Report: Bournemouth 1-3 Saints

By SFC Media Sun 18 Dec Bournemouth vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Virgil van Dijk celebrates
Sun 18 Dec 1.30PM
Premier League
Bournemouth
1
Southampton
3
Aké [6']
Bertrand [14'] Rodriguez [48' 85']
Boufal (34') Clasie (76') Davis (78')
Referee: Mark Clattenburg | Venue: Vitality Stadium | Attendance: 11,113

Southampton came from behind to secure a 3-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth in their latest Premier League outing.

Saints fell behind to an early Nathan Aké header, but fought back valiantly to pick up all three points thanks to a Jay Rodriguez brace and single contribution from Ryan Bertrand.

Claude Puel made six changes to the side that drew 0-0 away at Stoke City, with Cédric Soares, Maya Yoshida, Jordy Clasie, Harrison Reed and Pierre-Emile Højberg all given starting berths at Vitality Stadium.

It was the hosts that struck first in the encounter after just six minutes. Jack Wilshere's dangerous in-swinging cross found the lurking Aké at the back post and the Chelsea loanee threw himself in front of his marker to head low past Fraser Forster and into the bottom corner.

Joshua King almost made it two for the Cherries just minutes later. Simon Francis picked the pocket of Sofiane Boufal inside the penalty area and cut back for the former Manchester United man, but he rifled his rasping effort straight at Forster in goal.

It was Saints that would be next to have the ball in the net. Surging forward, Bertrand cut inside Adam Smith before diving past Francis in the area and hammering a fine strike into Artur Boruc’s far corner to level proceedings. 

Ryan Bertrand rifles an equaliser into Artur Boruc's bottom corner.

The temperature was rising inside Vitality Stadium and it almost threatened to boil over as referee Mark Clattenburg was forced to call Callum Wilson and Boufal together for an off-the-ball incident in the centre circle, but took no further action.

Boufal was soon up to his usual tricks on the ball and jinked past two Bournemouth defenders on the edge of the area before sending Nathan Redmond sprawling to the touchline. The ball was then cut back across goal, but was just too far ahead of the lurking Rodriguez and Francis scooped clear the danger.

Another cutback on the half-an-hour mark could well have put Saints ahead before the break. Bertrand worked his way to the left touchline this time and drilled a low pass across goal, but the on-rushing Redmond was unable to make clean contact with the ball.

That was the final chance of what was a feisty first-half, as both sides went in level at the break. Puel used the interval to make one change to his side, as Steven Davis replaced Reed in the centre of midfield.

Saints made a lively start after the break and could have taken the lead after a matter of seconds. Redmond worked space in the Cherries' penalty area and fired low at goal, but it was again straight at Boruc in goal.

It wouldn't be long until the ball was in the net and Saints had the lead, though. Boufal slipped in Davis on the 48th minute and the substitute chipped over Boruc and watched on as Rodriguez tucked in from close range to secure a well-deserved 2-1 lead.

Jay Rodriguez taps in from close range to give Saints the lead at Vitality Stadium.

Rodriguez almost doubled his tally shortly after. Bursting through on the left side of the area he attempted to chip the ball over the out-rushing Boruc, but the former Saints 'keeper got a strong hand to the effort to beat it away.

Puel then made his second change of the afternoon, as Boufal made way for the recently awarded Serbian Player of the Year, Dušan Tadić.

The hosts responded by introducing two attacking players of their own in Ryan Fraser and Benik Afobe to replace Wilson and Pugh.

With 20 minutes to go Saints had a good chance to extend their lead. Bertrand's deep cross found Pierre-Emile Højberg in acres of space at the back post and he fired across goal, only for Aké to clear off the line. 

Eddie Howe then made his final change of the afternoon, as Jordon Ibe came on for Joshua King.

Despite the hosts attacking changes, it was Saints that were creating the better of the chances in the closing stages, and Rodriguez soon hammered home a sublime strike to make it 3-1.

With the ball bobbling around on the edge of the area, the Saints striker took control, turned on a sixpence and volleyed a breath-taking strike past Boruc to send the travelling support into raptures and confirm that all three points would be travelling back to St Mary's. 

Bournemouth

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    47
    53
  • Shots
    10
    14
  • Shots on target
    5
    8
  • Corners
    7
    4
  • Passes Complete
    368
    424

Bournemouth

1
Artur Boruc (GK)
3
Steve Cook
11
Charlie Daniels
5
Nathan Aké
2
Simon Francis (C)
32
Jack Wilshere
7
Marc Pugh
Ryan Fraser (55′)
17
Joshua King
Jordon Ibe (72′)
15
Adam Smith
8
Harry Arter
13
Callum Wilson
Benik Afobe (64′)
33
Jordon Ibe
9
Benik Afobe
24
Ryan Fraser
26
Tyrone Mings
4
Dan Gosling
23
Adam Federici
14
Brad Smith

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
21
Ryan Bertrand
2
Cédric Soares
3
Maya Yoshida
17
Virgil van Dijk (C)
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
18
Harrison Reed
Steven Davis (45′)
4
Jordy Clasie
9
Jay Rodriguez
Shane Long (93′)
22
Nathan Redmond
19
Sofiane Boufal
Dusan Tadic (62′)
28
Stuart Taylor
8
Steven Davis
7
Shane Long
6
José Fonte
15
Cuco Martina
11
Dusan Tadic
16
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