Bournemouth 1-1 Southampton: Charlie Austin rescues point in south-coast clash
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 04/12/17 7:00am
Charlie Austin continued his fine goalscoring form as he salvaged a 1-1 draw for Southampton at south-coast rivals Bournemouth.
The Saints frontman swept home his third goal in two starts on 61 minutes, cancelling out Ryan Fraser's 42nd-minute opener for the Cherries, who felt aggrieved not to win a penalty after Sofiane Boufal's challenge on Adam Smith.
Austin spurned a glorious chance to win the game 10 minutes from time, as too did Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake, but there was to be no winner as both sides had to settle for a point.
Bournemouth: Begovic (7), Smith (7), Francis (6), Ake (7), Daniels (6), L. Cook (6), Surman (6), Stanislas (5), Fraser (7), King (6), Defoe (5).
Subs: Afobe (5), Wilson (5), Ibe (5).
Southampton: Forster (8), Pied (6), Hoedt (6), Van Dijk (7), Bertrand (9), Davis (6), Romeu (6), Ward-Prowse (5), Tadic (6), Boufal (6), Austin (8).
Subs: Lemina (5), Gabbiadini (5), Redmond (6).
Man of the Match: Ryan Bertrand.
Virgil van Dijk nearly capped Southampton's bright start with the opener on 12 minutes, but his header curled agonisingly wide.
Bournemouth awoke from their slumber on 20 minutes as Lewis Cook's fierce drive deflected off Jermain Defoe and drew a stunning point-blank save from Fraser Forster, who was on hand to thwart Ake's header a minute later.
Bournemouth had strong appeals for a penalty turned away on the half-hour mark when Boufal lunged in on Smith, but referee Jon Moss booked Smith for simulation and Defoe for his protests.
In an almost retaliatory move, Charlie Daniels took matters into his own hands, unleashing a fierce drive which came within inches of taking the lead on 39 minutes.
The breakthrough finally came three minutes later as Josh King caught Wesley Hoedt in possession, shipped the ball out to Fraser, and he stroked the ball beyond Forster.
After Boufal spurned a glorious chance to haul Saints level before the break, the visitors took control in the second period and finally equalised as Austin fired substitute Nathan Redmond's low cross home at the near post.
Adam Smith, Lewis Cook, Ryan Fraser, Junior Stanislas and Jermain Defoe returned as Eddie Howe made five changes after Bournemouth’s midweek defeat to Burnley. Jeremy Pied made his first appearance of the season as Mauricio Pellegrino made six changes following Southampton's defeat at Man City.
Southampton overturned a deficit to win at the Vitality Stadium last season but there was to be no winner this time around as Austin and Ake headed presentable chances over the target in the closing stages.
- Bournemouth have recorded just one win in their last 10 league meetings with Southampton (W1 D3 L6), winning 2-0 in this exact fixture in March 2016.
- Only West Brom (6) have dropped more points from winning positions in home games than Bournemouth (5) in the Premier League this term.
- Southampton are now winless in their last five Premier League away games (D2 L3), and have only won once on the road in the competition this term (1-0 at Crystal Palace).
- Saints have only won one of their last 51 games in the Premier League when trailing at half time (3-2 v Liverpool in March 2016), drawing 11 and losing 39.
- Charlie Austin has netted seven goals in his last 10 Premier League starts for Southampton, including three in his last two.
Man of the Match - Ryan Bertrand
The driving force behind Southampton's revival, Bertrand registered game-high figures of six crosses and three chances created. His defensive qualities are well known but it's his strength going in the opposite direction which sets him apart. Had Austin have been more ruthless in front of goal, Bertrand's attack prowess would have yielded a victory.
Eddie Howe: "For me it's a stonewall penalty. As soon as Adam Smith got his toe to the ball before the defender I knew he was in trouble and that Adam was going to go over the leg because he had nowhere to go. I'm amazed it wasn't given. It was disappointing once we'd taken the lead not to win, but we have to acknowledge that Southampton did do very well at times, second half."
Mauricio Pellegrino: "I was encouraged with our good reaction. The attitude in general in the second half was much better and it's good news for us that Charlie continued scoring."
Both sides travel to London in the next round of Premier League fixtures. Bournemouth head to Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Southampton make the trip to Arsenal for Sunday's early kick-off.