South coast stalemate at Bournemouth

By SFC Media time Sat 20 Oct Bournemouth v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Danny Ings
Sat 20 Oct 3PM
Premier League
Bournemouth
0
Southampton
0
Wilson (86')
yellow card
Bertrand (34') Lemina (41')
Referee: Lee Probert | Venue: Vitality Stadium | Attendance: 10,986

Southampton halted the momentum of free-scoring Bournemouth in an evenly-contested goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium.

The hosts missed presentable chances early in each half, with Adam Smith and Joshua King both unable to sort their feet out when found by Callum Wilson in the box.

Saints’ biggest threat came courtesy of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s long-range shooting, before substitute Manolo Gabbiadini headed over from close range in stoppage time as a golden chance to win the game went begging.

Mark Hughes made three alterations and reverted to a back four, as Jack Stephens partnered Wesley Hoedt at the heart of the defence.

In front of them, Mohamed Elyounoussi started on the left wing, fresh from scoring for Norway in midweek, while Charlie Austin partnered Danny Ings up front.

Jan Bednarek, Maya Yoshida and Gabbiadini dropped out of the side following the 3-0 home defeat to Chelsea before the international break.

Bournemouth, boasting seven wins out of ten in all competitions, 22 goals scored and an unbeaten home record, were right to start in confident mood.

Left-back Smith drove infield and deep into Saints territory, finding Wilson in the box, whose reverse pass picked out Smith eight yards from goal, but the defender could not sort his feet out and the chance went begging.

Saints responded with a long-range free-kick from Nathan Redmond that just dipped too late, before his corner found its way to Højbjerg, whose vicious shot had the sting taken out of it by a deflection.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Southampton during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton FC at Vitality Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Højbjerg worried Begovic with a couple of explosive shots from distance

Back came Bournemouth, who seem to revel when it’s frantic. Wilson barged Ryan Bertrand off the ball and set up in-form winger David Brooks, whose radar was off as he searched for his third goal in as many games.

Austin then required lengthy treatment following a clash of heads with Nathan Ake, causing a first lull in the action.

Austin and Ake would go head to head again ten minutes before the break, in a less literal sense, as the striker latched on to Højbjerg’s clever ball over the top and ran beyond the Dutchman, who chased back in vain.

Out came goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, but as the striker skipped past him his touch was heavy, and the chance was gone.

Saints had proved more than a match for their hosts, who were sixth at the start of play, and there was little in the game as half time approached.

Højbjerg tried his luck with another clean strike, pure as you like on to a dropping ball, but Begovic did not need to move as he patted it down and gathered.

Just as they did in the first half, the Cherries began the second with a chance on goal. 

After some neat footwork in midfield, Jefferson Lerma fizzed in a cross attacked by King, whose glancing touch was too slight to creep inside the far post. 

But Bournemouth failed to build on the opening, and Saints continued to look at home against opponents who had won only one of six previous Premier League meetings between the sides. 

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: fans of Southampton during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton FC at Vitality Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints were backed by a noisy travelling contingent in the sold-out away end

Ings stretched the hosts as he made a run into the left channel, checked back and tested Begovic’s handling with a shot that awkwardly bounced up in front of the Bosnian.

Then Redmond’s perfectly-weighted pass released Cédric, who attempted to slide the ball across the six-yard box when both Ings and Austin were awaiting a cutback instead.

For once, the visitors did look exposed when Wilson escaped in behind the defence and picked out King, but again the Bournemouth man could not adjust his body and – like Smith early on – failed to hit the target from a position of promise.

Hughes made his first change midway through the second half, as Mario Lemina, who had been in the wars all afternoon, was replaced by Stuart Armstrong.

Meanwhile, Højbjerg’s mission to score from distance, just as he did at Brighton’s expense a month ago, resumed when he controlled a Bournemouth clearance on his chest and hit a dipping volley that forced Begovic to retreat and push the ball over his crossbar. 

With the final ten minutes approaching, Hughes swapped both forwards, as Gabbiadini and Shane Long took over striking duty from Ings and Austin.

Long played a key role in what might have been the winner, as he nodded down a deep cross from Cédric into the path of fellow substitute Armstrong, but Begovic was quick to pounce before the Scot could get his shot away.

With five added minutes signalled, there was still time for Gabbiadini to make himself a hero from Redmond's cross, but the Italian could not keep his header down from six yards and Saints were left ruing an opportunity missed to end Bournemouth's unbeaten home run.

Bournemouth

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    57
    comparison angle
    43
  • Shots
    9
    comparison angle
    8
  • Shots on target
    2
    comparison angle
    4
  • Corners
    6
    comparison angle
    4
  • Passes Complete
    350
    comparison angle
    250

Bournemouth

27
Asmir Begovic (GK)
2
Simon Francis (C)
3
Steve Cook
15
Adam Smith
5
Nathan Aké
8
Jefferson Lerma
16
Lewis Cook
20
David Brooks
replace Junior Stanislas (59′)
24
Ryan Fraser
replace Jordon Ibe (77′)
17
Joshua King
replace Dan Gosling (85′)
13
Callum Wilson yellow card
6
Andrew Surman
10
Jordon Ibe
21
Diego Rico
18
Jermain Defoe
4
Dan Gosling
19
Junior Stanislas
1
Artur Boruc

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
21
Ryan Bertrand (C) yellow card
6
Wesley Hoedt
5
Jack Stephens
2
Cédric Soares
11
Mohamed Elyounoussi
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
22
Nathan Redmond
18
Mario Lemina yellow card
replace Stuart Armstrong (66′)
10
Charlie Austin
replace Shane Long (78′)
9
Danny Ings
replace Manolo Gabbiadini (79′)
7
Shane Long
4
Jannik Vestergaard
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
17
Stuart Armstrong
16
James Ward-Prowse
3
Maya Yoshida
28
Angus Gunn
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