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Chelsea willingness to loan Charly Musonda sparks interest from Premier League rivals

Chelsea’s willingness to send Charly Musonda on loan for the rest of the season has sparked interest from a host of Premier League clubs. Bournemouth, Watford, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion are all thought to have been alerted to Musonda’s availability. The 21 year-old, who can play in central midfield or out wide, has been given the green light to spend the second half of the season at another English club after Chelsea signed Ross Barkley for £15 million. Musonda hit out at Chelsea on social media in October over his lack of opportunities, having scored in the 5-1 Carabao Cup victory over Nottingham Forest. He has made two substitute appearances in the Premier League this season and also stepped off the bench in Chelsea’s FA Cup draw with Norwich City at the weekend. Having been told he can go on loan, Musonda scored twice for Chelsea’s Under-21s against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy. Bournemouth, Watford, Newcastle and West Brom are all keen to boost their attacking options this month, with Musonda on their radar. Chelsea have dealt with all four clubs in recent years, but would insist that Musonda is guaranteed playing time wherever he goes. January 2018 transfer window Newcastle have also been in negotiations about signing Kenedy on loan, but Chelsea want a left-sided replacement before sanctioning a deal. Chelsea want to bring in cover for Marcos Alonso, but have stalled on a bid for Alex Sandro over the £60m valuation Juventus have placed on the Brazilian. Similarly, Chelsea will only sanction a loan exit for Michy Batshuayi if they manage to sign a forward this month. Sevilla want Batshuayi, but the Spaniards must wait to see if Chelsea can find somebody who can help out first-choice striker Alvaro Morata. On Batshuayi, Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte said: “He’s a young player, he’s a player who has a good future in front of him. He has to continue to work in this way with commitment, for sure it's not simple to be young to play in a great team like Chelsea. “I’m happy with his commitment, behaviour in training and when he's playing.”

Five Mid-Major Prospects That Should Be on NBA Radars

?It goes without saying by now that every year, NBA draft prospects emerge from unexpected places. It’s why scouts travel to small college towns, why the Portsmouth Invitational exists, and why high school recruiting rankings are never perfect. Identifying players who are off the high major grid but in position to thrive at the next level is part of the fun of evaluation.

The wealth of statistical information available has made parsing through a massive pool of college players and separating the wheat from chaff a little easier. On teams without a wealth of scorers or elite supporting talent, prospects who combine high offensive usage and high efficiency across a range of scoring situations are generally a good place to start. Generally speaking, these are guys who will evolve into NBA role players in their best-case scenarios, and so it’s not only a matter of projecting talent, but also envisioning adaptability and fit. Part of why events like Portsmouth, the draft combine and even summer shoe camps are great evaluation tools that you can take the best guys, remove the context of their team and see what happens.

Equally important is understanding why mid-major star X or surprisingly good player Y ended up in college situation Z. Sometimes it’s a late growth spurt or a high school injury that set back a prospect’s recruitment in the first place. Some guys need to transfer before finding a situation where they can thrive, and sometimes it’s something else entirely. NBA teams are impeccably thorough in gathering this type of contextual data, and it’s helpful when trying to determine what you’re looking at.

If you missed them, we’ve run features on a trio of less-heralded players: Chandler Hutchison (Boise State), Tyler Hall (Montana State) and Jordan Howard (Central Arkansas). As the second half gets underway, here are five mid-major stars drawing serious NBA attention and worth your time.

Alize Johnson | Missouri State | Senior | Forward

Johnson is a late bloomer whose skill level and production have made him a person of interest for NBA teams over the course of the past year. A native of Williamsport, Pa., Johnson was not a D-I qualifier out of high school, which led him to Frank Phillips Community College in Texas. While there, he shot up from 6’5” to 6’9” and retained his guard skills, transforming him into a legitimate point-forward type and placing him squarely in the draft conversation. Johnson averaged a double-double last season as a junior, tested the draft to get feedback and left an impression on scouts while winning MVP at Adidas Nations over the summer.

Through 17 games, Johnson’s production has remained mostly in line with last year, averaging 15.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game to anchor Missouri State. He has eight double-doubles in his last nine games and per KenPom.com, Johnson’s defensive rebound rate (30.1%) is on track to rank Top 10 nationally for a second straight year. He’s adept at grabbing the ball off the glass and pushing in transition, allowing his teammates to run the floor as he initiates. Johnson’s ability to attack the basket in space and make the right pass shines in the open floor, and that’s where much of his intrigue stems from. He’s laterally quick and competes in a low stance on the defensive end, able to switch on the perimeter and defend wings and bigs. That kind of versatility has obvious appeal for teams.

It’s worth noting that Johnson’s shooting percentages have dipped as his offensive responsibility has increased this season. While some of that may be circumstantial, how well he can space the floor long term will be particularly crucial to his success. Having guard skills and being a guard aren’t the same thing, and Johnson may struggle to consistently create his own shot in the halfcourt. He’ll benefit from a situation where he can play alongside quality playmakers and shooters. His overall range of desirable strengths is difficult to find, and will force teams to think long and hard in the middle of the draft.

Kevin Hervey | UT-Arlington | Senior | Forward

Hervey checks all the right boxes when it comes to size and skill, and was on the draft radar last season after winning Sun Belt Player of the Year. That honor came as he continued to shake off the rust from a torn left ACL suffered in January 2016 (to boot, he previously tore the right one in high school). Though his medical situation could prove pertinent down the line, Hervey is in midst of his best season yet, averaging 21.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals over his first 16 games. Assuming 35.4% of his team’s shots while on the floor, he’s shouldered a greater load than ever and continued to efficiently anchor a quality UT-Arlington team. He’s trending the right direction at the right time.

