Bournemouth v Southampton
Sunday, 3rd December 2017
IBO Reporter - Spot51
With both sides suffering mid-week defeats, it was not that surprising to find 11 changes across both team sheets. Bournemouth brought in Defoe up front and Stanislas, Fraser and Lewis Smith in the middle and Smith at right back. Saints made 6 changes from the City match but their side reverted to most of those who started against Everton last Sunday. There were, in effect, 2 changes since then with Romeu back for PEH and Pied replacing the injured Soares.
Saints dug out their "unlucky" 3rd kit, not seen since Wembley last Spring. Sky's commentators were Bill Leslie and Davy Provan and they seemed surprised to find winter sunshine on the South Coast.
The early exchanges saw Saints on the front foot and the passing looked crisp and purposeful. On 3m Boufal found Tadić whose cross sought Austin but found Ake. Provan soon remarked that "Boufal looks in the mood" and Saints continued to get forward. On 5m a foul on Romeu allowed JWP to get the ball into the box where Romeu, then Tadić and finally Davis were unable to muster a clean hit and Bournemouth escaped. By 7m Boufal was facing two defenders when he went down the wing and between then they played the ball off the Moroccan for a goal kick.
The home side then enjoyed some possession but Daniel's cross was powerfully headed away by Virgil. At the other end, JWP played in Pied but his cross cannoned off Ake for a corner. Virgil rose to meet JWP's cross but glanced his header just wide of the back post. On 13m Hoedt sent a long ball up to Austin but the #10 had strayed offside.
Bournemouth's next attack was seen off allowing Pied to bring the ball forward and find Charlie wide right. Saints kept possession until Pied got down the right. His left foot cross was headed over by Tadić.
Saints continued seeking an opening but first Tadić failed to control Davis' pass and Boufal's pass ran too far in front of Bertie and out of play.
On 20m Bournemouth's Fraser got down their left but his cross was cleared by Romeu. Bournemouth quickly recovered the ball, setting up Adam Smith to hit a fierce drive goalwards. From almost point-blank range Defoe deflected the ball, but Forster's superb reactions saw him block the effort on the line. The ball was played back into the box but Forster again rescued Saints, diving to hold onto Ake's downwards header. It is great to witness our keeper's long-awaited return to form.
Bournemouth were now dominating possession but only managed a high shot from Cook and a corner Saints coped with. Then on 27m Boufal broke down the left and hit a cross towards Tadić. However, Charlie intercepted it and promptly lost possession to the Serb's annoyance.
At the other end, King carried the ball forward until fouled and Stanislas lined up a shot. This struck the wall and was cleared and when the ball was crossed back in, Virgil again headed it away. Stanislas then won a corner on the right which was taken quickly. As Smith carried the ball into our box Boufal slid in to stop him. Smith went headlong and everyone turned to the referee. Mr Moss thought it was a dive and booked Smith: and subsequently Defoe too for his protests.
On 32m JWP set up Austin but Begovic saved his shot. Tadić collected the rebound but his effort was blocked for a corner. Saints took it short and retained possession for a while without creating another chance.
On 36m another Bournemouth attack ended when Smith shot over. After a couple of minutes Ake fouled Tadic and JWP put the ball into the box but Bournemouth cleared their lines. Down the other end Daniels moved in from his flank and hit a screamer which just went past the far post.
On 41m Saints had broken up another attack but Hoedt suddenly turned into King who whipped the ball away. He rolled it sideways to Surman who fed the overlapping Fraser. The Scot's low strike went through Virgil and past Forster's dive to put the Cherries ahead. 1-0.
Bertie was his usual industrious self, getting up and down the flank and making mischief. On 44m his lovely pass found Boufal whose awful effort sailed high and horrible into the crowd. In the added minute, AFCB held onto the ball and ensured they went into halftime one up.
MP2 replaced JWP with Redmond at half time. He soon got into the action, passing to Boufal who forced a diving save from Begovic. Bertie and Tadić then advanced down the left and Mr Moss ignored a clear foul on our left back. Bastard!
On 50m Hoedt fouled King giving Stanislas another chance to put the ball in our box. Although the initial cross was cleared, back came Bournemouth through King in the inside left channel. His low cross shot went past Forster's far post - with Stanislas sliding in moments too late.
