Bournemouth AFC Away Drew 1 – 1
Looking at upcoming fixtures, the Southampton line up at Manchester City is unlikely to be a one-off, but we were back to a more recognisable formation (including Pied for the injured Soares, and Lemina only fit enough for the bench) at the place most of us still like to refer to as Dean Court. Saints were in control of the opening half until Forster made an amazing reaction save to deny Defoe, followed by another sharp stop from the resulting corner. From then until half time, Bournemouth were in the ascendancy and will still feel that they should have had a penalty in an incident that neither Boufal nor Smith handled very well: the Saints man jumped into an unnecessary tackle that gave Smith a target to fall over, but instead he chose a swan dive that persuaded referee Moss to give a free kick for ‘simulation.’ It probably made no difference to the end result as the Cherries got their first half goal after a mistake that was an accident waiting to happen: not for the first time, or even the second, Hoedt took a liberty on the ball, but this time stumbled, allowing King to gain possession, and the ball was worked to Fraser who scored. Redmond, fresh from his ad hoc coaching from Pep at Eastlands, came on to make a difference after the break, with Saints now causing all kinds of problems for the home team. A 61st minute equaliser swept in by Austin was long overdue and thanks to Romeu robbing Cook and giving Redmond the chance to cross. Bournemouth were in danger of being overrun but manager Howe made a positive double substitution that gave them more width and brought them back into an ultimately even game. Saints also looked for the win by bringing on Gabbiadini, although less successfully as it’s hard to recall a touch from him, and after Austin headed over, we probably settled for the point – duly gained despite a couple of added time corners that brought back memories of the last kick disappointment in Manchester.
LSSC Man of the Match: Oriel Romeu. His part in the goal edged him ahead of other worthy contenders in Forster and Van Dijk.