the Saints dressing room and Nathan Redmond had perhaps his best performance in a Saints shirt as Saints cruised to an FA Cup semi final at Wembley, time to enjoy the season.
In the run up to this game you would have thought that Saints were the underdogs, social media was full of how Bournemouth had just put on a masterclass in beating Swansea and Saints were a relegation bound team about to go out of the FA Cup.
The knives were being sharpened even further when the team was announced and Nathan Redmond was in it, there seemed to be only one man in the City who thought he should play and luckily for Saints that man was Ralph Hasenhuttl.
I have to say that I was surprised at the decision, Redmond has not shone of late, but unlike some I didn't think he had been as bad as they would make out in most of the games.
We expected Bournemouth bluster, but from the start it was clear that they were not as up for it as Saints, we had a steely determination about us than ran right through the team.
We looked to have taken the lead when Kyle Walker Peters too a superb crossfield pass in his stride and his perfect cross meant that Cameron Carter-Vickers could only put it into his own net, but VAR veered it's ugly head again, I think VAR is a good thing, but only if used properly, when you are spending two minutes drawing lines on a screen to find an elbow an inch offside, it is not doing the job it was meant for.
But this setback for Saints didn't dent their confidence, although it took a smart save from Fraser Forster to stand up tall and block a searing shot at his near post, it looked a simple save, but we have seen three similar go in over the past few months and Forster showed why he had to be restored to the side, indeed in this game he truly looked like his confidence was restored.
But cometh the hour cometh the man and the Nathan Redmond show started in the 37th minute, receiving the ball in the centre circle and headed straight through the heart of the home defence before sliding through the perfect ball for Djenepo to hit the perfect shot into the bottom corner.
9 minutes later and in first half injury time it was Redmond again who went on a run that ended with a crisp shot to give Saints a 2-0 half time lead.
In the second half it was a case of making sure Bournemouth didn't get back into it, VAR did its bit again spending 2 minutes to sort out an offside call that although right was time consuming.
But up stepped Redmond again, Saints pressed Bournemouth into an error just as they were looking to try and step up their game and after a Stuart Armstrong shot smashed against the post it would have been easy for Redmond to fire the ball over the bar, he kept his cool and kept his shot low and accurate.
The game was now effectively over as a contest, Saints had chances to make it more comprehensive, but they were more concerned about game management, keep a clean sheet and get to the semi finals.
This they did well so much so that with 13 minutes to go Ralph Hasenhuttl felt confident to sub off both Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard who were both on a yellow card and bring on Jack Stephens and Mohammed Salisu, it changed nothing.
Saints looked a totally different team from the one that took on Brighton, it had desire and confidence and showed the form of the first three months of the season and this bodes well for the last 9 games of the season were we need a win or two so we can put to bed any lingering worries about relegation.
We should not get too carried away though, this was a poor Bournemouth side who are no great shakes in the Championship, but there was still a job to be done, the focus after the game was that Bournemouth had 7 out, we had 6 out and the Cherries were not missing key players of the class of Danny Ings, Oriol Romeu and Theo Walcott, all key players as we stormed to the top of the Premier League and also Minamino who was cup tied.
But with three of the above four due back after the International break suddenly the season looks a lot better and could yet be one of our best ever.
So now is the time to banish negativity, many things have conspired to dampen our spirits this season, but overall there will be many clubs this weekend who envy our position, finishing 8th in the league looks good but ultimately gets you nothing, give me 14th and an FA Cup semi final over that any day.
So lets get the smiles back on the faces, we are in the FA Cup semi finals, something that has only happened 6 times previously since the second World War and twice before in the last 35 years, this is a big deal.
It will be a tough last four we will start as 4th favourites, but we can pull off the odd result or two as we have shown both this season and last, Ralph Hasenhuttl has slowly but surely revamped the Saints squad, it is still a work in progress, but when you compare it to the one he inherited , the difference is clear, now is the time to back Ralph and back the team, we have a chance of glory lets enjoy it not find something to moan about.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
|IanRC added 09:53 - Mar 21|
I have to confess that not having seen the team ahead of kick off my heart sank a little when I saw the team. I thought my fears would be confirmed when Redmond failed to play in Che Adams and then misplaced a back pass that could have been costly. However after that he turned in a masterclass doing exactly what he has failed to do in recent games running at opponents and placing perfect passes. Well done lad for turning it around. All told the team were good but a special shout out to Stuart Armstrong, he seemed to have endless energy and was a constant threat.
I hope we can carry this confidence into the league games, not sure who I would want in the next round but it would be good to repay Leicester or MU for their referee assisted thrashings.
|theralpholution added 10:01 - Mar 21|
Good, confidence boosting win. Redmond was given the sort of time and space to play which he doesn't get in the premier league and he thrived. However, let's not get too carried away by his performance. Bournemouth made him look like Ronaldo and on his first goal the defender fell over and on his second the goalkeeper was sat on his arse. If he did this on a regular basis or even an occasional basis in the premier league he should start but he doesn't.
