MX23RW : Monday, February 18 09:11:55

Match Analysis: Southampton 2-0 Bournemouth

Sports Mole reviews the action from St Mary's as 10-man Southampton curtail Bournemouth's second-half improvement to clinch a 2-0 win.

Ten-man Southampton endured a backs-to-the-wall second half at St Mary's as Ronald Koeman's side held on to beat Bournemouth 2-0 this evening.

First-half goals from Steven Davis and Graziano Pelle set the Saints up for what seemed destined to be a routine victory against their South Coast neighbours.

However, a second-half resurgence saw the Cherries throw the kitchen sink at Koeman and co, but not even Victor Wanyama's red card 12 minutes from time saw the hosts falter defensively.

Here, Sports Mole analyses how the points were won.

Match statistics

Shots: 11
On target: 2
Possession: 49%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 5

Shots: 16
On target: 2
Possession: 51%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 5

Was the result fair?

Yes. As encouraging as Bournemouth's second-half display was, they did nowhere near enough to test Maarten Stekelenburg and Southampton's defence. It was a game of two halves and, with both sides managing just two shots on target, it is clear that ruthlessness was the difference in the end.

Southampton's performance

During his pre-match press conference, Koeman had suggested that the visit of Bournemouth could prove a trickier evening for his side than Liverpool and Chelsea had done in recent weeks. Within minutes of kickoff, though, it was clear that Southampton were a level above their South Coast neighbours.

It was a dominant first half an hour, and the opener never looked far away. It came on 31 minutes when Pelle released Ryan Bertrand, whose brilliant cross was volleyed home by Davis at the back post. Pelle then easily outmuscled Sylvain Distin to head a second past Adam Federici. The big Italian joined Southampton's New Zealand-born physio in a makeshift Haka to celebrate. It was a good weekend for the World Cup-winning All Blacks, and barring a miracle, the Saints would be picking up a victory of their own.

Surprisingly, it was their defence which came under the spotlight throughout a second half in which the Saints were dominated. Southampton were given a dose of their own medicine, with Koeman's men more or less camped in their own box for much of the second period. Still, even without Wanyama - who fouled Lee Tomlin on 78 minutes to earn a second yellow card - they were comfortable and never really looked like conceding.

Bournemouth's performance

On a weekend where Freddy Krueger claws and Scream masks were the norm, there was no disguising Bournemouth's lack of killer instinct here. Striker Glenn Murray barely touched the ball in an opening 45 minutes in which the visitors were well and truly dominated. It was woeful from Bournemouth and manager Eddie Howe knew it. He replaced Murray and Marc Pugh with Joshua King and Junior Stanislas. It worked.

The Cherries were much better after the break, but for all their possession - which was 74% in their favour at one stage - and momentum, there was no cutting edge, no clear-cut chances and, crucially, no Callum Wilson to pull something out of nothing. Wanyama's dismissal briefly restored some hope, but it never looked like being a watershed moment in a prospective comeback. Harry Arter, on his Premier League debut, came to the fore in the second period but, beyond that, there were few positives for Howe and co.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Graziano Pelle: Another classy performance from the big Italian, whose elegance is seldom seen in a man of his size. His beautiful deft flick-on to Bertrand led to Southampton's opener, before he reminded Bournemouth of his sheer power when he casually brushed Distin out of the way before nodding home the hosts' second.

Biggest gaffe

Due to his Portsmouth roots, the Southampton faithful ensured that Distin endured a torrid time, and the cacophony of abuse appeared to affect the veteran Frenchman. He hardly covered himself in glory for Southampton's first, but it was their second which will surprise Bournemouth boss Howe when his centre-back was far too easily outmuscled by Pelle, who simply nodded home.

Referee performance

Craig Pawson had no choice but to send off Wanyama with 12 minutes remaining, with the already-booked Kenyan bringing down Tomlin. Other than that, Pawson had very little to do other than reject one or two half-hearted penalty appeals in either half.

What's next?

Southampton: The Saints travel to the North-East next Saturday for a trip to Sunderland.

Bournemouth: Howe and co welcome Newcastle United to Dean Court next Saturday.

Share this article now:
Harry Arter of Bournemouth in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and AFC Bournemouth at Cardiff City Stadium on March 17, 2015
Read Next:
Jamie Carragher hails Harry Arter return

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account