Bournemouth proved the better side in the opening 45 minutes and capitalized, while Southampton took charge of the second half and was rewarded, leaving the spoils shared in a tale of two halves at the Vitality Stadium.
Fraser Forster was phenomenal in the first half, keeping out both Jermain Defoe and Nathan Ake with a pair of spectacular saves under a minute apart 20 minutes into the match. First, a venomous volley from Adam Smith made its way in front of net, and Defoe was there to redirect it at point-blank range, but Forster reacted outrageously quick and got his arm there to tip it over the bar.
Moments later, Smith – from almost exactly the same spot – this time sent in a looping cross to the back post where Ake was waiting, and his header seemed destined to be the opener, but Forster again kept it out, falling down to his right and parrying the effort harmlessly to one of his defenders.
Southampton had a moment of its own on the half-hour mark as Charlie Austin headed a cross on net, but it was straight at Asmir Begovic who parried well. Bournemouth finally found the opener just before halftime as Josh King dispossessed Wesley Hoedt in the Saints half, and with the visitors caught napping, Ryan Fraser applied the finish for a deserved lead.
Austin was the most dangerous option for the Saints throughout the match, and he was the man to draw them back level on the hour mark. As Southampton pushed with more attacking intent in the second half, a cross from halftime substitute Nathan Redmond found a completely unmarked Austin at the penalty spot, and he easily dispatched the chance.
Both teams came close to a winner down the stretch, as Josh King was inches from a second before Austin blazed a header just over the bar.
The draw pushes Bournemouth five points above the relegation zone, while Southampton fails to take its chance to move into the top half, instead leaping Brighton into 11th position. Also of note, Adam Smith was contentiously booked for diving in the first half, leaving him suspended for Bournemouth’s next match at Crystal Palace.
France was playing Netherlands with the chance to move atop its World Cup qualifying group and pretty much end Dutch hopes for an automatic spot in Russia.
The match was well in hand when Mbappe made it 4-0 for Didier Deschamps’ men.
You know you’ve got a potentially great player on his hands when he makes a strong professional defender look like an amateur, and that’s what Mbappe did with Southampton’s Wesley Hoedt with his series of hard cuts.
“I always have been 100 percent into football. You [the media] are the one who thought I was thinking of something else. My life is all about football, what I do best, I enjoy it.
“So I am very happy to come back on the pitch and I really looked forward to play before tonight. I am very happy to be part of such a big club. I think it’s the perfect project for me to improve and keep learning to the top level.
“I will be surrounded by great players who have won everything at the national level and for some of them even international level. I have a lot to learn a so much to prove.”
PSG is going to be a lot of fun to watch, though it feels more than a little dirty given the absurd amount of money the club will have spent in acquiring just two players. The fact that the Neymar purchase had the world expecting a possible Financial Fair Play offense, and PSG is being allowed to loan Mbappe from Monaco so it can buy him next summer is coated in slime.
It’s also a bummer to see the Ligue 1 title decided in the summer, but that’s life in 2017, we suppose.
Below we give all 20 PL teams a grade and sum up their summer window.
Manchester United – A
Their business was done early and properly with Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic starting off superbly and Victor Lindelof will settle in. Smart business by Jose Mourinho with his squad now looking like a much stronger unit overall. Didn’t need a new wide player in the end because his team started the season so well.
Manchester City – A- Pep Guardiola did plenty of business early in the window and he addressed his needs superbly with Kyle Walker, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy and Ederson improving their defense. Bernardo Silva is a luxury signing and Alexis Sanchez would have been something similar but City couldn’t get it over the line. Very solid window but one more center back would have given them an A.
Tottenham Hotspur – B+
Spurs had a really strong finish to the window, adding Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorente. That gives them more cover in defense and an extra option off the bench with Llorente happy to back up Harry Kane. Selling on Kyle Walker for over $65 million made sense and Mauricio Pochettino will be happy with his summer window after keeping hold of Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kane and Danny Rose.
West Brom – B+
The Baggies had a really decent window and pulled off a big shock with silky midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak arriving on loan from Paris Saint-Germain. Jay Rodriguez, Kieran Gibbs and Gareth Barry are all solid additions who will start and Tony Pulis managed to keep hold of his skipper Jonny Evans despite interest from Man City and Arsenal.
Leicester City – B+
Decent window for the Foxes as they managed to keep hold of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy and although it seems likely they lost Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea, they added some deadline day deals in Aleksandar Dragovic and potentially Adrien Silva. Early additions of Harry Maguire, Kelchi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra seem to have strengthened the overall squad too.
