Bournemouth 2-0 Southampton: Koeman credits Cherries' "character" for their win

Saints beaten once again as south coast rivals "hungrier" than Koeman's men.

Bournemouth 2-0 Southampton: Koeman credits Cherries' "character" for their win
Steve cook scored the first goal for the Cherries (photo source:getty)

Southampton were beaten convincingly by their south coast rivals in a tie where the visitors struggled to match the intensity of the Cherries.

Coming into the game the Saints were looking to put a narrow defeat to Chelsea behind them, but were overrun from the beginning and rarely threatened against their rivals.

Goals from Steve Cook and Benik Afobe either side of half time sealed the victory for Bournemouth, in a match where fourth official Kevin Friend collapsed towards the end of the first half, leaving many concerned as he left for hospital.

Koeman disappointed 

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman criticised his players following the match questioning some of their hunger to win, he said: “There was a big difference tonight in how Bournemouth started the game - they were hungry and winning challenges that we didn’t win."

He added, “That’s not tactics - that’s character, that’s mentality. They fight for their lives. That was the difference.

The away side have scored just six away goals in their last 10 away Premier League matches and failed to force enough clear cut chances to gain their way back into the match. The likes of Sadio Mane, Shane Long and Graziano Pelle all struggled to enforce themselves on the game, which was Saints first defeat to Bournemouth in the league since 1958.

A further disappointment for Koeman is January signing Charlie Austin suffered a hamstring injury which will keep him out for “several weeks” according to the Dutchman.

Charlie Austin looks set for a spell on the sidelines after a hamstring injury (photo source: getty)
Charlie Austin looks set for a spell on the sidelines after a hamstring injury (photo source: getty)

Looking ahead 

The defeat looks to have ended Saints faint hopes of stealing a top four place after they previously went on an unbeaten run of six games, in which they didn’t concede a goal, that run was ended when they were beaten by Chelsea.

Now seventh in the Premier League table the Saints will look to get over this mini dip in form as they take on Sunderland at St Mary’s on Saturday, a memorable fixture for Southampton fans as they beat the Black Cats 8-0 last season.