Southampton decidedly defeated Bournemouth 3-0 to reach an FA Cup Semi-Final led by a Nathan Redmond brace.
Ralph Hasenhuttl opted for seniority over form in deciding his starting eleven. Nathan Redmond selected over Nathan Tella was the big surprise, specifically following Redmond’s weak performance against Brighton. Fraser Forster remained the competition’s goalkeeper, but few will worry about this position battle while Moussa Djenepo was given another opportunity with Takumi Minamino Cup-tied to his parent club. It is hard to fault the manager for trusting experience here, but he is testing the reserve of fans who were expecting Mohammed Salisu and a fresh youngster to punch a ticket to the semi-final.
Nathan Redmond’s impact will be the talk of the town. His first half did not start well by any means, but an assist to Moussa Djenepo and a top-class finish before the half erased any memory of early mistakes. Redmond’s goal was quite an unbelievable individual effort, perhaps spurned by a lack of support. He was forced to go at it himself and that may have been the confidence boost he needed. The finish on Redmond’s second was top quality, as the rebound off the post took plenty of control to dispatch in the far corner.
Not one, but two disallowed VAR goals continues to trend toward Southampton. Kyle Walker-Peters was deemed offside by an arm and Che Adams’ finish was negated by Stuart Armstrong’s run behind the Bournemouth line. VAR is always worth a note, but with the balance of reversals going against the Saints, one has to imagine they will begin to swing in the club’s favour.
Beating Bournemouth 3-0 while scoring 5 times still might not be enough to explain Southampton’s dominance. The Cherries did play midweek, albeit getting a win over Swansea, there was likely fresher legs in the Saints’ dugout, and surely more quality. Getting a routine win in an FA Cup quarterfinal is some accomplishment regardless and maybe, just maybe, there is a trophy in Southampton’s future.
Here are the Saints’ player ratings in their all-around best performance in over two months.