Liverpool – B Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both key additions in the window and sealing the deal for Naby Keita was a big one for next summer. However, not adding a top-class center back (the Virgil Van Dijk pursuit was doomed from the start) was a big letdown and there is still an issue with the goalkeeping department. Some issues not addressed but Philippe Coutinho seems all but certain to stick around, so that’s a positive.
Huddersfield Town – B David Wagner added more new players than any other team and Huddersfield have looked the part early on. Steve Mounie is a powerful forward with an eye for goal, grabbing Aaron Mooy on a permanent deal was superb business and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl has settled in well. Unlike the other promoted teams Huddersfield did their business early and were rewarded.
Swansea City – B
They held out and got a huge sum of $57.6 million for Gylfi Sigurdsson which they then spent wisely on re-signing Wilfried Bony and adding Renato Sanches on loan in a stunning deal from Bayern Munich. They did lose Fernando Llorente too, but Tammy Abraham seems like a steal on loan and the Swans will be hopeful their young squad can surprise opponents. Decent window all things considered.
Burnley – B
They lost Michael Keane and Andre Gray but did recoup over $60 million for the duo and spent it wisely with Chris Wood, Jack Cork and Jonathan Walters coming in. Plenty of experience added by Sean Dyche and the Clarets will once again be tough to break down. Solid window.
Watford – B Marco Silva added some decent signings from Udinese around deadline day and brought in Andre Gray and Richarlison to strengthen their attack. Nathaniel Chalobah and Will Hughes will add energy in midfield and overall an inventive window, once again, from the Hornets.
Stoke City – B
The Potters did some really good business late in the window which saved them. Jese and Choupo-Moting look lively up top and Kurt Zouma, Kevin Wimmer and Bruno Martins Indi will improve them defensively. Darren Flecther is another solid buy but another striker would have been ideal for Mark Hughes.
Southampton – B-
They kept hold of Virgil van Dijk which was the main aim and added Mario Lemina in midfield and center backs Jan Bednarek and Wesley Hoedt. Saints really could have done with freshening up their attack but it didn’t seem like they were close to key forward additions.
Chelsea – B-
A really weird window for Chelsea who kept seeing players turn them down. From Romleu Lukaku to Oxlade-Chamberlain and Llorente to Ross Barkley, Antonio Conte couldn’t get deals over the line and Chelsea’s squad isn’t looking as strong as it did at the end of last season. Selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United was a bad decision and the situation surrounding Diego Costa’s future was handed poorly. Alvaro Morata will be a star and both Bakayoko and Rudiger are also good additions, but not a great window at all for the Blues.
Bournemouth – C+
Adding experience was the main aim and Bournemouth did that early with Asmir Begovic and Jermain Defoe coming in. Nathan Ake should be a solid buy too but Eddie Howe‘s attack is looking a little lackluster after the opening weeks of the season.
West Ham United – D
It looked like decent business on paper but three of their four buys in the window look like they could be ill-advised. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will score goals for fun but Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart look low on confidence and Marko Arnautovic already has a red card and some poor displays against his name. Not a great window for the Hammers.
Crystal Palace – D-
Yes, they may well add Mamadou Sakho, but apart from that it has been a disastrous start to life in the Premier League for Frank De Boer. With three defeats he needed to add another two defenders and another striker to help ease the load on Christian Benteke. Palace have some big squad issues with a new playing style not suiting many of their players.
Brighton – F
Numbers have arrived but real quality hasn’t for the Seagulls. It is early days but you have to think more firepower was necessary for them to have any chance of staving off relegation. Davy Propper could be a good buy and so too could Jose Izquierdo but apart from that an underwhelming window. If they manage to add Vincent Janssen it would improve their grade, but not by much.
Arsenal – F
My goodness. What happened? From still having Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil around, to losing out on Thomas Lemar on the final day and selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsene Wenger has a nightmare. They added Alexandre Lacazette but did they really need another striker? Yet another window has come and gone without Wenger addressing the glaring problems in central midfield and defense. They way this situation has been handled from the top of the club is shambolic.
Newcastle United – F Rafael Benitez and his owner Mike Ashley have been airing their dirty laundry in the media and Benitez has not got the deals he wanted. Joselu could score some goals but overall it was a really poor window for Newcastle, a team who should be challenging for a top four finish considering their stadium and fanbase. This window suggests they will be battling relegation.