Southampton 2-1 Bournemouth: Dusan Tadic scores twice to earn Saints huge win
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 29/04/18 7:33am
A Dusan Tadic double earned Southampton a crucial 2-1 victory over Bournemouth at St Mary's to move them to within a point of Premier League safety.
Southampton took the lead in the 25th minute after a swift counter, with Tadic finishing off the move in style to net his fifth league goal of the season, before Josh King slammed the ball into the roof of the net to level on the stroke of half-time.
However, that equaliser failed to swing the momentum in Bournemouth's favour, and Tadic soon had the hosts back in front, brilliantly firing into the bottom corner with the outside of his boot in the 54th minute.
Southampton were forced to hang on in stoppage time, with Alex McCarthy making some crucial saves in the home goal, but they saw out a vital first win in nine league games to move them to within a point of Swansea in 17th. Bournemouth drop to 12th, six clear of the bottom three.
Southampton: McCarthy (8), Cedric (7), Yoshida (7), Hoedt (8), Bertrand (6), Romeu (6), Lemina (8), Bednarek (6), Tadic (9), Austin (7), Redmond (6).
Subs: Long (6), Ward-Prowse (6), Hojbjerg (N/A)
Bournemouth: Begovic (7), Francis (6), Cook (5) Ake (6), Gosling (6), Daniels (6), Cook (6), Mousset (6), Fraser (7), Wilson (5), King (6).
Subs: Surman (6), Defoe (6), Ibe (6)
Man of the match: Dusan Tadic
After a cagey opening, Saints started to commit more bodies forward, and almost took the lead 14 minutes in, but Nathan Redmond and then Oriol Romeu saw their strikes blocked in the box.
However, the nervous St Mary's masses did not have to wait long for that opener as Tadic struck. Bournemouth had the corner, Saints countered, Mario Lemina's pace took him clear, Saints had two on one, Lemina delayed and delayed, before threading the perfect pass into Tadic, who slotted into the bottom corner.
Lemina then saw a fine effort well saved by Asmir Begovic in the away goal, before McCarthy brilliantly denied Nathan Ake down the other end. One lapse in concentration, however, saw the hosts concede at a crucial moment, as King arrived unchallenged at the back post to fire home.
Mark Hughes made just one change to the Southampton team beaten by Chelsea in last week’s FA Cup semi-final with Nathan Redmond replacing Shane Long in attack. As expected, Sofiane Boufal was not in the squad after falling out with Hughes this week. Just the one change for the visitors, too, with Lys Mousset coming in for Jordon Ibe.
After the break, Saints maintained their attacking impetus and soon retook the lead. Steve Cook tried to bring the ball down on his chest, Tadic nipped in, strode clear of Cook, had options either side, but used the runs as decoys, creating space for him to brilliantly steer the ball into the net with the outside of his boot.
Southampton then missed two glorious chances to put the game to bed through substitute Shane Long and Redmond, before McCarthy stepped up when called upon late in the day.
Firstly, he did superbly to stick out a leg to deny Jermain Defoe, before saving his best for last, clawing out Ryan Fraser's strike - virtually the last kick of the game - to ensure Saints' hopes of preserving their Premier League status were given a huge boost.
- Bournemouth have now failed to win any of their 14 trips to Southampton in all competitions (D5 L9); against no other side have they played more away matches without winning any of them in their history (also 14 v Burnley).
- This was Southampton's first home league win since they beat Everton 4-1 in November. They had failed to win any of their nine such games since then prior to today (D5 L4).
- The Saints have scored 2+ goals in both of their home league games under Mark Hughes, as many times as they managed in their last 14 such matches at St. Mary's under Mauricio Pellegrino.
- The Cherries have now conceded at least 60 goals in all three of their seasons in the Premier League. Only two other sides have conceded 60+ goals in three or more successive seasons in which all were in the Premier League - Southampton (1992-93 to 1994-95) and Wigan Athletic (2009-10 to 2012-13).
- No Southampton player has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Dusan Tadic (seven, level with Charlie Austin).
- Tadic, who scored his first Premier League brace since April 2016 against Aston Villa, became only the third Serbian player to score 20+ Premier League goals, after Savo Milosevic (29) and Branislav Ivanovic (22).
Mark Hughes: "We need to have the teams above us looking over their shoulders, and this result does that for us. We need to pressure the ones above us too. They know we have quality here. Now we just need to keep the momentum from this huge result. If we carrying on playing like we did today, we will go close."
Eddie Howe: "The goals we conceded were big mistakes and we got punished for them. I am disappointed with how we played. It was a game that we could have won if we had played like we can do, but we didn't. We were disappointed with our attacking player in both halves."
Ryan Bertrand will count his lucky stars that his poor miss in the second half did not prove costly. Both he and Redmond actually were rather quiet afternoons down the left flank, with Tadic hogging the limelight on the right. Lewis Cook had one speculative effort for Bournemouth, but otherwise had little effect on the result.
Man of the match - Dusan Tadic
Lemina deserves a mention for his breathless efforts, but Tadic's two expertly-taken goals win him the award. He has gone missing on occasion this season, but against Bournemouth he saved his best football for when it really mattered. As well as his goals, Tadic provided five key passes in the match, three more than anyone else on the pitch.
Southampton face a trip to Merseyside next to take on Everton, while Bournemouth welcome Swansea to the south coast.