Southampton Player Ratings: Bournemouth (H)
Southampton secured an absolutely crucial victory on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Bournemouth 2-1.
Saints welcomed the Cherries to St Mary’s Stadium knowing that only a win would do, with the gap between the relegation zone and safety continuing to expand.
Mark Hughes made some changes to his starting line-up and the team started well and on the front-foot against a somewhat uninspired Bournemouth side.
Saints eventually broke the deadlock with a well-worked counter attack. Mario Lemina and Dusan Tadic were able to capitalise on a poorly-executed set-piece routine from Bournemouth, with the latter firing low and beyond Asmir Begovic.
Bournemouth equalised on the stroke of half-time, however, as Josh King was found unmarked at the back post to tap home with ease.
It was a tight second-half, with Alex McCarthy making a string of good saves throughout the match. The two sides fought hard but it was Saints who took all three points on the day.
Tadic scored the decisive goal and his second of the day with a majestic clip beyond Begovic, sending the St Mary’s crowd into raptures.
The win means Saints now trail 17th-placed Swansea by only one point. Here are our Southampton player ratings following the win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Alex McCarthy - 10
Quite simply exceptional. McCarthy turned in a sublime performance, showing confidence when coming for crosses and composure with potentially hazardous efforts from Bournemouth.
He made three top-drawer saves – two instinctive blocks with his legs and one game-saving, acrobatic effort to deny a deflected shot in the 94th minute.
A faultless display from McCarthy earns him a 10/10.
Cedric Soares - 6
Cedric worked so much harder than he has done in previous weeks and that was excellent to see. He got forward well but his final delivery into the box was very poor.
Jan Bednarek - 7
Bednarek always looked a little dodgy, especially on a yellow card, but made some exceptional recovery tackles. He was strong, commanding and played the simple pass whenever he could. On occasions, though, he did struggle to contain Bournemouth’s pace on the break.
Maya Yoshida - 7
Yoshida had a solid game at the back. He was positionally disciplined and swept up any loose balls.
Wesley Hoedt - 5
Made one sublime challenge to deny Jermain Defoe but he made a catalogue of errors. His passing was wayward, his clearances were as suspect as ever and he never truly looked comfortable.
Nevertheless, it was an improvement on the absolute horror show he turned in against Chelsea last weekend.
Ryan Bertrand - 6
Bertrand had a relatively quiet game but, like Cedric, worked a lot harder than he has in previous months. He needs to now lead Southampton into three cup finals to end the season.
Mario Lemina - 8
Lemina’s inclusion in the starting line-up was questionable to say the least, but he had a really good game.
He was absolutely pivotal in Saints’ opening goal and ran the midfield in periods. Lemina showed a different level of commitment than he has in the last few months and the improvement was clear.
Oriol Romeu - 6
Romeu battled in the middle but was considerably quiet. He didn’t quite influence the game enough but wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination.
Nathan Redmond - 7
Redmond was always looking to penetrate from out wide but was forced back on some occasions. He was bright throughout and although he lacked a cutting edge, he had a decent game.
Dusan Tadic - 9
This was Tadic’s best game in a long, long time – perhaps his best of the last two seasons.
He was positive on the ball. Tadic always looked to play through the Bournemouth defence and was always aiming to provide an attacking threat.
The experienced playmaker took both his goals fantastically and impressed on the day. He’s had a poor season, but Tadic stepped up when we needed him the most and for that, we must be appreciative.
Charlie Austin - 7
Austin put in a shift up front but was generally devoid of appropriate service. He had a couple of half-chances from tight angles but was rather quiet. On the whole, though, a positive and hard-working display.
Shane Long – 6: Worked hard up front and forced Bournemouth’s defenders into mistakes but lacked the quality to make them count.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 6: Added another body to the midfield. Hojbjerg deserved to start but was forced to settle for a cameo appearance.
James Ward-Prowse – N/A: Wasn’t on for long enough to make an impact.