This game brought two of the top five teams together to make the local derby feel even more intense as both teams sought the valuable three points.
Bournemouth were searching for their first win in three games versus Saints as they had lost twice at St Mary’s earlier in the season. Both games by the same score of 2-0.
With automatic promotion the target for both teams the match was expected to be a fiercely fought affair and we were not disappointed.
Bournemouth started with some swift attacks and Danny Hollands gave a glimpse of what was to come as he fired the first chance goalwards. His effort missed but the Cherries kept up the early pressure and scored on six minutes through Lauri Dalla Valle.
The goal had a bit of controversy as the linesman flagged for off side but then put his flag down. Radhi Jaidi had attempted to clear the ball from the six yard box but his kick went straight to a Saints defender where it was deflected to Dalla Valle who smashed it into the net.
Stung into action Saints responded with Rickie Lambert going close and from the resulting corner Jaidi won the header but the ball went just over the goal.
Bournemouth were still dangerous and the game was open and being played at a frenetic pace. Saints managed to claw their way back in the 11th minute with what looked like a stroke of good fortune.
Saints attacked and Lambert centred for Lee Barnard to head firmly downwards towards goal. Shwan Jalal appeared to be in place to collect but somehow seemed to help the ball over the line as it went through his hands. 1-1 and all to play for.
The frantic pace of the game slowly subsided though there were chances made at each end. Lambert hitting a volley just over in the 28th minute. Then we saw Chamberlain being brought down by Wiggins to earn a booking. Harding blazing over from the free kick.
Soon after Rhoys Wiggins took a knock and was replaced by Warren Cummings. With the game more evenly balanced now chances became more scarce.Radhi Jaidi then got a yellow card for a high aerial challenge and then Shaun Cooper also got booked just before half-time.
There was still plenty of action though the defences were now coping better than at the start. Chances were becoming rarer as the referee blew for the break. HT 1-1.
No changes were made for the start of the second half by either team. The half began with a more even distribution of play as both sides tried to take control.
Jaidi fouled Ings near the bye-line to give away a free-kick but it came to nothing. Then Lallana went on one of his mazy dribbles before also getting fouled. Lambert tried to be clever with the kick but the chance was wasted.
Soon after Chaplow was sent tumbling in the box but the referee waved away the appeals for a penalty. Three minutes later and Ings went down in the Saints box after a Fonte challenge but the appeals again went unheeded.
In the 66th minute Saints made their first substitution with Dan Seaborne coming on for Dan Harding. Moments later and lallana was again causing problems for the Cherries as he ran down the right flank turning Cummings inside out.
His cross was gathered well by Jalal but moments later Lallana was fouled by Hollands. Chamberlain took the free-kick and somehow the ball went through a packed penalty area to Hammond who slid the ball home to give Saints the lead. This goal was followed by Bournemouth substituting Ings with big Steve Fletcher.
The game continued with Lallana now making the most of his talent as he started to take more of a hold of the game. Another of his tricky runs brought a free-kick from an Adam Smith foul. This time Lambert chose to shoot but his effort went narrowly wide.
Southampton then subbed Barnard with Oscar Gobern in the 78th minute to attempt to keep what we had. Saints still maintained an attacking instinct as Lallana and Chamberlain worked well together before making a chance for Chaplow who fired over.
Bournemouth then came very close in the 84th minute to levelling the scores as Smith played a lovely through ball to Robinson, and he unleashed a ferocious shot which looked a goal all the way until Davis somehow finger-tipped it onto the bar. A narrow escape for Saints as the end drew near.
Dalla Valle was then replaced by Joe Partington for Bournemouth. Saints also made a change with Richardson coming on for Chaplow as we entered extra time.
The game was made safe for Saints after we received another free-kick in Lambert range. Takinh his run up he let fly and we saw the ball curl into the top left corner of the goal to secure the victory.
Still time for the Oscar Gobern flying two footed tackle display which brought Oscar an instant red card. A poor note to finish the game on but southampton fans were still able to rejoice after another fighting display from the team. FT 3-1.
Nigel Adkins 8
Half-time talk did wonders and pushed the team into a far more productive vein of form.
Lee Bradbury 7
Had his team fired up from the start and his team were maybe a shade unfortunate not to have been in front at half-time.