Cherries' FA Cup dream ended by slick Saints
- Martin Atkinson
AFC Bournemouth’s hopes of penning a new chapter in the club’s record books bit the dust as they exited the FA Cup at the hands of Southampton.
The Cherries had been bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history but were undone by some classy finishing from the Premier League outfit.
While the Busby Babes of Manchester United ended their dreams in the quarter-finals in 1956/57, this time it was Ralph Hasenhuttl’s ruthless Saints who sent them spinning out.
Southampton thought they had opened the scoring when Cameron Carter-Vickers prodded a cross from Kyle Walker-Peters into his own net after ten minutes, but it was ruled out following a VAR check.
However, there was no reprieve when Moussa Djenepo applied a neat finish to a Nathan Redmond pass as the visitors drew first blood after 37 minutes.
And Redmond administered a hammer blow to the Cherries when his finely-taken goal on the stroke of half-time doubled Southampton’s lead.
Another VAR review chalked off an effort from Che Adams early in the second half, only for Redmond to bag his second and Southampton’s third after 59 minutes.
Rodrigo Riquelme and Ben Pearson were drafted into the Cherries starting line-up as head coach Jonathan Woodgate made two changes following the midweek win over Swansea City.
Riquelme replaced the injured Junior Stanislas while Pearson came in for Jefferson Lerma who was suspended after picking up two bookings in the competition.
Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster gathered Diego Rico’s cross at his near post before Ibrahima Diallo had a couple of early shots, the first deflected for a corner, the second blocked.
The visitors were convinced they had taken a tenth-minute lead after Cherries defender Cameron Carter-Vickers had turned a Kyle Walker-Peters cross into his own net.
However, following a VAR check, the effort was ruled out, Walker-Peters deemed to have strayed offside after being picked out by Jan Bednarek’s raking crossfield pass.
As Southampton continued to enjoy the better of the opening exchanges, former Cherries loan player Ryan Bertrand fired wide after being teed up by Stuart Armstrong.
Bertrand’s corner was cleared only as far as Armstrong on the edge of the box but his effort failed to trouble Asmir Begovic as it sailed wide of the target.
A sweeping move from the Cherries ended with Forster beating away Arnaut Danjuma’s left-foot strike from a tight angle midway through the first half.
Begovic scooped up James Ward-Prowse’s 25-yard free-kick before Bednarek was booked for a trip on Danjuma.
From the resultant free-kick taken by Rico, the ball fell to Steve Cook whose cross was met by Riquelme, the Atletico Madrid loan man’s first-time shot flying wide.
A neat one-two between Riquelme and Dominic Solanke ended with the Spaniard seeing his low shot saved by Forster.
Djenepo made the breakthrough when he assuredly slipped the ball past Begovic and into the bottom corner after fastening on to a precise pass from Redmond in the 37th minute.
Redmond doubled the visitors’ lead when he latched on to Armstrong’s chested pass and got the better of Cook before rifling past Begovic on the stroke of half-time.
Jack Wilshere went close to halving the arrears at the start of the second half, only to see his rasping drive from the edge of the post flash past the upright and into the side netting.
Southampton had a second goal chalked off following a VAR review with Armstrong deemed to have been offside in the build up to Che Adams finding the back of the net in the 53rd minute.
Again though, it was a short-lived reprieve for the hosts as Redmond made it 3-0 in the 59th minute, the frontman side-footing home after Armstrong’s initial shot had come back off the post.
Begovic threw himself full-length to his left to turn Armstrong’s blistering drive around the post before Redmond’s snapshot fizzed past the upright.
As the Cherries went in search of a consolation, Forster got down smartly to block Danjuma’s thunderous effort and Sam Surridge headed Jaidon Anthony's cross into the Southampton goalkeeper's hands.