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Saints launch late Premier League survival bid following 2-1 win over Bournemouth

Dusan Tadic’s brace earned Saints a Premier League lifeline in a dramatic win over Bournemouth

Southampton v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Unlikely hero Dusan Tadic struck twice to boost Southampton’s hopes of Premier League survival following a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.

The Serbian found the net for a second time nine minutes after the restart to restore Southampton’s lead, which had been gifted away on the stroke of half-time.

The win -- Mark Hughe’s first since his appointment -- leaves relegation-threatened Saints a single point adrift of Swansea with three games remaining, but has given belief back to a side that ended a nine-game winless run.

Tadic beat Asmir Begovic on 25 minutes to finish off a clinical counter-attack, as he raced onto Mario Lemin’s through ball before calmly firing past the keeper.

Charlie Austin and Lemina then tested Begovic with Saints in search of a second goal, but the visitors would spoil the first-half fesitivies in added time.

Oriol Romeu was second to react as King slipped beyond the midfielder and tapped in the equaliser from a corner-kick that had been flicked on by a pair of heads in the build up.

Southampton, who had developed a knack for allowing the flood gates to stay opened once they conceded, remained composed and took back the lead on 54 minutes.

Tadic took full advantage as Steve Cook wasn’t able to handle Alex McCarthy’s long kick and the Serbian pressed forward before finding the bottom left corner from just outside the box.

Southampton v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Southampton had opportunities to seal all three points, but Begovic denied Shane Long and Ryan Bertrand either side of a chance from Austin.

The Cherries made Southampton sweat the entire duration, as McCarthy kept out Ryan Fraser with a crafty foot save, before a second effort was tipped over the bar.

Southampton dug in to see off Bournemouth and delivered their fans a first home victory since November and improve fortunes of top-flight survival.

Southampton: McCarthy; Bertrand (c), Yoshida, Hoedt, Bednarek, Cedric; Romeu, Lemina; Tadic (Ward-Prowse 87), Redmond (Long 59); Austin (Hojbjerg 72).

Unused subs: Forster (GK), Stephens, Sims, Gabbiadini.

Goals: Tadic (25, 54).

Bookings: Bednarek (47), Yoshida (89), McCarthy (90+1), Cedric (90+2), Hojbjerg (90+5).

Bournemouth: Begovic; Daniels, Ake, S. Cook (c), Francis, Fraser; Gosling (Surman 72), L. Cook, King; Mousset (Ibe 64), Wilson (Defoe 64).

Unused subs: Boruc (GK), B. Smith, Mings, Pugh.

Goals: King (45+1)

Bookings: L. Cook (4).