English Premiership

Saints keep Premier League hopes alive

Dusan Tadic (Supplied)
Dusan Tadic (Supplied)

Cape Town - Premier League strugglers Southampton claimed a massive three points on Saturday with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St Mary's.

The hosts made the stronger start and probably should have had the lead as early as the 14th minute when Nathan Redmond and Oriol Romeu had shots on goal blocked in quick succession.

Thankfully for the home fans, they did not need to wait long for an opening goal. Mario Lemina launched a clinical counter from a Bournemouth corner, laying a perfect pass to Dusan Tadic, who deftly snuck the ball into the bottom corner in the 25th minute.

Lemina then almost added a goal of his own, but was denied by a stunning save from Asmir Begovic as the Saints looked to secure their lead.

The Cherries appeared to wake up in the final five minutes of the first half, with Nathan Ake testing Alex McCarthy, before they found their equaliser in stoppage time. A kind bounce off the back of Simon Francis fell for an unmarked Joshua King at the far post and he had a simple tap-in to make it 1-1.

The goal knocked the Saints off their game and they began to drop very deep to defend, which only gave the visitors more space to attack into. Fortunately, a moment of awful defending gave them what they needed.

Steve Cook made a hash of trying to control the ball with his chest and Tadic pounced on the mistake, robbing the ball and darting into the heart of the Cherries defensive line before blasting the ball past Begovic to restore his team's lead.

Begovic had to be at his acrobatic best to keep the deficit to just one goal, denying both Shane Long and Ryan Bertrand in quick succession.

The match got very heated late on, with tempers flaring on both sides and Southampton earning themselves four yellow cards in the space of five minutes as they desperately clung on to their lead.

In the end, it paid off and the three points takes them up to 18th place in the Premier League, just one point behind Swansea City and an exit from the relegation zone.

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Fri 27 Nov 20 22:00 PM (SAST)
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