Southampton's Nathan Redmond outclasses Bournemouth in FA Cup

Figcaption Southamptons Nathan Redmond Outclasses Bournemouth In FA Cup
Posted at: Author: Rain TV UK

Southampton awoke from their Premier League slumber to breeze into the FA Cup semi-finals courtesy of a comprehensive victory over their south-coast neighbours, Bournemouth. Ralph Hasenhüttl again named his strongest available team and they outclassed their Championship opponents from start to finish, with the nerveless Nathan Redmond at the double after Moussa Djenepo capped a slick move to open the scoring.

How Southampton relished this trip, a welcome distraction from their league travails following a run of 10 defeats in 12 matches that ensures there is work to do to secure their top-flight status. “We were criticised for our games in the league and rightly because we have not been so lively in the past weeks,” Hasenhüttl said. “We now have a target for the season. We can still achieve a lot. We lost a little bit of contact to the good spots in the table because [of] our not-so-good performances in the second half of the season. It will be sure a strong opponent waiting for us at Wembley, but everything is possible.”

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Southampton thought they had taken the lead after 10 minutes when Cameron Carter-Vickers inadvertently turned a teasing Kyle Walker-Peters cross past his goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, only for the video assistant referee, David Coote, to intervene and rule the goal out for offside. Bournemouth were off the hook by the finest of margins but were then twice easily breached before the interval.

Walker-Peters’s pass into Redmond was the catalyst for an incisive attack to which Djenepo applied a gentle finish, caressing a right-footed shot into the far corner. Redmond carried the ball infield, luring Carter-Vickers and Jack Wilshere into leaving holes, and then slid a wonderful pass behind the full-back Jack Stacey, who slipped as the ball rolled towards Djenepo.

The Southampton goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, pawed Arnaut Danjuma’s shot to safety and Dominic Solanke showed a couple of deft touches but Bournemouth’s resistance was meek. On the brink of half-time the visitors doubled their lead, with Redmond lashing in after Bournemouth’s defence was strewn by more beguiling movement. The artful Stuart Armstrong cleverly chested Ryan Bertrand’s throw-in into the path of Redmond and this time the forward sashayed from left to right, driving towards goal. He toyed with Steve Cook as he delayed pulling the trigger, much to the anguish of the stumbling Bournemouth captain, who was down all fours as the ball flew in.

It was almost as if the enigmatic Redmond, a winger by trade who operated as a striker here, had been keeping his powder dry. The former Southampton manager Glenn Hoddle compared Redmond’s second with Michael Owen’s goal against Argentina in 1998 and, like frustrated supporters, Hasenhüttl was stumped when asked to explain why Redmond has often instead flattered to deceive. “If we would know this, then we would change it,” he said.

Southampton had another goal chalked off when Che Adams’s crisp strike from outside the box was also ruled offside but were soon out of sight when Redmond reacted quickest to Armstrong’s effort cannoning off a post. Armstrong took aim after James Ward-Prowse pounced on a slack pass by Stacey, who looked to locate Wilshere. The ball bounced off the woodwork and Redmond gobbled up the rebound, side-footing into the far corner.

Southampton had the luxury of withdrawing their untroubled centre-backs, Jannik Vestergaard and Jan Bednarek, both of whom had been booked, with 13 minutes to play as Bournemouth sought to stem the bleeding. Redmond went close to completing his hat-trick and the brilliant Armstrong deserved to get on the scoresheet but the damage had long been done.

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The last meeting between these sides came in July, when Southampton extinguished Bournemouth’s faint hopes of skirting relegation. The scene in Kings Park was almost identical before kick-off – dog walkers and locals oblivious to the nature of the occasion taking place behind closed doors passed through the surrounding tributaries – but this time the ramifications of another resounding defeat were never going to be terminal, with an instant return to the top flight the priority for Bournemouth.

“I am gutted we have gone out – it would have been a bonus if we got to a semi-final – but our objective is to get into the play-offs and win promotion,” said Jonathan Woodgate, the Bournemouth head coach. “They were more clinical than us in both boxes. We have nine massive games to come.”

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