Fortunes can change very quickly, so it’s premature to suggest that Southampton v. Bournemouth is the permanent replacement South Coast Derby, but it’s where we are at the moment. You knew where you were with the Skates, though: a mutual hatred that, let’s face it, reached unhealthy proportions. When Bournemouth people yell ‘scummers,’ it’s hard to believe they really mean it, and I know there are many Saints fans who like to see the Cherries do well, so there wasn’t the same edge to our encounter with the Dorset Boys on All Saints Day, as when we come up against our Hampshire rivals. Saints were unchanged from their visit to Liverpool, but injury meant there was no return to St. Mary’s for Boruc, and that may have been a good thing despite his recent inconsistencies. Saints made sure nervy replacement Federici was well employed and although it took over half an hour to break the deadlock, they always looked likely winners. The opening goal was very good, with Bertrand freed to produce a cross that was rifled in by Davis from close range. A second wasn’t far behind, and was also good value as Pellè headed home Tadić’s cross (and rather oddly celebrated by performing an Italian haka with the coaching staff). Bournemouth had parked the bus in the opening period, but they moved it through the gears after the break thanks to a couple of half time substitutions, while the home side were forced to replace Fonte. It was reminiscent of the changes made by Leicester in the last home league game to great effect, and Saints were fortunate that the Cherries don’t have the same fire power as they again failed to adjust. In fact it all became unnecessarily desperate once Wanyama was dismissed for a second bookable offence, although the team still managed to deny any clear chances. Another heavy defeat would certainly have set the alarm bells ringing for Bournemouth, so they may not be as disappointed as they might have been, while three points was the main mission for Saints, no matter how they had to be gained – they will miss the now suspended Wanyama, though.
LSSC Man of the Match: Ryan Bertrand, mainly for his first half showing – but that was true of all the candidates.