Clean sheet puts Cherry on top of Saints’ victory

Ché Adams’ first-half header was enough for Southampton to secure their first Premier League (PL) victory since late August, while condemning Gary O’Neil to his maiden defeat as AFC Bournemouth’s interim manager.

Chasing their first victory on the road in 19 attempts, Southampton took the game to Bournemouth early on, netting an opener after just nine minutes. Glancing Romain Perraud’s cross beyond Neto in the Cherries’ goal, Adams’ fourth goal contribution of an already profitable campaign gave the visitors a perfect start on the South Coast.

There have been four different Chancellors of the Exchequer, three different Home Secretaries and two Prime Ministers in the British Government since Southampton last kept a PL clean sheet. Still, there was no coalition of chaos in the Saints’ defence throughout the second half as the away side presented a strong and stable backline. After Dominic Solanke had fired wide, a poked effort from Lewis Cook, which was cleared off the line by Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu, was as close as Bournemouth came to an equaliser, but ultimately it would prove to be a frustrating evening for the hosts.

Consequentially, it was disappointment for O’Neil and Bournemouth, who miss out on the opportunity to equal the club’s record unbeaten streak in the PL. A torrid record of PL mid-week outings continues for Bournemouth, who have now won just two of their 15 matches played on Wednesdays. As for Southampton, they move out of the relegation zone and into the relative safety of mid-table, with what was their first league shutout in a remarkable 186 days.

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