- Nathan Ake scored his 3rd of the year
- Ryan Bertrand leveled it up 8 minutes later
- Jay Rodriguez hit the winner 3 minutes after halftime
Jay Rodriguez scored his first brace March of 2014 – the game before tearing his ACL – as Southampton took down nearby Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium.
The home side struck right out of the gates, just six minutes in. A beautiful ball came in as Jack Wilshere sat uncontested outside the box, and Nathan Ake bagged his third goal of the season with a diving header, boxing out Pierre Hojbjerg and creating enough space to complete the chance.
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Bournemouth maintained pressure following the goal and worked themselves another chance. Fraser Forster was forced into action as a shot from Josh King was kept out by Forster’s knee. It would prove vital, as the Saints would fire back against the run of play to level things up.
Ryan Bertrand, out of relatively nothing, struck one past Artur Boruc in off the far post and drew the game even 14 minutes gone by.
With Southampton level, they pressed forward with better cutting edge. They had a golden opportunity just before the half-hour mark as Bertrand had acres of space down the right flank and he laid it on a plate for Nathan Redmond but the 22-year-old completely whiffed and the ball skittered harmlessly across the box.
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The rest of the half had little to it, although the middle third was hotly contested. But just like the first half opened with a blistering start, the second half did as well. The visitors played a lovely attacking move to put themselves in front.
An outstanding backheel by Sofiane Boufal threaded in a streaking Steven Davis, who came on at halftime for young Harrison Reed. At full speed, Davis clipped the ball over a charging Boruc, and Jay Rodriguez was there to make sure it found the mark right on the line.
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Redmond had another opportunity to atone for his first-half miss in the 53rd minute but he was beaten to a big chance by Ake who cleared. Southampton nearly gave it back as Maya Yoshida chopped down Mark Pugh in the penalty area, but referee Mark Clattenburg judged that aslight push from Josh King on Yoshida had caused the incident, giving Saints the ball.
Eddie Howe looked to ring the changes and give the home side a chance to come back, but Ryan Fraser and Benik Afobe had little effect on the game. Claude Puel, meanwhile, brought on Dusan Tadic who brought fresh legs to the Southampton side and saw them maintain control.
As the game hit the final 15 minutes, Bournemouth began to grab control, but still could not break down the Saints. Down the other end, Rodriguez would put the feather in the cap. With five minutes left, Redmond split three defenders and worked very hard to get the ball at the top of the box, and Rodriguez cleaned up the mess by volleying a stunner into the top corner to put the game away.