Bournemouth 0 Southampton 2
In the end, a painfully familiar face delivered what could prove the killer blow to Bournemouth's survival hopes. Danny Ings sent a bending effort into the far corner to puncture Bournemouth's belief of pulling off a miraculous escape with time almost up and, with one game to play – at Everton next Sunday – their fate is in effect in Watford's hands. Nobody knows Ings's predatory instincts better than Eddie Howe, who gave the striker his professional debut when he was a teenager having been released by Southampton, for whom he has now scored his 21st goal of the season.
Che Adams wrapped up victory moments after Bournemouth thought they found a lifeline in second-half stoppage-time – the goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale went ballistic in his celebrations – but Sam Surridge's strike was ruled out by a VAR check after Callum Wilson was judged to be offside. The magnitude of the occasion was not lost on Howe, despite having stopped short of declaring it a must-win match this week.
He acknowledged his players needed to perform at their peak here and against Everton and, given how they piled on the pressure during the first half, they were kicking themselves for going in at the break behind owing to a wonderful strike by Ings, who wriggled free of Jack Stacey before nestling an effort into the far corner. After a techy start, in which they presented Ings with a whiff of goal inside 60 seconds, Bournemouth created a flurry of openings but failed to muster a shot on target as the final piece of the jigsaw eluded them.
Every time they burst forward, Joshua King, Callum Wilson and Junior Stanislas split at speed akin to the Red Arrows but it was Ramsdale who was the busier keeper. He clawed the ball away from the feet of Nathan Redmond to prevent the Southampton winger rounding him and he kept Bournemouth in the game approaching the hour mark, denying Ings from 12 yards after the substitute Harry Wilson was penalised for handball at a corner, his misdemeanour spotted by the video assistant referee, David Coote. Ings hesitated in his run-up and did not hit the spot-kick with any conviction, allowing Ramsdale to save down to his left.
Eight minutes from time, Ramsdale again smothered from Redmond, with Bournemouth exposed in defence as Howe went for broke. He introduced another academy product in Surridge but belief seemed to evaporate with every missed chance. Callum Wilson rippled the side netting of the Southampton goal before Jannik Vestergaard blocked from Dominic Solanke.
Alex McCarthy got fingertips to a dipping Harry Wilson shot in stoppage time before Surridge slotted in from close range after feeding on the scraps of a long throw but Bournemouth failed to leave a lasting imprint and, instead, Adams blasted home to double Saints’ advantage. - Guardian