Standing 6’9” with a 7’3” wingspan, Hervey is an excellent rebounder and can match up ably with taller players. He’s a legitimate perimeter threat, shooting 36.1% percent on nearly seven attempts per game this season. Hervey can get to his shot via screens or off the bounce and should be able to space the floor in a stretch-four role. He’s doing damage in a range of ways, finding success off spot-ups (where Synergy puts him in the 90th percentile of scorers nationally), the offensive glass (76th percentile) and cutting into space (87th percentile). Hervey can attack off one or two dribbles around the basket and has also been effectively used as a roll man and post-up threat. It’s a highly unique offensive profile that points to a good chance of adaptability at the NBA level.

There’s some risk Hervey ends up stuck between positions—he doesn’t create much off the dribble, often settles for jumpers and isn’t the most physical player inside. He’s not a great leaper and doesn’t block a ton of shots (just a 2% block rate is a little concerning). It’s worth wondering how much his injury history factors in with those tendencies. There’s certainly enough to Hervey’s game to warrant an opportunity here: while bigs who shoot threes are highly valuable as a specialist archetype, the ones who succeed at the next level tend to be multidimensional. He fits that bill nicely.

Milik Yarbrough | Illinois State | Junior | Forward

Yarbrough went head-to-head with Johnson and Missouri State on Sunday and was terrific in a 72–68 win, tallying 23 points, four assists and four steals. The 6’6” wing has largely been stellar for Illinois State (where his late father starred in the 1970s) after transferring from Saint Louis and sitting out last season. It hasn’t taken long for Yarbrough to emerge as one of the Missouri Valley’s most talented players and a legitimate NBA prospect. He’ll turn 23 in October, and given how impactful he’s been, it will make sense for him to test the draft waters in the spring. Per KenPom data, Yarbrough is one of two players who rank Top Five nationally in usage rate (36.5%) and assist rate (43.5%) and Top 10 in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (8.2), and the other is Trae Young.

With strong physical tools and playmaking ability, Yarbrough has successfully handled that absurd large amount of responsibility for the Redbirds, averaging 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists through 15 games. He’s shown high-level feel for the game and is an outstanding passer, although he can be turnover-prone as a result of the volume of decisions put on his plate. Yarbrough displays creativity attacking off the dribble and uses his body to draw contact and get to the line. He’s a heady defender, with the length and wherewithal to poke the ball loose and be disruptive. NBA teams have been intrigued by his all-around game.

It’s unlikely Yarbrough will be tasked with carrying an offense at the next level, which does raise questions about his eventual role. He does most of his damage with the ball in his hands and has been afforded tons of freedom he may not find again. He’ll have to get used to playing away from the ball, and while his 34.7% clip from three-point range is a small sample, continuing to shoot effectively will be particularly important. Given his physicality, toughness and smarts, Yarbrough will have a chance to succeed as a grinder-style wing who can contribute across the board.

Kendrick Nunn | Oakland | Senior | Guard

Once a coveted recruit out of Chicago where he won four state titles alongside Jabari Parker at Simeon Career Academy, Nunn was a three-year starter at Illinois, where he averaged 15.5 points per game as a junior. He was dismissed from the program in May 2016 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge that stemmed from a domestic violence arrest involving his then-girlfriend. Nunn was handed another chance in the Horizon League at Oakland, where he’s scored 20-plus points in 11 of his first 14 games and 30-plus on six occasions. The quality of his play has put him back on the map as an NBA prospect.

A well-built 6’3” slasher, Nunn leans heavily on a consistent left-handed stroke. He’s shooting 40.8% from outside and attempting double-digit threes per game after making them at a 36% clip or better in all three years at Illinois. He’s taking an absurd amount of Oakland’s shots while on the floor (a 37% rate that puts him in the Top 10 nationally according to KenPom) but has largely been efficient with his opportunities. He’s more of a straight-line driver when attacking the basket, with a strong upper body and some explosiveness off the dribble in space. Nunn’s game has become more perimeter-focused over time, but he can give defenses problems in a variety of areas.

Nunn is also a capable playmaker, with a 26.6% assist rate that’s especially impressive for a player known chiefly as a scorer for most of his career. He’s averaging 4.2 assists per game and has some secondary playmaking potential that helps mitigate the fact he’s undersized to be purely a two-guard. Nunn has the physical tools to cut it defensively when applying his energy, and because he won’t be faced with as hefty an offensive workload as a pro, making an impact on both sides of the ball will be imperative. He’ll turn 23 over the summer and teams will do their background work, but scouts have been impressed by his play and he appears bound for a chance to prove himself.

Mike Daum | South Dakota State | Junior | Forward

A wide-set 6’9” with a reported 7’3” wingspan, Daum combines NBA size with one of the more impressive scoring résumés of any prospect in college basketball. Daum was raised on a farm in Nebraska and learned the game from his mother, who was an All-American player at Wyoming in the 1980s, where his father (who had a brief stint with the Houston Oilers) played tight end. He redshirted on arrival at South Dakota State and has worked hard on his body over the course of the last few years, positioning himself to test and get feedback from teams in the spring.

By now, Daum’s ruthlessly efficient scoring is far from a secret. Averaging 22.7 points and 8.6 rebounds, Daum’s skill level as an inside-out scorer pops. He’s on course for a third straight season in the Top 20 nationally when it comes to usage rate, according to KenPom.com, a third straight season with a true shooting mark of more than 60% and with a three-point clip above 40%. While his efficiency is actually slightly down from last season, the track record holds up well. And to be fair, Daum’s 2016-17 was a truly remarkable campaign: he rated in the 85th percentile or above as a scorer in every single one of Synergy Sports’ offensive play type except for isolation. Good with either hand and dangerous on the block, spotting up and as a screener, Daum hung 31 points on Wichita State and 21 on Kansas this season and should have South Dakota State in position to return to the NCAA tournament.

