Saints 2-1 Bournemouth report - 'Cherries must watch their back'

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This was a great chance to close out AFC Bournemouth’s season and help relegate Southampton. 

28th Apr 2018

It ended up with Bournemouth being forced to look nervously over their shoulders as they gifted the Saints two goals and came away from St. Mary's wondering if they have enough points themselves.

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Diabolical defending

Bournemouth could not have defended much worse at Southampton. To have a corner and end up losing a goal from it takes some doing, but the Cherries were unprepared when Dusan Tadic scored Southampton's first goal.

It gave the Saints the platform they needed, and it was always going to be harder with a goal given away in such a stupid way.

Schoolboy defending is not what you need in the Premier League, but Bournemouth have been giving away at least two goals a match of late and another calamity saw Steve Cook lose control of the ball on the halfway line, allowing Tadic to run away from him and put the Saints 2-0 up.

It was a blunder at best, but these incidents are not unusual for Bournemouth and it is one of the reasons why they have exceeded 50 goals conceded in a season in the Premier League.

Southampton always have the upper hand

Just for once there was optimism that Bournemouth could build a bit of a rivalry and get one over the Saints.

To do it at St. Mary's would have been extra special and the Cherries had all the songs ready for a win that would have virtually relegated Southampton.

But, as usual, the Saints turned up and didn’t allow AFCB to have their party. Instead, Bournemouth must watch their back.

The Saints have pulled Bournemouth back into the relegation equation. Southampton thought they would win, believed they deserved to win and delivered on the big day when they had to.

Bournemouth just hoped they might hang in and snatch something from the game. They were unprepared and performed well below their potential in Eddie Howe’s words.

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No place to hide now

The trap door has opened a bit wider and it goes all the way up to AFC Bournemouth in 12th place. With only two games to go, Bournemouth must pick up something in their last remaining games or could end up being caught.

The players might not have been expected to beat Manchester United and Liverpool, but they can’t afford to drift their way to the end of the season.

This was a reminder if they ever needed one that if they play at 80 or 90 per cent they will be found out.

Manager’s thoughts – final 10 bombardment

Eddie Howe was mad about this performance. He told the BBC: “We’ve given away goals that could have been avoided and we have shot ourselves in the foot twice today.”

More worryingly, he added: “The level of the performance is not what we would expect.”

Bournemouth have a week to pick themselves up and finally complete the job that they have failed to finish for the last three games. They need to find away to battle harder and somehow get a win.

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