Bournemouth 0-0 Southampton: Mark Hughes left to rue missed chances against below-par Cherries
Report and highlights as south-coast rivals settle for a point apiece
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 20/10/18 6:35pm
Southampton were left to rue a series of missed chances as they held Bournemouth to a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
Mark Hughes will feel his side ought to have wrapped up all three points with Charlie Austin, Stuart Armstrong and Manolo Gabbiadini, in the closing stages, all guilty of misses.
The result checked Bournemouth's fine start to the campaign but, six years to the day since Eddie Howe made his return with the club in the third tier, it is a measure of how far they have come that they will feel disappointed at taking only a point off their south-coast rivals.
Bournemouth: Begovic (7), Francis (7), S. Cook (7), Ake (7), Smith (6), Lerma (6), L. Cook (6), Fraser (6), Brooks (6), King (6), Wilson (6).
Subs: Gosling (6), Ibe (6), Stanislas (6).
Southampton: McCarthy (6), Soares (6), Stephens (7), Hoedt (7), Bertrand (6), Hojbjerg (8), Lemina (6), Redmond (7), Elyounoussi (6), Austin (6), Ings (6).
Subs: Long (6), Armstrong (6), Gabbiadini (6).
Man of the match: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Bournemouth remain sixth in the table while Southampton stay 16th, a point outside the relegation zone.
Southampton went into the game having scored just six Premier League goals this season but it was the hosts who produced a very scratchy performance, taking until the 73rd minute to produce their first attempt on target as Alex McCarthy saved comfortably from Nathan Ake's header.
Howe's men had a good chance inside two minutes as Adam Smith burst forward from left-back to take a return pass from Callum Wilson, but he fluffed his shot from six yards out.
Saints settled thereafter and had the best of the opening period with Austin wasting a great opportunity. The striker, on his return to Hughes' starting line-up, was put through on goal by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but, after shaking off Ake, he ran the ball out of play as he attempted to round Asmir Begovic.
Eddie Howe named an unchanged side following their 4-0 thrashing of Watford at Vicarage Road, with Ryan Fraser overcoming his hamstring concern to start.
Hughes dispensed with the three-man back line with Jan Bednarek coming out of the side which lost 3-0 at home to Chelsea last time around. Maya Yoshida was replaced by Jack Stephens while Charlie Austin replaced Manolo Gabbiadini. Mohamed Elyounoussi came into a 4-4-2 formation.
On the hour mark, Joshua King had a good opening after substitute Junior Stanislas found Wilson with a cute reverse pass, but the Norway international fluffed his effort at the near post to sum up Bournemouth's attacking threat on the day.
Hughes sensed victory was there for the taking, replacing Austin and Danny Ings with Shane Long and Gabbiadini for the final 10 minutes. It was Long's knock-down from Cedric Soares' cross that should have been converted by Armstrong, but the winger produced a complete air-shot with Begovic bearing down on him.
Bournemouth were then very nearly made to pay for their lethargy in the third minute of stoppage time as Gabbiadini headed over from Nathan Redmond's cross with the goal at his mercy.
Eddie Howe: "Maybe an early goal when we were well on top would've helped that but it didn't come. Thankfully today, we kept the clean sheet.
"We knew it was going to be very tough but the expectation for us was of course to win. The next best thing is to not get beat. For us to achieve back-to-back clean sheets is a good platform to go into the next game.
Mark Hughes: "Three of the back four have been with us for the past 12 days, so the international break has really helped us. If results go against you then people start to doubt what you say, but I've been really pleased with what we've produced in the majority of the games.
"Today, everybody at the game saw that we're a very accomplished side. We more than matched Bournemouth, we just needed a little bit more luck to get the ball over the line."
Man of the match - Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
In a game of very few stand-out performers, Hojbjerg produced a cultured performance at the heart of a very organised Southampton team.
Hughes made three changes following a ragged performance against Chelsea, but Hojbjerg looks set to be the one constant in his team this campaign, showcasing both sides to his game in an industrious display.
On three occasions he tested Begovic with cleanly-struck volleys and on the one notable occasion he conceded possession, he was back doing his defensive duties to nullify Stanislas with a perfectly-timed challenge.
- Bournemouth have lost just one of their last nine home Premier League games (W5 D3) and are unbeaten in their last six at the Vitality Stadium (W4 D2).
- Southampton have failed to score in four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October 2004.
- Bournemouth have kept consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since November 2017.
- In all competitions, Southampton have lost just two of their last 15 games against Bournemouth (W8 D5 L2).
- Southampton have won just two of their 10 Premier League away games under Mark Hughes (D3 L5).
- Bournemouth have won 17 points from their nine Premier League games this season (W5 D2 D2), their highest total at this stage of PL campaign.
Bournemouth travel to face Fulham at Craven Cottage next Saturday in the Premier League while Southampton host Newcastle at St Mary's at the same time.