Southampton 2-0 Bournemouth: Saints smother Cherries for comprehensive win
- Southampton went 2-0 up by the 36th minute
- Saints held 70% possession in 1st half
- Cherries just one point above relegation zone
Bournemouth was no match for Southampton as the home side lept to seventh in the Premier League table with a 2-0 derby win at St. Mary’s.
The matchup between clubs just 30 miles apart had local flavor despite little history, but that was all to savor in the game for the visitors as Steven Davis and Graziano Pelle scored to send Southampton through with all three points.
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Southampton charged forward for most of the opening 20 minutes, totally on top of the game. They went close on multiple occasions, with Saido Mane hitting a bouncing shot that skipped agonizingly over the top.
The reward would come just a tick past the half-hour mark as Steven Davis pocketed the finish of a fantastic team goal that saw Pelle and Ryan Bertrand get key touches.
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Saints picked up its second on a classic striker’s headed goal in the 36th minute as Dusan Tadic clipped a fantastic cross from the by-line in front of goal, and Pelle rose high over the back of Sylvain Distin to crash the ball home from close range. The goal is the Italian’s sixth of the season, and his first in a month. Pelle went over to Southampton’s New Zealand masseur Graeme Staddon and celebrated with him All Blacks style.
The game was essentially over following Pelle’s goal, as Southampton had held 70% possession through the first half. Bournemouth looked to turn that around with a pair of halftime substitutions, and while the Cherries became the aggressor throught the second half, they had little to offer Maarten Stekelenburg’s goal as Southampton tightened up and proved hard to unlock.
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Things got a bit interesting when Victor Wanyama received his second yellow card in the 78th minute, and that gave Bournemouth a small window back, but the Saints held firm despite the disadvantage.
Southampton’s win pushes them up to seventh place, level with Tottenham and Liverpool on 17 points. Bournemouth, meanwhile, remain just a point away from the drop, with things looking ever more likely that they will be in for a long, difficult fight this season.