Southampton 3-3 Bournemouth: Saints confirm Premier League safety in entertaining draw

Southampton’s Premier League status was confirmed for another season after a entertaining 3-3 draw against Bournemouth.

Their point and Cardiff’s 1-0 loss to Fulham saw them mathematically secure their place in the top-flight for 2019/20.

Shane Long – fresh from netting the Premier League’s fastest ever goal on Tuesday – opened the scoring with his fourth goal in five games, but Bournemouth turned the match on its head with two strikes from Dan Gosling and Callum Wilson.

Saints regained control in the second-half and went back ahead as James Ward-Prowse and Matt Targett found the net, but Wilson would grab his second of the afternoon to make it a point apiece.

A fantastic start to game resulted in heavy Saints pressure early on.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – APRIL 27: Shane Long of Southampton celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and AFC Bournemouth at St Mary’s Stadium on April 27, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Nathan Redmond was twice denied by Artur Boruc, but then set up Shane Long to place his side into the lead with the help of a deflection.

However, Bournemouth gained some control and equalised as Dan Gosling finished a rapid counter attack against the run of play.

A tactical switch from Eddie Howe then saw his side on top for the rest of the first-half and they went ahead after half an hour.

David Brooks’ shot flew through a crowd and forced a superb reaction save from Angus Gunn, but Callum Wilson was on hand to turn home the rebound.

After starting the afternoon using a 4-2-2-2 system, Ralph Hasenhuttl switched back to a more familiar 5-3-2 and that helped Saints to regain significant control in the contest.

Their pressure eventually told nine minutes into the second period when James Ward-Prowse held off a challenge to drive a low left-footed strike into the corner from just outside the area.

And then after Danny Ings had missed a decent chance to lob over Boruc, Saints took the lead once more with a goal made in the club’s academy.

Ings worked fantastically to get the ball back and passed to Ward-Prowse, who then found Valery down the right. The young Frenchman took on his marker and delivered the perfect cross for substitute Matt Targett to nod in at the back post.

It looked as though they would hold on for another good three points, but they contributed to their own downfall as the visitors equalised again.

Stuart Armstrong was guilty of surrendering possession in midfield, and it was Callum Wilson who netted his second of the afternoon after a good ball across goal by Ryan Fraser.

A delay in the game between Fulham and Cardiff at Craven Cottage saw the Saints players and staff made to wait for a short time after the game, but confirmation that Cardiff had lost saw them able to celebrate safety with their fans out on the pitch.