Then Davis carried the ball diagonally to the right, passing to Redmond whose cross was blocked. Shortly afterwards Romeu's foul on Smith gave Stanislas another opportunity but Saints won the ball back and broke away. Boufal got down the left but ended up fouling his marker. At the other end Cook set up Stanislas who forced a save from FF. The ball came to Surman who put his shot into the stand.
On 59m Bertie again got forward and found Tadic. His cross hit the outstretched arm of Francis in the box. You have seen them given: well, not to Saints obviously, but regularly to other sides. Boufal's effort at least earned a corner.
Saints kept their hosts pinned back and a sweet move saw Romeu put the ball wide to Redmond. The winger played an inch-perfect cut back into Charlie's stride and the striker cleanly swept the ball home. 1-1 and game on.
Saints were looking the better side now but their progress was impeded by a series of marginally over-hit passes or offside flags (usually for Austin). On 67m Bertie and Boufal worked a crossi8ng opportunity for Tadić but Begovic came to claim the ball. Saints' next passing move reached Redmond but, with white shirts breaking into the box, the cross avoided everyone – going out for a throw on the other side.
In his final contribution, on 69m, Defoe fouled Romeu. He was immediately replaced by Wilson and Stanislas was withdrawn for Ibe. Bertie's free-kick was headed on by VvD and Austin headed onto the bar: only to see that offside flag again.
Bournemouth rarely threatened and Saints quickly recovered possession. Another Saints attack saw Tadić and Redmond find Boufal, whose shot deflected over the bar. Begovic cleanly caught Redmond's corner.
On 74m Lemina came on for Tadić and Bournemouth suddenly mustered an attack. Daniels found King whose turn and shot had Forster diving. Fortunately, the ball ricocheted off the big keeper, hit Wilson and bounced out for a goal kick. Two minutes after arriving, Lemina saw yellow for lazily dragging back Cook.
Saints still looked the more adventurous side, but Lemina was next to be flagged offside then Bertie set up Redmond whose shot was wide. A rare Bournemouth attack saw Bertie defending well and earning a goal kick off Wilson.
Moments later Bertie was flying down the wing before delivering a super cross for Austin. He should have put Saints ahead but his header flashed just over the bar. Damn and blast! Charlie was then flagged offside twice in a minute.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes AFCB began to work their way back into it. They enjoyed some possession but Saints defended competently. Forster collected the ball and sent Lemina barreling down the right, until tackled by Ake and earning us a throw right by the corner flag.
Saints then replaced Davis with Gabbiadini. Ibe's foul on Boufal enabled Redmond to curl the ball into the box but it was headed away to safety. Bournemouth then swung crosses into our box but first Hoedt, then VvD made sure their heads got to them first. Saints then broke with Austin finding Bertie. His pass to Romeu was struck firmly, but too high to trouble Begovic.
As 3 added minutes was signalled, Davy Provan announced that Sky's MoM was Bertrand. The home side mounted a final push and spent most of injury time camped in and around our box. They won a corner on the right and immediately replaced the short winger Fraser with their big #9 Afobe. Then the corner taker curled his cross out of play for a goal kick!
With seconds left, Bournemouth won another corner. This was a better effort, finding the head of Ake but the former Chelsea man could not keep his effort under the bar: and that was that.
No away point in the Prem should be sniffed at – but, there were moments in the second half that our football was so much better than the Cherries', that one point seems an inadequate reward.
Man of the Match
It would be crass to disagree with Mr Provan – take a bow Ryan Bertrand
15 A Smith - Booked 31'
19 Stanislas (Ibe 69')
16 L Cook
24 Fraser (Afobe 90+2')
18 Defoe - Booked 31' (Wilson 69')
3 S Cook
17 van Dijk
8 Davis (Gabbiadini 85')
16 Ward-Prowse (Redmond 45')
11 Tadić (Lemina 74' - Booked 76')
- Fraser 42'
- Austin 61'
Referee : Jonathan Moss
Attendance : 10,764
- Bournemouth 48%
- Southampton 52%
- Bournemouth 16
- Southampton 15
Shots on Target
- Bournemouth 5
- Southampton 4
- Bournemouth 5
- Southampton 4
- Bournemouth 6
- Southampton 12