Southampton made it to the FA Cup Semi-Finals for the first time since 2017-18 after an inspired performance from Nathan Redmond at the Vitality Stadium in their 3-0 win over Bournemouth.
Nathan Tella and Takumi Minamino dropped out of the starting 11 for the Saints whose strong line-up showed their ambitions of making it to Wembley.
Both sides started well and balanced each other out, with early corners for both sides amounting to nothing within the first ten minutes, though the first big chance fell to the visitors. Kyle Walker-Peters picked up a fantastic whipped ball from Jan Vestergaard. The English full-back squared the ball to Che Adams who couldn’t get to the ball in time for a good finish. Even though Cameron Carter-Vickers placed the ball into his own net, the goal was ruled out for offside against Walker-Peters after VAR’s review.
Both sides continued to cancel each other out but Bournemouth nearly had a chance to take the lead – in fact, they had two fantastic chances, both of which fell to Riquelme – the first was a quick shot which just went wide, before the 20-year-old Spaniard forced a save from Fraser Forster moments later.
However, despite the Cherries’ growing confidence, Southampton broke on the counter attack and took the lead about 10 minutes from half-time. Redmond found the run of Moussa Djenepo, who took advantage of Jack Stacey’s slip at the back to finish and give the visitors the lead.
Moments before half-time, Stuart Armstrong’s perfect through ball found Redmond who – with a little bit of showboating – placed a fantastic finish into Asmir Begovic’s goal.
Going into half-time 2-0 down would have been disappointing for promotion hopefuls Bournemouth, but they came out after half-time raring to go. Jack Wilshire played a one-two with Phillip Billing before striking towards goal. The ball only managed to strike the side netting, but the hosts had clearly come out ready to fight for their semi-final place.
Che Adams all but crushed the hosts’ dreams a few minutes later, though, as his driven finish left Begovic for dead and gave the visitors a 3-0 lead, but the referee and VAR agreed that there was an offside in the build-up and the scoreline remained at 2-0 – it was their second disallowed goal of the game.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men did, however, get their deserved third goal when their constant press paid off; James Ward-Prowse won the ball in the Bournemouth half before playing the ball through to Armstrong – his strike hit the post before Redmond slotted the rebound home.
Southampton did not want to stop at three; Redmond and Armstrong both had chances to extend the Saints’ lead, testing Bournemouth’s Bosnian ‘keeper who kept the hosts in the game.
The full-time whistle confirmed that Southampton will be going to Wembley to face Leicester City for a place in the FA Cup final – it would be their first since 2003 if they can get past Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes.
With two wins in their last seventeen Premier League games, Southampton have seen the FA Cup as a distraction from their woeful league form which has seen them slide from unlikely title contenders to unlikely relegation candidates. They host Burnley in their next game after the international break, with defeat sending the Saints into a nervy final few weeks of the season.
FT: Bournemouth 0-3 SOUTHAMPTON (Djenepo 37′, Redmond 45’+1′, 59′)
Bournemouth: Begovic, Stacey, Carter-Vickers, S. Cook, Rico (Mepham 67′), Wilshere (booked), Pearson (Surridge 56′ (booked)), Riquelme (Anthony 56′), Billing (Kilkenny 77′), Danjuma, Solanke. Unused Subs: Travers, Zemura, Moriah-Welsh, Saydee.
Southampton: Forster, Walker-Peters (Ramsay 89′), Vestergaard (booked) (Salisu 77′), Bednarek (booked) (Stephens 77′), Bertrand, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Djenepo (Tella 85′), Redmond, Adams (N’Lundulu 90′). Unused Subs: McCarthy, Jankewitz, Watts, Ferry.
Wessex Scene Man of the Match: Nathan Redmond (Southampton)
Referee: Martin Atkinson