Adams goal ends Cherries' unbeaten run
- John Brooks
Che Adams scored the only goal as Southampton ended AFC Bournemouth’s six-match unbeaten run in the Premier League under interim head coach Gary O’Neil.
Adams drew first blood for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team when he headed home a Romain Perraud cross in the ninth minute.
Further goalscoring chances were at a premium in the first half with Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu saving acrobatically from a Phil Billing thunderbolt.
And although the Cherries piled forward in search of an equaliser after the break, the visitors defended their lead to register a first win in six games and survived a loud penalty appeal after Mohammed Salisu had handled a Junior Stanislas cross.
O’Neil was able to name an unchanged starting line-up for a third Premier League game in succession.
Ben Pearson returned to the matchday squad following injury, the midfielder replacing Jack Stephens on the bench, the loan defender unable to face his parent club.
A promising move in the early stages ended with Dominic Solanke dragging his shot from the edge of the box narrowly wide of the target.
Adam Smith’s foul on Joe Aribo gave James Ward-Prowse an opportunity to deliver a set-piece but his free-kick eluded everyone and went behind.
Southampton opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Adams found space around ten yards from goal and met Perraud’s cross with a glancing header.
Perraud received the first booking of the contest for hauling down Marcus Tavernier and, after the resultant free-kick had found its way to Billing, his blistering drive was tipped over the crossbar by Bazunu, but the Dane was offside.
Jefferson Lerma arrived at the far post to meet Tavernier’s free-kick midway through the first half but his header was saved comfortably by Bazunu.
Neto saved well after Aribo had been picked out by a Kyle Walker-Peters centre, the Cherries goalkeeper parrying the forward’s effort from close range.
And as play quickly switched to the opposite end, Bazunu had to be on his toes to keep out Billing’s thunderous drive, the Southampton goalkeeper turning it around the post.
Lewis Cook lifted a free-kick over the crossbar before Tavernier saw his effort fly narrowly wide following a burst down the left wing.
Mepham and Ainsley Maitland-Niles both collected yellow cards after a coming together on the stroke of half-time.
Senesi climbed highest to meet Tavernier’s corner at the start of the second half, only to see his header drift past the upright.
A neat move involving Billing and Ryan Christie ended with Lerma side-footing his shot over the top just minutes later.
Cook’s 58th-minute corner found Solanke at the near post but the ball struck the striker’s shoulder and went over the crossbar.
Stanislas replaced Christie after 62 minutes, the winger returning to action for the first time since coming off the bench at Manchester City in August.
As the Cherries ramped up the pressure, Tavernier’s low cross eluded both Solanke and Billing before the Dane’s effort was blocked by a defender.
The Cherries were denied a penalty when Stanislas’s cross struck the arm of Mohammed Salisu, referee John Brooks and VAR claiming it was unintentional.
Joe Rothwell came on for Senesi to make his Premier League debut in the 77th minute, the midfielder having returned from injury.
Tavernier’s header from Stanislas’s centre was gathered by Bazunu before a double switch saw Kieffer Moore and Siriki replace Ryan Fredericks and Billing, Siriki also making his top-flight debut.
Although Bazunu misjudged Tavernier's corner in injury-time, the ball was hacked away after Cook had turned it back into the six-yard box.
AFC Bournemouth: Neto, Tavernier, Smith, Mepham, Senesi (Rothwell, 77), Fredericks (Siriki, 83), Lerma, Cook, Christie (Stanislas, 62), Billing (Moore, 83), Solanke.
Unused subs: Stacey, Pearson, Anthony, Zemura, Travers (g/k).
Southampton: Bazunu, Walker-Peters (S Armstrong, 66), Salisu, Caleta-Car, Perraud (Djenepo, 87), Ward-Prowse, Maitland-Niles (Diallo, 87), Elyounoussi, Aribo (Lyanco, 64), Adams, A Armstrong (Larios, 87).
Unused subs: Mara, Edozie, Walcott, McCarthy (g/k).
Booked: Perraud, Maitland-Niles, S Armstrong.
Referee: John Brooks.
Attendance: 10,405 (including 1,253 away supporters).