Austin strikes again to earn point

By SFC Media time Sun 03 Dec Bournemouth v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Charlie Austin
Sun 03 Dec 1.30PM
Premier League
Fraser [42']
Austin [61']
Smith (31') Defoe (31')
yellow card
Lemina (76')
Referee: Jonathan Moss | Venue: Vitality Stadium | Attendance: 10,764

Charlie Austin’s third goal in a week earned Southampton a point at the home of South Coast neighbours Bournemouth.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s men started well but found themselves behind three minutes before the break as Ryan Fraser finished smartly from a pass by Saints Academy graduate Andrew Surman.

But the visitors improved after the interval and deservedly drew level just after the hour when half-time substitute Nathan Redmond picked out Austin to score with a first-time shot from 12 yards.

Austin might have added to his tally, heading over from a Ryan Bertrand cross after another header of his had struck the crossbar from an offside position.

Saints boss Pellegrino made six changes to his side who came within a whisker of ending Manchester City’s 19-match winning run at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

The boss reverted largely to the team who thrashed Everton at St Mary’s, as Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse, Dušan Tadić, Sofiane Boufal and Austin all returned, while Jérémy Pied replaced the injured Cédric, sidelined by a hamstring problem.

Saints, sporting a special edition third kit with white shirts, red shorts and white socks, started with more purpose than their struggling hosts.

Bertrand found himself in an advanced position down the left and cleverly resisted the urge to cross, instead slipping a disguised pass into the box for Tadić, whose cutback only just eluded Austin.

Then Virgil van Dijk, under pressure from compatriot Nathan Ake, headed wide from a Ward-Prowse corner before Tadić was off target from Pied’s cross.

Bournemouth had posed no threat whatsoever but suddenly came to life in the 20th minute.

Right-back Adam Smith stepped on to a dropping ball and cracked a 20-yard shot that was heading closer to the corner flag than the Saints goal until Jermain Defoe stuck out a foot and redirected it on target.

What followed was a brilliant instinctive save from Fraser Forster, who stuck out an arm and somehow diverted the ball over the crossbar.

From the ensuing corner, Forster saved again from Ake down by his left post as the home fans found their voice.

Saints responded through a speculative shot from distance from Pied, but Bournemouth were enjoying a good spell and felt certain they should have been avoided a penalty on the half-hour mark.

From a corner taken short, Surman’s pass to Smith tempted Boufal to make a sliding tackle in his own box.

The Moroccan did not get any of the ball, but referee Jonathan Moss decided Smith was already on his way down and booked the Bournemouth man for a dive.

Saints threatened to make the most of the home team’s sense of injustice when Austin peeled away at the back post to meet a Ward-Prowse cross with a header back across Asmir Begovic, who did well to push it away, albeit only to Tadić, who wanted handball when his shot struck Simon Francis on the arm.

This was an evenly-contested game that suddenly swung in favour of the Cherries when Joshua King robbed Wesley Hoedt of possession as the Dutchman slipped inside his own half.

King found Surman, whose first-time lay-off was perfect for Fraser to dispatch without breaking stride, leaving Forster no chance with a firm side-footed finish from 15 yards.

Still there was time for Saints to hit back before the interval, only for Boufal to blaze over when left unmarked from Bertrand’s low cross.

Pellegrino’s response was to introduce Nathan Redmond for Ward-Prowse at half-time.

The substitute immediately found Boufal on the left corner of the box, who forced Begovic into a plunging one-handed save.

It was end to end stuff. King’s scuffed shot bobbled just wide with Junior Stanislas lurking at the far post, before Stanislas’ effort deflected off Davis and needed Forster to be alert down to his left.

Back came Saints, as Pied’s first-time pass found Boufal, whose cutback just needed a tap in from Davis or Tadić but did not get a touch from either.

The equaliser finally arrived in the 61st minute, as Oriol Romeu won the ball inside the final third and fed Redmond to his right, whose low cross picked out the unmarked Austin to score with a low shot at the near post.

Austin was cursing his luck when Bertrand got in behind the Bournemouth defence but was unable to pick out the goal-hungry striker with a low ball across the six-yard box.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe made a double substitution in a bid to turn the tide, but his team were unable to halt the shift in momentum.

Austin headed against the crossbar but was flagged offside before sending another header over from a Bertrand cross he could have no complaints about, while Boufal saw a shot deflected over.

The one moment of alarm at the other end came courtesy of King, forcing a sharp save form Forster, whose parry carried just enough force to ensure substitute Callum Wilson could not react to the rebound.

The final chance fell the way of Ake, but Saints would not be victims of another stoppage-time winner as his header floated over the top, and the spoils were shared.


Head to Head Stats

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Asmir Begovic (GK)
Charlie Daniels
Simon Francis (C)
Adam Smith yellow card
Nathan Aké
Ryan Fraser goal
replace Benik Afobe (92′)
Lewis Cook
Andrew Surman
Junior Stanislas
replace Jordon Ibe (69′)
Jermain Defoe yellow card
replace Callum Wilson (69′)
Joshua King
Steve Cook
Artur Boruc
Jordon Ibe
Marc Pugh
Callum Wilson
Benik Afobe
Dan Gosling


Fraser Forster (GK)
Jérémy Pied
Virgil van Dijk
Wesley Hoedt
Ryan Bertrand
Dusan Tadic
replace Mario Lemina (74′) yellow card
Oriol Romeu
James Ward-Prowse
replace Nathan Redmond (45′)
Sofiane Boufal
Steven Davis (C)
replace Manolo Gabbiadini (85′)
Charlie Austin goal
Alex McCarthy
Manolo Gabbiadini
Maya Yoshida
Nathan Redmond
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Mario Lemina
Matt Targett
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