Bournemouth 1-1 Southampton: Three key players

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Charlie Austin of Southampton reacts during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton at Vitality Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Charlie Austin of Southampton reacts during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton at Vitality Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) /
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BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 03: Ryan Bertrand of Southampton runs with the ball during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton at Vitality Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 03: Ryan Bertrand of Southampton runs with the ball during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton at Vitality Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) /

Ryan Bertrand

Most fans would probably agree, we saw a vintage Bertie performance this weekend.

It could have been the absence of Cedric Soares meant the team would attack more from the left side. However, the up-for-grabs, starting left full-back spot in the three lions squad may also be a motivating factor.

A partnership with Sofiane Boufal is quickly forming, but you can still see some work needing to be done to get on the same page. Although, the long term prospect of the dynamic duo is enticing.

Bertrand was again eager to overlap and provide crosses with Austin lurking in box.  A near carbon copy of a goal against Everton was just headed over the bar in the second half.  However, the full-back uncharacteristically missed his best chance to nab an assist with Austin all alone at the back post.

The secret? Bertrand appears to be having fun again. A key to any footballer’s success.

His defensive qualities are equally consistent from a year ago, but now he is adding the attacking threat from the left side. A role that is vitally important to Southampton’s standard 4-2-3-1 approach.