While Daum’s significant length will help him match up with bigger players, he’s not a shot-blocker by trade. He’s not a great defender and will continue to face scrutiny as a defender and athlete as the NBA game skews smaller and faster at his position. It’s hard to doubt how great he’s been, but his offensive impact may have to outweigh what could amount to a defensive minus regardless of personnel and scheme. If he stays in school, Daum will have the chance to play his final year as a grad transfer, in which case he’d be a hot commodity for high-level programs. Regardless, he may not have much left to prove at the college level.

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Arsene Wenger could be open to selling Alexis Sanchez this month'  

As Storm Eleanor batters Britain's coastline, there is a rising tide of transfer speculation to keep us sated before Arsenal's match against Chelsea at the Emirates.  Once again, Alexis Sanchez is centre stage with The Mirror reporting Arsene Wenger is softening his stance over the Chilean's future and could be open to a January sale.  That would depend on Arsenal procuring a replacement of remotely comparable quality, with Monaco's Thomas Lemar the player they lined up last summer.  Wenger said: “We are open in any position for the exceptional player who can give us a plus. “Of course it depends a little bit on the injuries as well and on the other hand I must say it depends on if we manage to extend the contracts of the players who are on the end of their contracts in June. Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal might have to react in the January window Credit: PA “It will depend on that as well because we will have to take the consequences of these decisions and respond to it."  Manchester City is Sanchez's preferred destination though Arsenal would rather sell to a foreign club such as Paris Saint-Germain - but they have lost control of the situation with only six months left on his contract.  Chelsea manager Antonio Conte described Sanchez as 'one of the best in the world', while John Aldridge used his column in the Irish Independent to urge former club Liverpool to make a 'cheeky' £40 million bid. Perhaps £40 million and one pound would do the trick.  Speaking of Liverpool, they too could be preparing for a major departure with The Times reporting Philippe Coutinho believes he has played his last game for Liverpool.  Chris Bascombe reported earlier this week that the Anfield club will only sell for an astronomical fee, and it could take an offer in excess of £130 million to make Liverpool budge.  David Luiz's future is in his own hands Credit: Getty Images Our own Matt Law reports that Chelsea could be willing to let David Luiz and Michyi Batsuayi leave this month, but only if they have a strong desire to leave Stamford Bridge.  Luiz has been demoted in favour of Andreas Christensen, while Michy Batshuayi has never quite gained his trust despite scoring the odd crucial goal from the bench.  The Mirror say Chelsea are keen to push through £50 million move for Juventus left-back Alex Sandro, who was their first choice left wing-back target throughout last summer. Completing a move of that stature in January could prove difficult though.  Everton's move for Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun is already threatening to drag on, but The Guardian report they hope to wrap up a deal at a meeting on Wednesday.   Elsewhere, West Ham retain their interest in Stoke midfielder Joe Allen according to Sky Sports while Spanish newspaper AS report that West Ham, Everton, Crystal Palace and Southampton want to sign Atletico Madrid's Nicolas Gaitan.  January 2018 transfer window In the Midlands, Championship leaders Wolves could be about to sign Real Madrid target and Valencia forward Rafa Mir according to the Express and Star, while Grzegorz Krychowiak could be free to leave West Brom - so say TalkSPORT.  And the rest... Ahead of schedule Jose Mourinho was not supposed to reach this stage until mid-way through next season, but the Daily Mail report that he is walking a fine line with the Manchester United hierarchy after saying their investment in the transfer market was 'not enough.  Round of applause for  The Burton Albion supporter who gave CPR to one of his fellow fans during their trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and saved his life. Derek Wainwright started a Twitter search for the hero, and 5,000 retweets later he was identified as Rob Wakelin. Bravo, that man.  We are looking for a Burton fan that was at Hillsborough yesterday, they did CPR on one of our fans helping to save his life, is it possible to spread the word as the guys family are trying to trace the fan that helped? Any #bafc know who this was? Cheers— Derek Wainwright (@DerekWainwright) January 2, 2018 Blast from the past  Man United and PSG have made contact with free agent Lassana Diarra, according to various sources. The former Chelsea, Arsenal, Portsmouth and Real Madrid midfielder was released by UAE side Al Jazira, and reportedly favours a move to Paris. Is it 2018 or 2008?

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Arsene Wenger could be open to selling Alexis Sanchez this month'  

