Southampton woke up from their Premier League slumber to enter the FA Cup semi-finals thanks to a sweeping victory over their south coast neighbors Bournemouth. Ralph Hasenhüttl re-appointed his strongest team available and they outscored their Championship opponent from start to finish, with the unflappable Nathan Redmond on the double after Moussa Djenepo capped off a deft move to open the scoring with a graceful finish.
The last meeting between these teams came in July, when Southampton extinguished Bournemouth’s feeble hopes of eluding relegation. The scene in Kings Park was almost identical before the start: dog walkers and locals unaware of the nature of the occasion that took place behind closed doors traversed the surrounding tributaries, but this time the ramifications of another resounding defeat would never be terminal. , with an instant return to the top flight the priority for Bournemouth.
Southampton thought they were ahead of 10 minutes when Cameron Carter-Vickers inadvertently turned a mocking cross from Kyle Walker-Peters to their goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, only for video assistant referee David Coote to intervene. and annul the goal for offside. . Bournemouth came off the hook on the best of margins, but were then easily beaten before the break. Walker-Peters’ pass to Redmond was the catalyst for an incisive attack to which Djenepo applied a soft shot, caressing a shot with his right foot from the far corner. Redmond loaded the ball into the infield, luring Carter-Vickers and Jack Wilshere into gaps, and then slipped a wonderful pass behind winger Jack Stacey, who slipped as the ball rolled toward Djenepo.
Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster kicked Arnaut Danjuma’s shot to safety and Dominic Solanke showed a couple of deft touches, but Bournemouth’s resistance was tame. On the brink of halftime, the visitors doubled their lead, with Redmond attacking after Bournemouth’s defense was seeded with more seductive moves. The resourceful Stuart Armstrong deftly positioned Ryan Bertrand’s chest in Redmond’s path and this time the striker moved left to right, heading toward goal. Redmond played Steve Cook while he was slow to pull the trigger, much to the anguish of the Bournemouth captain who was stumbling and on all fours when the ball flew.
Southampton had another goal scored in chalk when Che Adams’s crisp shot from outside the box was also ruled offside, but was soon out of sight as Redmond reacted faster to Armstrong’s delicious shot off a post. Armstrong took aim after James Ward-Prowse pounced on a loose pass from Stacey, who sought to locate Wilshere. The ball bounced off the wood and Redmond swallowed the rebound, placing his shot in the far corner.
Southampton had the luxury of withdrawing their two centrals, Jannik Vestergaard and Jan Bednarek, who had been booked, with 13 minutes to go as Bournemouth sought to stop the bleeding. Redmond was close to completing his hat-trick and the brilliant Armstrong deserved to be on the roster, but the damage was done.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism