Saints held to a goalless draw

By SFC Media Sat 01 Apr Saints vs Bournemouth
Photo by Matt Watson | Dušan Tadić
Sat 01 Apr 5.30PM
Premier League
Southampton
0
Bournemouth
0
Romeu (90+2')
Referee: Jonathan Moss | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 31,847

Southampton were held to a goalless draw in their latest Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth at St Mary's.

Dušan Tadić was denied by the outside of the post and Jay Rodriguez had his first-half strike ruled out for offside, as Saints were forced to make do with a share of the spoils against Eddie Howe's side.

Tadić almost had Saints ahead early on in the encounter. Finding space on the edge of the area the Serbian shifted the ball out of his feet and fired at goal, but was unable to keep his strike down and it flew over Artur Boruc’s crossbar.

Tadić had another opportunity just moments later as Rodriguez leapt to head down for him on the right of the area, but this time he dragged his effort wide of Borcuc’s far post.

0n 15 minutes Saints appeared to have gained the breakthrough their opening performance had deserved. Rodriguez latched onto a Nathan Redmond cross and was first denied by the onrushing Boruc but then tapped the rebound home, only to then see the linesman signalling for offside.

Dušan Tadić battles for the ball with AFC Bournemouth's Dan Gosling.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, and the visitors didn’t take long to fashion their first real chance of the match. Ryan Fraser’s in-swinging corner from the left was punched clear by Fraser Forster, but only as far as Dan Gosling who swung a leg at it, but struck well over the bar.

Fraser’s corners were causing problems for the Saints defence and almost forced a breakthrough on 33 minutes. This time from the opposite side Andrew Surman studded the Scotsman’s low cross past the out-rushing Forster, but Steven Davis was on hand to sweep the ball off the line.

At the other end, Cédric surged down the right flank and played inside to Redmond who in turn teed up Tadić inside the penalty area, but the Serbian's shot cannoned clear off the outside of the post.

With three minutes to play until the interval, Maya Yoshida almost snuck in to head Saints in front. The Japan international escaped Simon Francis in the penalty area to earn a free header at the near post, but powered wide.

Rodrguez too then had a chance to score before the break. He latched on to a long ball over the top of the Bournemouth back line and struck a fine first-time volley at goal, but was well denied by the strong wrist of former Saint Boruc.

Jay Rodriguez strikes at goal.

Immediately after the restart Eddie Howe made his first change of the evening, as Andrew Surman hobbled off to be replaced by Harry Arter.

In what was a slow start after the break, Bournemouth created the first meaningful chance of the second half. Joshua King raced free and squared to Benik Afobe who had the whole goal to aim at, but struck wide of Forster’s near post.

That seemed to spark Saints into life and the ball swiftly moved down the other end for James Ward-Prowse to take aim from a tight angle, but his strike from the left flew past Boruc’s far post.

That was to be Ward-Prowse’s last contribution of the afternoon, as he was replaced by Sofiane Boufal. Rodriguez then also made way for the introduction of Shane Long.

Long almost broke the deadlock within minutes of being on the pitch. He raced in behind Steve Cook to latch onto Tadić’s cutting pass and chip goalwards over Boruc, but his effort fell agonisingly wide of the post.

Shane Long sneaks in behind and almost breaks the deadlock.

The Cherries were not ready to lie down though, and soon had a good chance to go ahead. Adam Smith picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty and rammed it against the foot of Fraser’s post, before Gosling then thumped the rebound well over the crossbar.

On 78 minutes came the game’s big talking point. Substitute Jack Wilshere slipped Fraser into the penalty area and the Scotsman fell to the ground under the pressure of Ryan Bertrand, leaving referee Jonathan Moss to point to the spot.

Substitute Arter stepped up to take the spot kick for the Cherries, but slipped at the vital moment and launched his shot well over the crossbar.

Claude Puel then moved to make his final change of the evening, as Sam McQueen came on in favour of Tadić for the last ten minutes.

But for all their endeavour until the closing minutes of the match, Saints were unable to find a way through and had to make do with a share of the points.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Bournemouth
  • Possession (%)
    61
    39
  • Shots
    14
    12
  • Shots on target
    4
    3
  • Corners
    6
    3
  • Passes Complete
    459
    261

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
2
Cédric Soares
3
Maya Yoshida
24
Jack Stephens
21
Ryan Bertrand
11
Dusan Tadic
Sam McQueen (80′)
14
Oriol Romeu
22
Nathan Redmond
16
James Ward-Prowse
Sofiane Boufal (63′)
8
Steven Davis (C)
9
Jay Rodriguez
Shane Long (63′)
4
Jordy Clasie
40
Mouez Hassen
19
Sofiane Boufal
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
38
Sam McQueen
7
Shane Long
12
Martín Cáceres

Bournemouth

1
Artur Boruc (GK)
15
Adam Smith
2
Simon Francis (C)
11
Charlie Daniels
3
Steve Cook
6
Andrew Surman
Harry Arter (46′)
24
Ryan Fraser
4
Dan Gosling
7
Marc Pugh
17
Joshua King
Jack Wilshere (70′)
9
Benik Afobe
14
Brad Smith
33
Jordon Ibe
38
Baily Cargill
19
Junior Stanislas
8
Harry Arter
21
Ryan Allsop
32
Jack Wilshere
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