As Storm Eleanor batters Britain's coastline, there is a rising tide of transfer speculation to keep us sated before Arsenal's match against Chelsea at the Emirates.  Once again, Alexis Sanchez is centre stage with The Mirror reporting Arsene Wenger is softening his stance over the Chilean's future and could be open to a January sale.  That would depend on Arsenal procuring a replacement of remotely comparable quality, with Monaco's Thomas Lemar the player they lined up last summer.  Wenger said: “We are open in any position for the exceptional player who can give us a plus. “Of course it depends a little bit on the injuries as well and on the other hand I must say it depends on if we manage to extend the contracts of the players who are on the end of their contracts in June. Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal might have to react in the January window Credit: PA “It will depend on that as well because we will have to take the consequences of these decisions and respond to it."  Manchester City is Sanchez's preferred destination though Arsenal would rather sell to a foreign club such as Paris Saint-Germain - but they have lost control of the situation with only six months left on his contract.  Chelsea manager Antonio Conte described Sanchez as 'one of the best in the world', while John Aldridge used his column in the Irish Independent to urge former club Liverpool to make a 'cheeky' £40 million bid. Perhaps £40 million and one pound would do the trick.  Speaking of Liverpool, they too could be preparing for a major departure with The Times reporting Philippe Coutinho believes he has played his last game for Liverpool.  Chris Bascombe reported earlier this week that the Anfield club will only sell for an astronomical fee, and it could take an offer in excess of £130 million to make Liverpool budge.  David Luiz's future is in his own hands Credit: Getty Images Our own Matt Law reports that Chelsea could be willing to let David Luiz and Michyi Batsuayi leave this month, but only if they have a strong desire to leave Stamford Bridge.  Luiz has been demoted in favour of Andreas Christensen, while Michy Batshuayi has never quite gained his trust despite scoring the odd crucial goal from the bench.  The Mirror say Chelsea are keen to push through £50 million move for Juventus left-back Alex Sandro, who was their first choice left wing-back target throughout last summer. Completing a move of that stature in January could prove difficult though.  Everton's move for Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun is already threatening to drag on, but The Guardian report they hope to wrap up a deal at a meeting on Wednesday.   Elsewhere, West Ham retain their interest in Stoke midfielder Joe Allen according to Sky Sports while Spanish newspaper AS report that West Ham, Everton, Crystal Palace and Southampton want to sign Atletico Madrid's Nicolas Gaitan.  January 2018 transfer window In the Midlands, Championship leaders Wolves could be about to sign Real Madrid target and Valencia forward Rafa Mir according to the Express and Star, while Grzegorz Krychowiak could be free to leave West Brom - so say TalkSPORT.  And the rest... Ahead of schedule Jose Mourinho was not supposed to reach this stage until mid-way through next season, but the Daily Mail report that he is walking a fine line with the Manchester United hierarchy after saying their investment in the transfer market was 'not enough.  Round of applause for  The Burton Albion supporter who gave CPR to one of his fellow fans during their trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and saved his life. Derek Wainwright started a Twitter search for the hero, and 5,000 retweets later he was identified as Rob Wakelin. Bravo, that man.  We are looking for a Burton fan that was at Hillsborough yesterday, they did CPR on one of our fans helping to save his life, is it possible to spread the word as the guys family are trying to trace the fan that helped? Any #bafc know who this was? Cheers— Derek Wainwright (@DerekWainwright) January 2, 2018 Blast from the past  Man United and PSG have made contact with free agent Lassana Diarra, according to various sources. The former Chelsea, Arsenal, Portsmouth and Real Madrid midfielder was released by UAE side Al Jazira, and reportedly favours a move to Paris. Is it 2018 or 2008?

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Arsene Wenger could be open to selling Alexis Sanchez this month'  

As Storm Eleanor batters Britain's coastline, there is a rising tide of transfer speculation to keep us sated before Arsenal's match against Chelsea at the Emirates.  Once again, Alexis Sanchez is centre stage with The Mirror reporting Arsene Wenger is softening his stance over the Chilean's future and could be open to a January sale.  That would depend on Arsenal procuring a replacement of remotely comparable quality, with Monaco's Thomas Lemar the player they lined up last summer.  Wenger said: “We are open in any position for the exceptional player who can give us a plus. “Of course it depends a little bit on the injuries as well and on the other hand I must say it depends on if we manage to extend the contracts of the players who are on the end of their contracts in June. Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal might have to react in the January window Credit: PA “It will depend on that as well because we will have to take the consequences of these decisions and respond to it."  Manchester City is Sanchez's preferred destination though Arsenal would rather sell to a foreign club such as Paris Saint-Germain - but they have lost control of the situation with only six months left on his contract.  Chelsea manager Antonio Conte described Sanchez as 'one of the best in the world', while John Aldridge used his column in the Irish Independent to urge former club Liverpool to make a 'cheeky' £40 million bid. Perhaps £40 million and one pound would do the trick.  Speaking of Liverpool, they too could be preparing for a major departure with The Times reporting Philippe Coutinho believes he has played his last game for Liverpool.  Chris Bascombe reported earlier this week that the Anfield club will only sell for an astronomical fee, and it could take an offer in excess of £130 million to make Liverpool budge.  David Luiz's future is in his own hands Credit: Getty Images Our own Matt Law reports that Chelsea could be willing to let David Luiz and Michyi Batsuayi leave this month, but only if they have a strong desire to leave Stamford Bridge.  Luiz has been demoted in favour of Andreas Christensen, while Michy Batshuayi has never quite gained his trust despite scoring the odd crucial goal from the bench.  The Mirror say Chelsea are keen to push through £50 million move for Juventus left-back Alex Sandro, who was their first choice left wing-back target throughout last summer. Completing a move of that stature in January could prove difficult though.  Everton's move for Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun is already threatening to drag on, but The Guardian report they hope to wrap up a deal at a meeting on Wednesday.   Elsewhere, West Ham retain their interest in Stoke midfielder Joe Allen according to Sky Sports while Spanish newspaper AS report that West Ham, Everton, Crystal Palace and Southampton want to sign Atletico Madrid's Nicolas Gaitan.  January 2018 transfer window In the Midlands, Championship leaders Wolves could be about to sign Real Madrid target and Valencia forward Rafa Mir according to the Express and Star, while Grzegorz Krychowiak could be free to leave West Brom - so say TalkSPORT.  And the rest... Ahead of schedule Jose Mourinho was not supposed to reach this stage until mid-way through next season, but the Daily Mail report that he is walking a fine line with the Manchester United hierarchy after saying their investment in the transfer market was 'not enough.  Round of applause for  The Burton Albion supporter who gave CPR to one of his fellow fans during their trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and saved his life. Derek Wainwright started a Twitter search for the hero, and 5,000 retweets later he was identified as Rob Wakelin. Bravo, that man.  We are looking for a Burton fan that was at Hillsborough yesterday, they did CPR on one of our fans helping to save his life, is it possible to spread the word as the guys family are trying to trace the fan that helped? Any #bafc know who this was? Cheers— Derek Wainwright (@DerekWainwright) January 2, 2018 Blast from the past  Man United and PSG have made contact with free agent Lassana Diarra, according to various sources. The former Chelsea, Arsenal, Portsmouth and Real Madrid midfielder was released by UAE side Al Jazira, and reportedly favours a move to Paris. Is it 2018 or 2008?