That said, it's good to see the team balance restored, particularly with Walker-Peters back on the right. Diallo and Salisu are beginning to settle and the development of the team goes on. With Ings and Walcott back soon, Ralph has an almost full squad to choose from and I hope we'll see a return to form and who knows, maybe even a trophy.
|saintmark1976 added 10:08 - Mar 21|
Apart from congratulating Redmond, who finally had a good game. Your comment “ We should not get too carried away though this was a poor Bournemouth side” is pretty much all that need be said Nick.
|SaintNick added 10:35 - Mar 21|
Fact is though saintmark is that we are in an FA Cup semi final, you can only beat what is in front of you, Bournemouth weren't a good side, but Arsenal & Wolves were, so lets enjoy we are in a semi and be optimistic
|halftimeorange added 10:40 - Mar 21|
I am tempted to say that Redmond showed that he could be a useful player in the Championship but, I admit he did turn in a match-winning performance. Che Adams' bad luck continues with yet another disallowed goal but, his finishing does seem to be sharper. We haven't created as many chances as we did in this match for some considerable time which shows the gap in class. Although Forster performed well I thought that Vestergaard made too many errors and Walker-Peters' attacking intent made us vulnerable to a better counter-attacking side than yesterday's Bournemouth. The late foul on Salisu by Surridge warranted a straight red card. Salisu might have done a bit more writhing if he hadn't been stunned by the surprise attack and I was amazed that no other Saints player took issue with Surridge. Once again JWP in particular stopped a number of our forward moves by passing sideways or back. A comfortable victory against poor opposition.
|HythePeer added 10:49 - Mar 21|
The game plan was changed, passing the ball forward, running it forward no passing it out from the back just for the sake of it, players taking on their man and not passing it back. Were the team allowed to play their own game? I know it was only Bournemouth's second team but if they play like that in the league they should get the points they need.
|SaintPaulVW added 10:58 - Mar 21|
Bournemouth weren't great and Saints clearly wanted it so much more.
Regardless, it was a great performance by a team that has looked low in confidence recently. Glad that Redmond has shown us all why he is rated highly by many. He is so good running at people, just needs to keep his confidence up and make a good choice for a final ball. Yesterday 2 goals and one assist!
Hopefully, together with the return of the next batch of wounded, this win can help kickoff a great last quarter of the season.
COYR The final beckons!
|underweststand added 11:10 - Mar 21|
Final Score : SAINTS 3 VAR 2 . . and with a little more luck ...maybe a few more goals.
YES we know B-mouth fielded an understrength side who have already played 40+ games this season, and in truth if we hadn't have won would have been in serious trouble.
It took 15 minutes to get ourselves into the game, after which we looked in control.
It was hard to see anyone who DIDN'T play well, and as someone who has condemned some Redmond displays as "not good enough " already, I was very pleased to see his excellent display, and well-taken goals. Djenepo is finally becoming a "nuisance" to many defenders although paying the price in fouls, and so his well-taken goal was deserved.
Had it not been for their displays, I would have made Armstrong Man of the match. He seemed to be everywhere, and even managed a real sprint and a goal chance late on in the game. I think he is playing as well as he has done of late.
In any case ..we have actually got to a Semi-Final without scoring a goal.
Whatever comes now, we will be up against a strong side and a chance of another Final .
As someone who vividly remembers 1976, I know NOTHING is impossible in Cup Finals, and so we march on to Wembley, but a couple more Prem. wins in between would make it a more satisfactory season all round.
|underweststand added 11:14 - Mar 21|
OOPS ! ... underweststand.. I stand corrected, should read ..without CONCEDING a goal.
(after recent weeks I 've got into some bad habits) ....
|saintpete01 added 11:20 - Mar 21|
It’s a funny old game someone once said
You can only beat what’s in front of you yes a poor bournemouth side
But a strong saints performance
With the international break we now have an opportunity to draw a
Line under our recent poor performances
This game can be a gift of confidence to the dressing room
Let’s grab it with both hands turn our season run in to be positive to
Take over for the start of next season
|stmichael added 11:38 - Mar 21|
Why do we have to be disrespectful and say its a POOR Bournemouth side. They are not a poor side at all they are a decent Championship team. FULHAM ARE IN THE BOTTOM 3 OF THE PREMIER League and they are not a POOR side either.. This is the highest level of the English game. Very few people get to be professional footballers.. POOR side FFS!!!!
|davepid added 11:40 - Mar 21|
Of course you can only play what’s in front of you. Trouble is most of what is put in front of us beats us, sometimes extremely easily. The conclusion from the last fifteen league games or so is that we can beat the bottom club but nobody else, including those around us in the League table. ( don’t ask me how to explain the Liverpool result because I can’t) .
Having said that ,I found myself signing last night as I went for my Indian. First Saints song to pass my lips since January 4 th.
|JoeEgg added 11:41 - Mar 21|
It may have been a strong Saints performance but the Bournemouth lads had given everything against Swansea a few days earlier and appeared to have little or no energy after the opening period of play.
There will be three other teams left in the FA cup draw and one thing you can be certain of - they will all be praying that they get the Saints in the draw!!
|highfield49 added 11:42 - Mar 21|
A really pleasing performance without doubt and full credit to the players and manager. The thing that impressed me most was the mental attitude and belief. Too many times we've gone on the back foot and never managed to find a meaningful front foot in games, this win was marked by having a goalkeeper who is looking as good as he was three years ago and sharp finishing at the other end of the pitch. Two factors that have been missing for too long.
