- Forster comes up big in 1st half
- Each team dominated a half
- Redmond brought on at HT, assists equalizer
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.