Video Interviews - Greyhound Tip-Off Classic

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Charlton seek a little bit of history repeated as Karl Robinson aims to tap into fan power amid owner turmoil

Twenty-five years ago this week, Charlton Athletic returned to The Valley, after a depressing seven-year exile of nomadic ground-sharing, to beat Portsmouth 1-0 in the First Division amid a joyous party atmosphere. On Saturday, in one of those little quirks, they face Portsmouth again. It should be nothing but a cause for celebration, a celebration of what Charlton manager Karl Robinson calls one of the most “iconic moments in football history... what they did 25 years ago, I don’t think that will happen again”. It was, Robinson notes, a testimony to “what fan power can actually do”. For many Charlton supporters that comment touches a raw nerve given the controversial, unhappy ownership of the club by Belgian businessman Roland Duchatelet, who they are still trying to force out. Charlton struggled to recover from Premier League relegation in 2007 but the way the club has been run under Duchatelet has alienated many fans, even if on the field it has improved since Robinson became the eighth manager in three years in November 2016. “When I went into the club I knew how hard it was going to be,” Robinson says. “So I just tried to be me, stick to being the coach and say what I felt.” Karl Robinson (left) argues with Neil Ardley, manager of AFC Wimbledon Credit: GETTY IMAGES That included meeting fans “over a few pints” and navigating the line between hearing their concerns, being respectful of his employer and trying to turn the club around. Charlton are sixth in League One, in the play-off places, and clearly a return to the Championship is a priority. There has been a Robinson resurgence. But there remains an essential sadness that a club that has represented so much in terms of supporter power and a proud, fierce community spirit is in this way. The protest group CARD - the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet – is working hard for change, although they may be disappointed to hear that Robinson does not think a takeover is imminent. “I think it can be distracting but I have been told that’s not the case and have to take that on face value,” Robinson says. “Listen, I do my job the best I can. I don’t get involved in the politics. It (the dissent) is not as loud but I don’t think it’s quietened down in terms of how people feel about it. I think CARD brought something out a month ago saying they respect what we are trying to do on the pitch and that, for us, was a tremendous testament. Charlton fans protest against owner Roland Duchatelet Credit: GETTY IMAGES “Whether they are part of CARD or not they are still fans and we just hope that one day we can come together and be a much stronger club. I don’t know what makes that happen. We just hope that we can put ourselves in a place where we are all one.” It cannot happen under Duchatelet. Robinson’s concerns are on the pitch but he is well aware of the importance of the Portsmouth match. “Our main objective is to get promoted but there are certain moments where people see the bigger picture and at every football club that is the fans, what they stand for and what they have been through,” he says. “Fundamentally, I want to make people proud of being a Charlton Athletic fan and when they look back at what they did, they should be so proud of themselves.” Food for thought over Newcastle takeover Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley talked over her proposed takeover of Newcastle United at a London curry house on Wednesday night. As you do. That will give Newcastle fans heart, given the fear that the two parties remain so far apart in their valuation. But there is plenty of food for thought. The fear is the effect this is all having, not least with the growing realisation that if a deal is agreed it will not go through until after the January transfer window closes. Hopefully an outline deal can be secured before then because the club desperately needs a kick-start with new signings after an unhappy summer transfer period. Newcastle are in a dangerous limbo. They have two vital home games in five days: on Saturday they face a revitalised Leicester City, then they host Everton, led by former manager Sam Allardyce. A glance at the table shows how precariously they are pitched. They are 15th, five points outside the relegation places, but are on the slide having lost five of their last six matches, and won once in 10. Not so long ago they were over-achieving, now, while they talk, they are in danger of going under. Wilshere needs more game time Jack Wilshere started the week with an ice skating controversy after being photographed on a rink - not a good thing with his glass ankles – and then helped Arsenal glide past BATE Borisov in the Europa League. He even scored. Cue fresh debate over an England recall. But England do not play again until March. If Wilshere actually starts a Premier League game before then there may be an argument. “You could see he is ready,” Arsene Wenger said afterwards, having recently, unhelpfully, urged Gareth Southgate to pick Wilshere for England. So hopefully Wenger will now play him rather than talk about playing him. Wilshere is brilliantly talented, the best of his generation, but has just 65 minutes in the league so far this season. There is no argument. Awesome foursome Ahead of the Merseyside derby, Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane have already scored 46 goals between them in all competitions this season. What is even more remarkable, though, is the frequency of goals the quartet score when they are on the pitch together: one every 23 minutes. Not ideal prep, Pep Manchester City flew to Ukraine on Monday for their Champions League tie away to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and stayed until Thursday afternoon. Given it was a ‘dead rubber’, given there is the Manchester derby this Sunday and given it was freezing cold, it did not feel like ideal preparation for such a big match.

Charlton seek a little bit of history repeated as Karl Robinson aims to tap into fan power amid owner turmoil

Twenty-five years ago this week, Charlton Athletic returned to The Valley, after a depressing seven-year exile of nomadic ground-sharing, to beat Portsmouth 1-0 in the First Division amid a joyous party atmosphere. On Saturday, in one of those little quirks, they face Portsmouth again. It should be nothing but a cause for celebration, a celebration of what Charlton manager Karl Robinson calls one of the most “iconic moments in football history... what they did 25 years ago, I don’t think that will happen again”. It was, Robinson notes, a testimony to “what fan power can actually do”. For many Charlton supporters that comment touches a raw nerve given the controversial, unhappy ownership of the club by Belgian businessman Roland Duchatelet, who they are still trying to force out. Charlton struggled to recover from Premier League relegation in 2007 but the way the club has been run under Duchatelet has alienated many fans, even if on the field it has improved since Robinson became the eighth manager in three years in November 2016. “When I went into the club I knew how hard it was going to be,” Robinson says. “So I just tried to be me, stick to being the coach and say what I felt.” Karl Robinson (left) argues with Neil Ardley, manager of AFC Wimbledon Credit: GETTY IMAGES That included meeting fans “over a few pints” and navigating the line between hearing their concerns, being respectful of his employer and trying to turn the club around. Charlton are sixth in League One, in the play-off places, and clearly a return to the Championship is a priority. There has been a Robinson resurgence. But there remains an essential sadness that a club that has represented so much in terms of supporter power and a proud, fierce community spirit is in this way. The protest group CARD - the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet – is working hard for change, although they may be disappointed to hear that Robinson does not think a takeover is imminent. “I think it can be distracting but I have been told that’s not the case and have to take that on face value,” Robinson says. “Listen, I do my job the best I can. I don’t get involved in the politics. It (the dissent) is not as loud but I don’t think it’s quietened down in terms of how people feel about it. I think CARD brought something out a month ago saying they respect what we are trying to do on the pitch and that, for us, was a tremendous testament. Charlton fans protest against owner Roland Duchatelet Credit: GETTY IMAGES “Whether they are part of CARD or not they are still fans and we just hope that one day we can come together and be a much stronger club. I don’t know what makes that happen. We just hope that we can put ourselves in a place where we are all one.” It cannot happen under Duchatelet. Robinson’s concerns are on the pitch but he is well aware of the importance of the Portsmouth match. “Our main objective is to get promoted but there are certain moments where people see the bigger picture and at every football club that is the fans, what they stand for and what they have been through,” he says. “Fundamentally, I want to make people proud of being a Charlton Athletic fan and when they look back at what they did, they should be so proud of themselves.” Food for thought over Newcastle takeover Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley talked over her proposed takeover of Newcastle United at a London curry house on Wednesday night. As you do. That will give Newcastle fans heart, given the fear that the two parties remain so far apart in their valuation. But there is plenty of food for thought. The fear is the effect this is all having, not least with the growing realisation that if a deal is agreed it will not go through until after the January transfer window closes. Hopefully an outline deal can be secured before then because the club desperately needs a kick-start with new signings after an unhappy summer transfer period. Newcastle are in a dangerous limbo. They have two vital home games in five days: on Saturday they face a revitalised Leicester City, then they host Everton, led by former manager Sam Allardyce. A glance at the table shows how precariously they are pitched. They are 15th, five points outside the relegation places, but are on the slide having lost five of their last six matches, and won once in 10. Not so long ago they were over-achieving, now, while they talk, they are in danger of going under. Wilshere needs more game time Jack Wilshere started the week with an ice skating controversy after being photographed on a rink - not a good thing with his glass ankles – and then helped Arsenal glide past BATE Borisov in the Europa League. He even scored. Cue fresh debate over an England recall. But England do not play again until March. If Wilshere actually starts a Premier League game before then there may be an argument. “You could see he is ready,” Arsene Wenger said afterwards, having recently, unhelpfully, urged Gareth Southgate to pick Wilshere for England. So hopefully Wenger will now play him rather than talk about playing him. Wilshere is brilliantly talented, the best of his generation, but has just 65 minutes in the league so far this season. There is no argument. Awesome foursome Ahead of the Merseyside derby, Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane have already scored 46 goals between them in all competitions this season. What is even more remarkable, though, is the frequency of goals the quartet score when they are on the pitch together: one every 23 minutes. Not ideal prep, Pep Manchester City flew to Ukraine on Monday for their Champions League tie away to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and stayed until Thursday afternoon. Given it was a ‘dead rubber’, given there is the Manchester derby this Sunday and given it was freezing cold, it did not feel like ideal preparation for such a big match.

Charlton seek a little bit of history repeated as Karl Robinson aims to tap into fan power amid owner turmoil

Twenty-five years ago this week, Charlton Athletic returned to The Valley, after a depressing seven-year exile of nomadic ground-sharing, to beat Portsmouth 1-0 in the First Division amid a joyous party atmosphere. On Saturday, in one of those little quirks, they face Portsmouth again. It should be nothing but a cause for celebration, a celebration of what Charlton manager Karl Robinson calls one of the most “iconic moments in football history... what they did 25 years ago, I don’t think that will happen again”. It was, Robinson notes, a testimony to “what fan power can actually do”. For many Charlton supporters that comment touches a raw nerve given the controversial, unhappy ownership of the club by Belgian businessman Roland Duchatelet, who they are still trying to force out. Charlton struggled to recover from Premier League relegation in 2007 but the way the club has been run under Duchatelet has alienated many fans, even if on the field it has improved since Robinson became the eighth manager in three years in November 2016. “When I went into the club I knew how hard it was going to be,” Robinson says. “So I just tried to be me, stick to being the coach and say what I felt.” Karl Robinson (left) argues with Neil Ardley, manager of AFC Wimbledon Credit: GETTY IMAGES That included meeting fans “over a few pints” and navigating the line between hearing their concerns, being respectful of his employer and trying to turn the club around. Charlton are sixth in League One, in the play-off places, and clearly a return to the Championship is a priority. There has been a Robinson resurgence. But there remains an essential sadness that a club that has represented so much in terms of supporter power and a proud, fierce community spirit is in this way. The protest group CARD - the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet – is working hard for change, although they may be disappointed to hear that Robinson does not think a takeover is imminent. “I think it can be distracting but I have been told that’s not the case and have to take that on face value,” Robinson says. “Listen, I do my job the best I can. I don’t get involved in the politics. It (the dissent) is not as loud but I don’t think it’s quietened down in terms of how people feel about it. I think CARD brought something out a month ago saying they respect what we are trying to do on the pitch and that, for us, was a tremendous testament. Charlton fans protest against owner Roland Duchatelet Credit: GETTY IMAGES “Whether they are part of CARD or not they are still fans and we just hope that one day we can come together and be a much stronger club. I don’t know what makes that happen. We just hope that we can put ourselves in a place where we are all one.” It cannot happen under Duchatelet. Robinson’s concerns are on the pitch but he is well aware of the importance of the Portsmouth match. “Our main objective is to get promoted but there are certain moments where people see the bigger picture and at every football club that is the fans, what they stand for and what they have been through,” he says. “Fundamentally, I want to make people proud of being a Charlton Athletic fan and when they look back at what they did, they should be so proud of themselves.” Food for thought over Newcastle takeover Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley talked over her proposed takeover of Newcastle United at a London curry house on Wednesday night. As you do. That will give Newcastle fans heart, given the fear that the two parties remain so far apart in their valuation. But there is plenty of food for thought. The fear is the effect this is all having, not least with the growing realisation that if a deal is agreed it will not go through until after the January transfer window closes. Hopefully an outline deal can be secured before then because the club desperately needs a kick-start with new signings after an unhappy summer transfer period. Newcastle are in a dangerous limbo. They have two vital home games in five days: on Saturday they face a revitalised Leicester City, then they host Everton, led by former manager Sam Allardyce. A glance at the table shows how precariously they are pitched. They are 15th, five points outside the relegation places, but are on the slide having lost five of their last six matches, and won once in 10. Not so long ago they were over-achieving, now, while they talk, they are in danger of going under. Wilshere needs more game time Jack Wilshere started the week with an ice skating controversy after being photographed on a rink - not a good thing with his glass ankles – and then helped Arsenal glide past BATE Borisov in the Europa League. He even scored. Cue fresh debate over an England recall. But England do not play again until March. If Wilshere actually starts a Premier League game before then there may be an argument. “You could see he is ready,” Arsene Wenger said afterwards, having recently, unhelpfully, urged Gareth Southgate to pick Wilshere for England. So hopefully Wenger will now play him rather than talk about playing him. Wilshere is brilliantly talented, the best of his generation, but has just 65 minutes in the league so far this season. There is no argument. Awesome foursome Ahead of the Merseyside derby, Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane have already scored 46 goals between them in all competitions this season. What is even more remarkable, though, is the frequency of goals the quartet score when they are on the pitch together: one every 23 minutes. Not ideal prep, Pep Manchester City flew to Ukraine on Monday for their Champions League tie away to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and stayed until Thursday afternoon. Given it was a ‘dead rubber’, given there is the Manchester derby this Sunday and given it was freezing cold, it did not feel like ideal preparation for such a big match.