I can only guess that the referee didn't see Surridge's assault in its true vindictive light, very nasty. It's a shame VAR reviews miss that type of totally unnecessary aggression yet judge a player's arm to be fractionally ahead of an arbitrary line. If the officials haven't called offside why doesn't VAR just use the "clear and obvious error" principle like, in Armstrong's case, when it's unclear who touched the ball last?
|davidargyll added 11:46 - Mar 21|
First, I don’t think Bournemouth were anything like as bad as many are making them out to have been, but we made them look average because we played them off the park for three quarters of the game, end of...
Next, does one swallow make a summer? Well we will soon find out. But, forget the quality of the opposition, Ralph has not wavered in his faith in Saints’ sparrow, aka Nathan Redmond, and yesterday it finally paid off...in spades! Apart from his goals, what I especially liked was his generosity in making the first and the lead-up to scoring his second. And for those of us - myself included - who thought he could barely justify his place in a struggling championship team let alone a (struggling?!) PL one, we certainly are having to eat humble pie in large dollops this morning!
And if Ralph is right - that he lacks confidence - this surely must have given him something of a boost, particularly as Ralph clearly saw something in him ages ago which he has taken eons to display. And having proved to us all that he has got loads of ability, let’s just hope that he really pushes on. I can only say that thank goodness none of us Redmond critics are the Saints manager!
One other thing, the Bertrand shot early on I thought was quite similar to the Mahrez’s goal scored against us in the Man City game; he scored, we in the form of RB, didn’t. I am not dissing RB’s attempt at all but I think it does show you have to be a world class player to score those sorts of goals. So perhaps the hammering attributed to our performance then wasn’t quite as justified as many made out.
Finally, I did reckon after that MC game that we had turned the corner, only to be plunged back in to the depths of depression after the BHA game. Even if turning corners in our case is a longish process, I am now increasingly convinced that we have at last started to rediscover our form.
|JohnT added 12:28 - Mar 21|
It's the players that need to banish negativity not us....to ne it looks like they have the cup on their minds..Ralph said as much, we must get points on the board.
|1962saint added 13:29 - Mar 21|
Surridge should have been sent off for the challenge (no not a challenge), the attack on Salisu. It was GBH and not what should be seen on a football field.
|Colburn added 14:21 - Mar 21|
As one of Redmonds biggest critics, I was pleased to see him perform after my dismay at seeing him in the starting line up. As he showed yesterday, when he has space to turn and defenders back off him, he can do a lot of damage but this is like rocking horse poo in the Premier league. He needs to follow this up and look at what can happen when he is more direct. Comments on motd hinting he could be back in England contention after one top display against a championship team are bonkers though and sums up the lunacy of football punditry on offer today..
Armstrong was again motm for me, he is the heartbeat and should not ever play the no. 6 role as we lose our drive (why we failed at Goodison).
Djenepo is a better left mid/winger than Minamino and Salisu can play from the start. I would like to see him alongside the Vest for a couple of games.
Che Adams is the unluckiest striker in the leagues.. Another big performance from him yesterday.
Surridge should have seen red, this is the sort of challenge which can lead to the concussions or other bad injuries we've seen. Blatant assault.
If we can avoid City, we have a slim chance of a cup final and who knows...
I thought we were better tactically with our game management, we kept going forward trying to score which relieved pressure from the defence and gave them little breaks and I was quite happy to see the odd hoof clear into row z or up the pitch in the channels, it worked better than outpassing the oppo in half a pitch and this also helped our attacking players to do what they do while regaining confidence, because we kept attacking..the best form of defence.
|underweststand added 19:58 - Mar 22|
Despite the comments of " a former referee " who deemed it to be " a strong challenge ", the assault on Salisu (because that's what is was) was shameful. Surridge may be a bit better looking , but that incident was straight out of the " Vinnie Jones book of tackles "
Whatever happened to the "retrospective " reviews that were so commonplace a few years ago?.
Do refs. ease up on such situations purely because of covid? . A similar last minute attack made on Che Adams at the end of the recent Sheffield game was the same type of event.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
Letters from Wiltshire #43 by wessex_exile
Well, that has been a lively week for Colchester United in the press, and not least for Robbie Cowling, with not one, or two, but kind of three club announcements in rapid succession to try and put the record straight. First, we had Tribunalgate, which certainly looked very poor according to the initial press reports, but which on closer inspection when some of the ‘fact gaps’ were filled in wasn’t anywhere near the story that some would have us believe. Then of course we had the ‘leak’ that the U’s were about to go into administration, despite all the reassurances we’d been given in previous statements from Robbie. Not so said Robbie again, and particularly angry at what he believed to be the source of the story. Hence statement #3, repeating his assurances, but this time after passing through the lawyer filter to remove his thoughts on the source. To paraphrase Robbie’s conclusion to that statement, let’s hope we can all have a day off from this sort of media shenanigans and enjoy our game at Oldham tonight!