Bournemouth outlast wet, weary Southampton at St. Mary’s
Marcus Tavernier’s worm-burning goal boosted Bournemouth seven points clear of the bottom three and may have signaled the end of Southampton’s time in the Premier League following a 1-0 match at St. Mary’s on Thursday.
Tavernier worked his way into a dangerous area and scuffed a shot through traffic that Alex McCarthy couldn’t reach and Bournemouth breathed a sigh of relief when Che Adams’ late equalizer was turned back for a razor-thin offside.
Bournemouth’s now in 14th place with 36 points, almost as close to the top half as the bottom three, while Southampton remains in 20th place with 24 points. That’s six back of 17th-place Nottingham Forest with only five matches left on Saints’ docket.
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Here’s everything you need to know for Southampton vs Bournemouth.
South Coast power shift
Gary O’Neil has Bournemouth achieving wondrous things after many (one hand raised behind the keyboard) wrote them off following a miserable start to the season.
O’Neil has basically ensured that one South Coast team will be in the Premier League next season. He’s now done it at the expense of longtime PL side Southampton, who may be dropping out of the top flight at the Cherries’ expense.
O’Neil’s message has gotten through to the Cherries, who have won five times in eight games and are the authors of a three-match away winning streak (Leicester, Spurs, Saints). The goal was nothing special -- Saints fans will say it was quite poor -- but it means the world to Bournemouth.
The boss is pushing the right buttons, too, leaving electric Dango Ouattara out of the Starting XI and still getting three points.
This could be it for Saints, winless in eight with just five matches left. Nottingham Forest and Fulham are left as possible wins, but Newcastle, Brighton, and Liverpool are alive for big honors and motivated, too.
This was a huge chance missed from Saints, even if they were a couple of Che Adams’ toes from getting a point. They needed three at home to Bournemouth.
Southampton vs Bournemouth player ratings: Stars of the Show
Bournemouth hosts Leeds at 9am ET Sunday, the same time that Southampton kicks off at Newcastle.
Marcus Tavernier goal video: Bournemouth takes the lead
GOAL: Marcus Tavernier rolls a worm burner through traffic and Alex McCarthy is slow to get low. It’s in. Bournemouth, 1-0, 50'
How to watch Southampton vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2:45pm ET, Thursday (April 27)TV Channel: PeacockOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Saints are scrapping to stay in the Premier League but it looks like being too little too late. They have the worst home record in the PL this season, losing 10 of their 16 games at St Mary’s so far this season. Theo Walcott and Carlos Alcaraz have been their main goal threat in recent weeks, while teenager Romeo Lavia is having a very strong finish to the season in midfield. If Saints can somehow win this game and other results go their way, they will be just one point from safety heading into this weekend. Their season comes down to this home game against Bournemouth and they have received a big boost with top goalscorer Che Adams returning from injury.
Bournemouth know a win in this game will all but seal their Premier League status for another season. They are currently on 33 points and 36 should be enough. For Bournemouth’s fans this is their biggest game of the season. They have lived in Southampton’s shadow for decades and would love to send their local rivals tumbling towards relegation. The duo of Dominic Solanke and Dango Ouattara will cause Southampton plenty of problems on the counter.
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Juan Larios (adductor), Mohammed Salisu (hip), Valentino Livramento (fitness)
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Junior Stanislas (undisclosed), Ryan Fredericks (calf), Jack Stephens (unable to face parent club), Hamed Traore (ankle)