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Charlie Austin equaliser ensures 'New Forest derby' finishes honours even

Charlie Austin was a bricklayer playing football part-time at Poole Town when Swindon gave him his break in the professional game. On Sunday, eight years on from his non-league days, he scored the equaliser for Southampton in the Premier League in what locally has been dubbed “the New Forest derby”. “The confidence of a striker is difficult to train, or buy. You need experience of scoring goals, and when you have a player in this form, it is good news,” said Mauricio Pellegrino, who has started the striker only twice in the league this season. Austin might have had more than his one goal after going close with two headers but the chance he did take, a low finish at the near post from Nathan Redmond’s cross, was enough to cancel out Ryan Fraser’s first-half goal. A draw was a fair result after Wesley Hoedt’s calamitous attempt at a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his own six-yard box handed Bournemouth their lead. “It was a good advert for the Premier League because I thought both teams went all-out attack for the win,” said Eddie Howe, the home manager. Both sides had strong penalty claims turned down in the first half. Bournemouth when Adam Smith was booked for diving after Sofiane Boufal had gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, and Southampton when Dusan Tadic’s shot struck Simon Francis’ arm. “I think it’s a clear penalty,” said Howe. “I can’t work out what the referee’s seen. I just said I wanted him [the referee] to have a look at it and give me his opinion.” A flare is thrown from the stands Credit: PA Both sets of supporters did their best to stoke up an atmosphere although Southampton fans did sing “there’s only one south coast derby”, referring to their better-known rivalry with Portsmouth. The first half was a cagey affair with the two goalkeepers distinguishing themselves with fine saves: Fraser Forster, when he showed impressive reactions to push Jermain Defoe’s point-blank effort round the post; and Asmir Begovic when he saved Austin’s header from James Ward-Prowse’s cross. “It was a top, top save. It went at him really quickly,” said Howe of Forster’s stop. Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth scores past Fraser Forster Credit: GETTY IMAGES The game seemed destined for a half-time stalemate but former Lazio defender Hoedt was robbed by Joshua King and Andrew Surman laid on a pass for the onrushing Fraser to sweep the ball low past Forster. “He’s upset but it’s part of our style of play and they pressed us well,” said Pellegrino. Pellegrino had left Redmond on the bench but brought him on for Ward-Prowse at the interval. The impact was immediate as Redmond and Boufal, assisted by Ryan Bertrand and Jeremy Pied, tormented the Bournemouth defence. Southampton were several times within a whisker of scoring, notably when Bertrand slid the ball across the six-yard box, forcing Begovic to save from Austin, and when Boufal set up Tadic. But Redmond’s low cross from the right was expertly finished into the bottom-right corner by Austin just after the hour mark to give him his seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts. It was Pellegrino’s men who then looked the most likely to score a winner as they continued to find joy from the wide areas. Austin headed inches over from Bertrand’s superb cross, while the excellent Bertrand then opted to shoot across goal rather than play in Austin, who would surely have applied the finishing touch. 3:20PM FULL TIME Ake heads over with a free header in the box and that's it. A deserved draw. Neither manager will be unhappy with that, both teams wasteful. 3:18PM 90 mins +3 Bertrand tries to throw the ball into play and it skids out of his hands. He and the crowd laugh as Bertrand motions to the camera that he meant it to waste time. The crowd goes 'ooooohhhhhhhhhhh WAAAAY!' when he successfully throws it in the second time. Afobe is on for the final few seconds! Bournemouth have a corner, send it long to the far post... and there's a foul in the box. What a waste. The crowd deflates. 3:16PM 90 mins Cook is so calm under pressure. He keeps the ball moving again as Bournemouth players look a little hurried and start rushing their passes. Southampton are winning it back easily as a result and look the more likely to get a late winner. Bertrand finds space on the left wing, crosses, it falls for Romeu who shouts to teammates to leave it... and bends a shot over the bar. Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal  The finishing hasn't been of an elite level today... 3:14PM 88 mins Howe is urging his team on, trying to get more out of them as the clock ticks to 90. Southampton clear their lines as Fraser cuts back in the box. 3:11PM 85 mins Gabbiadini is on for the final few minutes, replacing Davis, who had been in a number 10 role since Lemina came on. Southampton look for him straight away but it's headed clear. Ibe fouls Boufal wide of the box, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous looking position. 3:09PM 83 mins Cook lines up a shot... but it's a surprise pass! He chips instead and it hits the defender, giving Southampton the chance to break. Redmond sprints at pace, Austin moves ahead and runs onto the through-ball. But he's offside. Ibe tries to force a cross from inside the box but it's blocked for a throw in. 3:07PM 81 mins Bournemouth could be in here! King has space but has to shift the ball out wide to Ibe, who turns back on himself and is muscled out of it. Wilson takes on Bertrand for pace, loses and goes down. It's never a penalty and nobody really asks for one.  