Southampton 1-3 AFC Bournemouth: Cherries take South Coast spoils after Saints threaten comeback
 Callum Wilson (centre) sealed Bournemouth's 3-1 victory against Southampton with a last-second goal
 (Getty Images/Alex Pantling)

Southampton 1-3 AFC Bournemouth: Cherries take South Coast spoils after Saints threaten comeback

Bournemouth have risen to third in the table after Callum Wilson's stoppage-time sealer, adding to Nathan Ake's headed opener and Harry Wilson's calmly executed strike, confirmed a 3-1 win at St Mary's.

danny-matcham
Danny Matcham

AFC Bournemouth fans will be able to kick back and relax from lofty heights in the Premier League table this weekend after their team got the better of a spirited Southampton side in a close-fought battle.

Goals from the forehead of Nathan Ake, a swept finish by loanee Harry Wilson and namesake Callum's tap-in towards an empty net following some calamitous Saints defending gave Eddie Howe and his men the spoils on a warm autumn Friday evening on the South Coast.

Nestled among the cluster of teams with seven points on the board prior to kickoff, and fresh from beating Everton 3-1 last time out, only Liverpool with their 100% league win record and reigning champions Manchester City now sit above third-placed Bournemouth in the Premier League.

The game

The Saints created the first chance of the match through James Ward Prowse but he had been unable to finish off a smart move started by Cedric.

However, Bournemouth got on the front-foot after this scare and were rewarded for their early endeavours when the lofty Ake rose highest at a corner to give the Cherries the advantage after 10 minutes.

Bournemouth were among the most prolific team from set-pieces so far this season, and they got their fifth goal from a dead-ball as Diego Rico's flighted corner was powered in after 10 minutes.

They were denied a second shortly after by VAR after Dominic Solanke played in the all-action man of the match Joshua King but his "goal" was scratched off for offside.

Bournemouth did deservedly double their lead when summer recruit Philip Billing got forward well down the touchline, cut inside and played a perfectly timed ball to Harry Wilson and the Welsh international dispatched with aplomb.

The Cherries barely had an effort on goal in the second half, content to preserve their two-goal lead, but they were undone by a combination of untidy defending and VAR being called into play once again.

Steve Cook was the culprit, getting caught up with Southampton attacker Che Adams and bundling him over. A penalty was initially awarded but the expert eyes at Stockley Park were consulted for the official verdict. 

After the decision was upheld, Ward-Prowse stepped up and buried his penalty to the right side of Aaron Ramsdale's goal, with little the young goalkeeper could have done to keep it out in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.

Southampton pressed for an equaliser but Bournemouth held strong through a mixture of wayward finishing and valiant defending from Ake and Jack Stacey, in particular, throwing any legal body part in the way.

With time running out, Callum Wilson had the final say on the matters to make it 3-1, seizing on a loss of communication between Angus Gunn and Jan Bednarek with the ball sailing directly from Ramsdale through the Southampton defence and Wilson obliged with the finish.

Takeaways

This was a first away victory for Bournemouth at Southampton and to sit in third position even after six matches is not to be sniffed at. There will be tougher tests to come but the Saints proved their credentials in the second half and Bournemouth did well to hold onto maximum points.

Gunn will have better performances to stake his claims for a national team place but Callum Wilson took his moment to shine in front of Southgate, even if the goal will not make his personal scrapbook.

It will be a long season for both teams but they showed enough in this derby to suggest that more highs lie in wait than lows. Bournemouth welcome West Ham United to the Vitality Stadium next Saturday, while Southampton's next test is another local battle against Portsmouth in the League Cup.

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