Southampton beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium as Ralph Hasenhuttl grabbed a huge win to boost his hopes of staying in charge.
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Che Adams’ first half header was enough for Saints to secure all three points as they also secured their first shutout of the season.
Caretaker boss Gary O’Neil tasted defeat for the first time as Bournemouth boss but the Cherries almost snatched a point late on as they lost for the first time in seven Premier League outings.
With the win Southampton move on to 11 points for the season, two points behind Bournemouth.
What we learned from Bournemouth vs Southampton
Saints finally have a settled lineup: Ralph Hasenhuttl has been under pressure after an awful finish to last season and a slow start to this one and he’s gone back to basics and now has a settled starting lineup. He has given chances to all of the youngsters Saints signed this summer but the only one who started against Bournemouth was goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu. There is more experience in this Saints lineup and that was needed after this week when they dropped into the bottom three for the first time since September 2020. They finally seem to have a preferred XI and that led to a more resolute defensive display. It wasn’t pretty but that was a huge win for Hasenhuttl.
Bournemouth will cause plenty of problems: They looked a little leggy after their battling draw at Fulham at the weekend but the Cherries have a clear identity under caretaker boss Gary O’Neil and they caused problems with their pressing and directness. With Solanke a handful up top, they are well-organized and will scrap everything. Bournemouth have become a horrible team to play against and perhaps their switch to a 3-5-2 system impacted them more than O’Neil thought it would.
Saints started with their trademark 4-2-2-2 system and they looked much more comfortable, especially defensively, with Maitland-Niles and Ward-Prowse sat in front of the back four. Adams and Armstrong linked up well and they put Bournemouth’s defense under a lot of pressure. Bournemouth went with a back three which was unexpected and some of their defenders seemed to be leaving it to one another and were confused positionally.
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Stars of the show
Che Adams: Brilliant header and held the ball up really well. A real nuisance and Bournemouth couldn’t handle him. What a center forward display.
Mohammed Salisu: Excellent positioning defensively and the Ghanian center back stood tall without his usual partner Armel Bella-Kotchap. His new partner, Duje Caleta-Car, also looked very calm at center back.
Bournemouth head to West Ham on Monday, Oct. 24, while Saints host Arsenal on Sunday, Oct. 23.
How to watch Bournemouth vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2:30pm ET, Wednesday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
After their hammering at Liverpool, the Cherries are unbeaten and have shocked even their own supporters. A team tipped for immediate relegation back to the Championship is playing with confidence and belief and what Gary O’Neil has been able to do is pretty incredible. In January they should have plenty of extra funds from their new owners to spend on new players too. Southampton’s form has been woeful for a long time now. Their new owners, who arrived in January 2022, look likely to make a change in manager unless Hasenhuttl turns things around significantly over the next few weeks.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Dominic Solanke has been sensational up top for Bournemouth, while Philip Billing has supported him superbly in a more attacking role. Goalkeeper Neto has also been excellent, with fellow summer signing Marcos Senesi also looking very good at center back. Southampton’s Che Adams continues to battle away but hasn’t scored in his last seven in the PL. Most of Southampton’s team is out of form.
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup
David Brooks and Lloyd Kelly are still working their way back from injury, while Ben Pearson is on the bench. Bournemouth have kept the same starting lineup together from the draw at Fulham as they’ve been gelling so well.
📝 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 📝
We're unchanged for #BOUSOU 💪 pic.twitter.com/7S8DUAARJ8
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) October 19, 2022
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup
Tino Livramento is still working his way back to full fitness, while key central midfielder Romeo Lavia is getting closer to a return too. Armel Bella-Kotchap injured his shoulder against West Ham and had to come off, so Duje Caleta-Car comes in at center back in Saints’ only change.
🌊 Your #SaintsFC starting XI: pic.twitter.com/YKE66XO2Gu
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 19, 2022