Southampton 3 Bournemouth 3: Hasenhuttl's Saints avoid Premier League relegation

Callum Wilson scored a brace as Bournemouth fought back twice, though Southampton now is safe thanks to Cardiff City's defeat.

James Ward-Prowse celebrates after scoring for Southampton against Bournemouth.   -  Michael Steele/Getty Images

Southampton secured its Premier League status for another season despite twice letting slip a lead in a 3-3 draw with Bournemouth at St Mary's Stadium.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's side scored first through the in-form Shane Long but trailed 2-1 at the interval after goals from Dan Gosling and Callum Wilson.

A see-saw contest on the south coast swung back in the Saints' favour in the second half, James Ward-Prowse levelling at 2-2 before substitute Matt Targett headed in Yan Valery's cross.

However, Wilson's second denied Southampton a fourth win in its last five home games, albeit the point – coupled with Cardiff City's 1-0 loss at Fulham – means it is safe with two fixtures remaining.

Long had scored after just seven seconds in the 1-1 draw against Watford in midweek but had to wait a little longer to find the net on Saturday, his 12th-minute strike from Nathan Redmond’s square pass finding its way in via a deflection off defender Nathan Ake.

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A tactical switch from Eddie Howe turned the tide, though Gosling had already equalised by the time Bournemouth switched to a back four.

Still, the change saw it control the rest of the first half, adding a second goal when Wilson converted a rebound from David Brooks' long-range effort.

Hasenhuttl saw an alteration of his own pay off too, Targett coming on to score his first league goal for the club to add to Ward-Prowse’s left-footed drive.

And, while Wilson popped up again to draw Bournemouth level in the closing minutes by tapping home Ryan Fraser’s low cross, Southampton was still able to celebrate at the final whistle.

 

What does it mean? Hasenhuttl the hero for Saints

When Southampton opted to dispense with Mark Hughes late last year, it was sitting in the relegation places and had won just once in its opening 14 games.

Since then, Hasenhuttl has engineered eight victories to steer the club away from trouble. His appointment has not only worked for this campaign but also offers hope to the fans they may not be in a similar situation at this stage next year.

Brave move lifts Bournemouth

Howe had just seen his team draw level but still opted to make an early substitution, the introduction of Fraser for centre-back Chris Mepham seeing a change in shape. It was a gamble that paid off, albeit the Cherries only managed to pick up a draw.

Long misses from short range

The Republic of Ireland international has four goals in five games but missed a sitter in the opening half, conspiring to hit the post from close range with his left foot. Southampton can forgive him, however, considering his recent scoring spurt has helped its cause.

What's next?

Southampton has a trip to West Ham, followed by a home game against relegated Huddersfield Town. Bournemouth, meanwhile, hosts Tottenham Hotspur next week before finishing the campaign at Crystal Palace.