Saints fall to Bournemouth defeat

By SFC Media Fri 20 Sep Saints v Bournemouth
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse
Fri 20 Sep 8PM
Premier League
Southampton
1
Bournemouth
3
Ward-Prowse [53']
Aké [10'] Wilson [35'] Wilson [90+5']
Romeu (80')
Lerma (20') Wilson (54') Stacey (64')
Referee: Chris Kavanagh | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 30,168

Southampton were beaten at home by south coast neighbours AFC Bournemouth for the first time in their history despite a dominant second-half display at St Mary’s.

Ultimately Saints left themselves too much to do after a first half completely out of character from recent performances, as the Cherries went in at the break 2-0 up after goals from Nathan Aké and Harry Wilson.

It would have been three if not for the input of VAR, which chalked off Joshua King’s 25th minute strike that was sandwiched between the goals.

James Ward-Prowse’s emphatic penalty eight minutes into the second period sparked a prolonged rearguard action for the visitors, who rode their luck before Callum Wilson profited from a defensive mix-up to complete the job deep into stoppage time.

Ralph Hasenhüttl made two changes to his team who were victorious at Sheffield United last time out – winning with a clean sheet for the third away game in succession.

Nathan Redmond and Kevin Danso were welcomed back from injury and suspension respectively, as Maya Yoshida and Moussa Djenepo dropped out, with the latter nursing a muscular problem.

There was nothing wrong with the way Saints started the game. Sofiane Boufal’s trickery down by the corner flag freed Cédric to cross for James Ward-Prowse, who was in the right place but could not get the necessary purchase on his shot to hit the target.

But it was the visitors who made the breakthrough ten minutes in, just as Manchester United had done at the same time when Saints were last on home soil.

This time a set-piece proved the hosts’ undoing, as Diego Rico’s corner was met by a thumping downward header from Aké, who climbed above Danso to open the scoring.

Cédric started at left-back before a half-time switch to the right

Hasenhüttl would have been frustrated with the way his team reacted to the setback, as Saints struggled to find their rhythm.

Things seemed to have got worse when Dominic Solanke slid the ball through for Joshua King, who opened up his body to neatly curl the ball past Angus Gunn, as the Cherries looked on course for a first ever away win over Saints – not just at St Mary’s.

Fortunately, the technology was on their side as King was clearly just offside, and the goal was ruled out by VAR.

As is often the case, the team receiving the good news upped their game, as the home fans played their part in encouraging an improvement from Saints.

Redmond and Boufal threatened with their ability to carry the ball, but still things were not quite clicking in the final third, and shots too often blocked or scuffed from optimistic angles.

In truth Saints could have few complaints when Bournemouth did double their lead ten minutes after the disallowed goal, as Philip Billing’s cutback was steered in by Wilson.

It was from a similar move that the lead was nearly halved a matter of seconds later.

This time it was Redmond getting to the byeline and cutting the ball back for Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, but goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was out so quickly there was no way past, and the shot was smothered at close quarters.

Ramsdale was tested again shortly before the interval from Saints’ best moment of the half. Redmond, receiving possession from Oriol Romeu 30 yards from goal, shifted the ball on to his right foot and let fly with a sizzling drive that would have stung the palms of the young shot-stopper.

Sofiane Boufal caused problems with his dribbling and trickery

Hasenhüttl wasted no time in shuffling his pack, introducing Ryan Bertrand for his 200th Premier League appearance in place of Danso on his third, shifting Cédric from left-back to right-back so the England international could offer natural width down his favoured left flank.

Cue instant improvement. Boufal traded passes with Ché Adams and spread the play to Cédric, whose first-time cross was steered just over by Ward-Prowse, perfectly timing his arrival into the box for the second time in the game.

Saints had their tails up and St Mary’s was soon on its feet when Højbjerg released Adams, whose heavy touch invited Steve Cook to try and win the ball, but the striker was too quick and poked it past the defender before the pair collided and Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Ward-Prowse to dispatch the penalty with minimum fuss, emphatically beating Ramsdale to score his first goal of the season.

Suddenly Saints were full of it. Redmond fired over from the edge of the box, before hounding Bournemouth out of possession to create another opening, as Bertrand’s header back across goal was pounced upon by Ramsdale.

Then Adams’s backheel set up Ward-Prowse, but again the midfielder’s radar was off from open play, as his firm side-footed effort rose agonisingly over the bar from 20 yards.

James Ward-Prowse made no mistake from the penalty spot

This was unrecognisable from the first 45 minutes, which was far more the exception than the norm under Hasenhüttl, who was finally getting the reaction he craved.

Next to provide an “oooh” moment was Boufal, squaring up Billing, buying himself half a yard and cracking a left-footed shot parried to safety by Ramsdale, before the Moroccan’s dancing feet made space for Ward-Prowse to skew another chance wide.

As the action entered its last 20 minutes, Cédric’s deep cross found its way through to Redmond, whose drilled effort was surely goalbound until Jack Stacey intervened with a vital block.

By now the game was being played almost exclusively in the Bournemouth half. Hasenhüttl introduced Danny Ings for Adams, whose search for a Premier League goal continues.

The substitute’s first impact was to turn in the area and intelligently find Ward-Prowse, who did not connect cleanly but still had Ramsdale panicking when his shot deflected off Billing and caused a scramble in the six-yard box.

With four added minutes signalled, Saints kept pushing as Boufal tested Ramsdale from distance, before a breakdown in communication between Gunn and Jannik Vestergaard left Wilson the easiest of tasks to make a little piece of history for the visitors.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Bournemouth
  • Possession (%)
    65
    35
  • Shots
    25
    6
  • Shots on target
    6
    3
  • Corners
    4
    5
  • Passes Complete
    429
    178

Southampton

28
Angus Gunn (GK)
4
Jannik Vestergaard
38
Kevin Danso
Ryan Bertrand (45′)
2
Cédric Soares
35
Jan Bednarek
14
Oriol Romeu
19
Sofiane Boufal
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
16
James Ward-Prowse
22
Nathan Redmond
Stuart Armstrong (88′)
10
Che Adams
Danny Ings (77′)
3
Maya Yoshida
17
Stuart Armstrong
9
Danny Ings
1
Alex McCarthy
21
Ryan Bertrand
5
Jack Stephens
7
Shane Long

Bournemouth

12
Aaron Ramsdale (GK)
17
Jack Stacey
3
Steve Cook (C)
21
Diego Rico
5
Nathan Aké
29
Philip Billing
8
Jefferson Lerma
22
Harry Wilson
Ryan Fraser (63′)
7
Joshua King
Andrew Surman (93′)
9
Dominic Solanke
Lewis Cook (77′)
13
Callum Wilson
1
Artur Boruc
10
Jordon Ibe
24
Ryan Fraser
33
Chris Mepham
25
Jack Simpson
16
Lewis Cook
6
Andrew Surman
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