Danny Ings and Che Adams scored as Southampton sent their neighbors AFC Bournemouth a step closer to Premier League relegation.
Ralph Hasenhuttl relied on his preferred eleven’s fitness regardless of the three match week. Stuart Armstrong took his place on the right wing and Jack Stephens came back into the side after being rested against Brighton. Jan Bednarek apparently picked up a minor calf injury, so Jannik Vestergaard got his second consecutive start at centre-back. Kyle Walker-Peters returned as the regular right back, this time with Yan Valery fit and on the bench. Shane Long was the chosen partner for Danny Ings, with Che Adams and Michael Obafemi available.
The Saints were on the hunt from the first whistle and nearly got themselves a goal. Danny Ings was a constant threat and Nathan Redmond was ever dangerous when he picked up the ball. However, Bournemouth smartly took Southampton’s press out of the game and played long down the channels for their strikers Joshua King and Callum Wilson to chase. This put a lot of pressure on the Saints’ centre-backs who were forced to concede a plethora of corner kicks. Southampton stood firm to the set-piece tests, with a few good bounces and some quality goalkeeping from Alex McCarthy.
Bournemouth broke tactics just a single time in the first half, but it was all Southampton would need to take the lead. Kyle Walker-Peters picked a pass just before the halfway line and started a quick break. As the ball moved from right to left, Nathan Redmond quickly found Danny Ings and let the Saints’ striker do the rest. Ings cutting onto his right foot had to be something Bournemouth talked about in the video room, but you cannot stop a man with 21 Premier League goals and in the best form of his career.
Southampton had their chances to put the match to bed. James Ward-Prowse allowed Ings to take a penalty, likely to chase the Golden Boot, but he hit Aaron Ramsdale who read the striker all the way. Nathan Redmond had two chances, one all alone, and the Bournemouth keeper again stood to the test. Before scoring Che Adams probably should have hit the back of the net on two occasions, but a lot must be said for his effort and development.
It was tough for Southampton players to put on the performances we are used to considering Bournemouth’s tactics and the Saints busy schedule. Although, a ton of credit is deserved in winning a match where an opponent desperately needed it and Saints had little more than pride to play for. Here are three key players from Southampton in the 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth.