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REPORT: Flat first-half dooms Southampton in loss to Bournemouth

Positive second half.

Southampton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Southampton slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Bournemouth, with the backdrop of Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup looming crisply in the St Mary’s air.

Nathan Ake and Harry Wilson were clinical for Bournemouth in the first-half with Southampton facing an uphill battle from the 10th minute.

Ake overpowered his defender and thumping home a header, before Joshua King appeared to have doubled the lead inside a half hour only for the goal to be ruled out for offside through VAR.

But Wilson doubled the advantage without controversy when beat Angus Gunn to the far corner from Philip Billing’s cut back on 34 minutes.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg nearly had an immediate response from a goalmouth scramble, but Aaron Ramsdale managed to keep the ball out.

Southampton made a positive start following the break and Che Adams earned a penalty following a clumsy challenge by Steve Cook, which James Ward-Prowse calmly converted to make it 2-1.

Sofiane Boufal continued his resurgence for Saints and almost picked out an equaliser shortly after the hour mark when he tested Ramsdale from distance, but the keeper diverted the attempt away with a strong punch.

Jack Stacey then denied Redmond a sure goal with a sensational block on a shot that was headed for the bottom corner, with Ramsdale frozen to the spot.

Southampton, however, would be left frustrated despite several chances to draw level and it was Callum Wilson to seal the win from a comical error from Gunn.

Southampton: Gunn, Cedric, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Danso (Bertrand 46), Hojbjerg, Romeu, Boufal, Ward-Prowse, Adams (Ings 77), Redmond (Armstrong 88)

Unused subs: McCarthy (GK), Yoshida, Stephens, Long.

Goals: Ward-Prowse (53 PEN), Romeu (80)

Bookings: None

Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Rico, Ake, S. Cook, Stacey, King (Surman 90+3), Billing, Lerma, H. Wilson (Fraser 63), Solanke (L. Cook 77), C. Wilson

Unused subs: Boruc (GK), Ibe, Simpson, Mepham

Goals: Ake (10), H. Wilson (35), C. Wilson (90+5)

Bookings: Lerma (20), H. Wilson (54), Stacey (65)