Rodriguez double earns Saints win over Bournemouth

Jay Rodriguez

Rodriguez has four goals in all competitions this season – one more than last term

Jay Rodriguez’s first Premier League goals since August gave Southampton victory over local rivals Bournemouth.

Both sides scored with their first efforts on target, with Nathan Ake’s acrobatic header putting the Cherries in front after six minutes before Ryan Bertrand levelled with a solo dribble and finish.

Half-time substitute Steve Davis made an immediate impact, providing Rodriguez with a tap-in to give the Saints the lead.

And Rodriguez’s superb 20-yard finish late on eased the visitors to victory.

Southampton move up to seventh, three points above Bournemouth, who stay 10th.

Rodriguez solves Saints’ scoring quandary

Southampton shots<!–

After 15 shots on goal and just four on target in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Stoke, Southampton managed eight on target from 14 efforts against Bournemouth

A lack of goals had been a growing concern for Southampton, with just three in their previous seven league games and a frustrating 0-0 draw against 10-man Stoke in midweek emphasising their profligacy.

Saints boss Claude Puel is without injured top scorer Charlie Austin, and in his search for an answer to the problem made six changes, including bringing in Rodriguez for only his third league start of the season.

The former Burnley striker rewarded his manager with his first top-flight brace since March 2014, with his second strike a wonderful turn and hit of a bouncing ball from just outside the area.

But it was the introduction of Davis at the start of the second period that swung the match, with the Northern Irishman bringing a calming presence in possession after an erratic first half from the visitors.

Davis made Saints’ second goal when he received the ball from Sofiane Boufal’s clever back-flick and then rolled across for Rodriguez to finish.

Boufal, who was a creative and menacing presence for Saints, looked puzzled when he was replaced by Dusan Tadic after an hour, and the Moroccan seemed to receive some strong words from Puel as he took his place on the bench.

Southampton fans might also be concerned to see influential defender Jose Fonte on the bench, with the Portuguese reportedly upset with the progress of contract talks at St Mary’s.

Cherries picked off too easily

Bournemouth’s continued progress under Eddie Howe cannot be underestimated, but the Cherries’ inability to string positive results together is preventing them from breaking into the Premier League’s top 10.

None of their six league wins this term have been followed up by another victory and once again, after beating Leicester in midweek, they fell short of securing back-to-back successes.

Howe’s side started well and Ake’s impressive diving header from Jack Wilshere’s deep cross gave them the perfect start, with Joshua King almost squeezing in a second past Fraser Forster.

But the hosts faded and would have been disappointed at how easily Bertrand skipped through the middle of Adam Smith and Simon Francis on his way into the area before firing in a brilliant equaliser from a tight angle.

The hosts handed the initiative to Southampton after the break and failed to create a meaningful chance as they suffered a fifth defeat in their last six meetings with their south coast rivals.

Man of the match – Jay Rodriguez

Jay Rodriguez<!–

Rodriguez has struggled for form since suffering an ankle injury last season, but his timing was impeccable for goal-shy Southampton with two very different finishes

‘Football is great’ – Manager and player reaction

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Howe disappointed with ‘passive’ performance

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “I felt we weren’t at our best levels – physically and technically we haven’t played as well as we have done in recent weeks.

“Credit to Southampton, they played well and deserved to win.

“Once they equalised we seemed to lose our way and in the second half it was unlike us because we struggled with the ball.”

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Puel pleased with ‘dominant’ performance

Southampton boss Claude Puel: “It was difficult in the first half, but in the second half we started well with a good spirit and energy and [it was a] very good second half for us.

“I am happy for the players and for Jay Rod.

“It was difficult for Jay with his long injury and [he] came back step by step. He has played three or four games since the injury of Charlie Austin.

“He works well for the team each time and [it is] a pleasure to see him happy with two goals.”

Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez on his two goals: “The second goal I enjoyed more but any goal scored means a lot. Just playing is the best feeling. Football is great.

“On a personal level, you want to be out there winning with your team. I want more of it, and to keep scoring.”

Wilshere ends his drought – match stats

  • Jack Wilshere provided his first Premier League assist since September 2014
  • In his 32nd Premier League appearance, Jordy Clasie registered his first Southampton assist
  • Both sides scored with their first shots of any kind in the match, the second time this has happened in the Premier League this season (Crystal Palace and Liverpool both scored with their first shots during their match in October)
  • Southampton scored as many goals in this game as in their last seven Premier League games combined

What’s next?

Bournemouth will travel to league leaders Chelsea on Boxing Day (Monday, 26 December), while Southampton do not play for another 10 days, when they host Tottenham on Wednesday, 28 December.

Live Text

Match ends, Bournemouth 1, Southampton 3.

Second Half ends, Bournemouth 1, Southampton 3.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

Offside, Southampton. Nathan Redmond tries a through ball, but Ryan Bertrand is caught offside.

Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).

Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Southampton. Shane Long replaces Jay Rodriguez.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Nathan Aké.

Attempt saved. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Attempt blocked. Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Smith.

Attempt saved. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Cédric Soares (Southampton) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Aké with a cross.

Foul by Jay Rodriguez (Southampton).

Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal! Bournemouth 1, Southampton 3. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

Attempt missed. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Cédric Soares with a cross.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Maya Yoshida.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Dusan Tadic.

Attempt missed. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.

Steven Davis (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Jordy Clasie (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jordy Clasie (Southampton).

Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Adam Smith (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).

Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution, Bournemouth. Jordon Ibe replaces Joshua King.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand with a cross.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Charlie Daniels.

Substitution, Bournemouth. Benik Afobe replaces Callum Wilson.

Substitution, Southampton. Dusan Tadic replaces Sofiane Boufal.

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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