Bournemouth vs Southampton shots on goal Boufal finds Bertrand on the overlap, he crosses to the near post and Austin IS THERE! Headed over. Great run but he's missed the target from six yards.  3:04PM 78 mins Lemina is booked for pulling Cook's shirt. Ibe tries to turn his man but gives possession away. Boufal drives at goal, gets to the box and overruns it. Lemina is offside. There's still no real bite to this game, it's calm, both teams are wary of conceding the next surely decisive goal. 3:01PM 75 mins Bournemouth are in control of the ball now and looking for a way in behind the Southampton defence. All that keeps happening is the ball goes into the striker, goes back, passed around and repeat .But now they are in behind! King is able to get a shot away from inside the area as it's cut back to him, he spins the defender and then watches Forster push it wide. Wilson is a half second away from reaching it for a tap in. 2:59PM 72 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES  Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession. Ibe is wide right but keeps going backwards with his passes. Cook has been excellent in midfield, always available, always moving and looking to help shift the ball. 2:57PM 69 mins Bournemouth make a change. Ibe on, Stanislas off. Defoe off, Wilson on.  And it's nearly 2-1 Southampton! The ball comes into the area and reaches Austin's head... and hits the bar! But the referee had already blown his whistle. Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton  The subs haven't changed the flow of the game yet, Southampton still in charge. 2:52PM 66 mins Bertrand is in! But the ball's behind for a goal kick. That's so poor at this level - he had to square it for Austin! Instead, Bertrand's knee-high half cross/half shot fizzes past the far post. It should probably be 2-1. Southampton all over Bournemouth at the moment. Pass: Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Ryan Bertrand, 64 min)   2:48PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL AUSTIN DOES IT! Bournemouth 1 - 1 Southampton (Charlie Austin, 61 min) Southampton have been pushing and get a deserved equaliser! It's another well worked move, Southampton playing some nice football and taking advantage of Cook taking too long on the ball. Romeu feeds Redmond, who crosses low for Austin to sidefoot home. 2:46PM 60 mins Bournemouth are keeping the ball well, moving it around and getting men forward. Cook does well to go past a midfielder and spray the ball out wide, Stanislas tries to side foot a shot into the bottom corner but it's easily saved. Southampton attack and try to get Austin for a tap in at the near post. Tadic has a cross/shot turned away by Begovic and then - somehow - Bournemouth scramble the ball over the bar to give away a corner. Begovic punches it clear, Pied shoots way over. 2:42PM 57 mins Ole! Great skill by King, who nutmegs his man with a little drag back trick. Romeu doesn't like it and fouls Smith as he sprints down the right.  2:40PM 54 mins Southampton like attacking down the left wing with Boufal cutting inside but he's being well looked after by the Bournemouth back line.  2:37PM 51 mins King draws a foul but the free-kick doesn't yield a chance at goal. The follow up does! Bournemouth keep the ball moving down the left, some intricate passing in the box opens up space and Stanislas is inches away from turning the ball in at the back post as it rolls across an open net! So close.   2:33PM 48 mins The second half has started as the first ended. Bournemouth are sat ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Southampton get the first shot away as Boufal finds space on the left and shoots across goal. Begovic saves well. 2:31PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! 2:17PM Average positions Average touch positions (half time) Bournemouth set up on the counter-attack, Southampton want to dictate the game. Eddie Howe's strategy working best so far. 2:17PM Possession Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   2:16PM HALF TIME It's been a very even game so far but Bournemouth deserve their lead. Just.  2:15PM 45 mins Great quick passing move from Southampton. Bertrand gets forward and looks up for the cross, spots Boufal's run into the box and cuts it back. He must score! But blasts his shot way over the bar. Poor. Out: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Sofiane Boufal, 45 min)   2:12PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Bournemouth 1 - 0 Southampton (Ryan Fraser, 42 min) King pounces on the mistake by Hoedt, steals the ball and plays it inside to Cook. They have men over, Fraser bursts into the box and finishes low to make it 1-0. 2:11PM 41 mins Southampton can't quite break past the half way line and are forced back by the high Bournemouth press. And they've won it back here! 2:09PM 39 mins Smith goes for the wonder strike, teeing himself up before a volleying a wild shot high and wide. Would've looked mega cool if that had gone in. Begovic rises well to catch the ball in a busy penalty area from a Southampton free-kick.  DANIIIIEEEEELLLLLS! Oh my lord. Daniels sees the ball roll towards him and goes to replicate that amazing strike he hit against Man City, putting his foot through and across the ball to slice it towards the top corner at power. He is inches away from destroying the back of the net.  Out: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Charlie Daniels, 39 min)   2:05PM 36 mins Daniels tries an early cross from the left but it's too far ahead of any Bournemouth striker to get a head on.  Credit: REUTERS That's one of Forster's super reaction saves from earlier.  2:02PM 33 mins Is that a penalty?! No! The referee gives a free-kick to Southampton! Bournemouth players can't believe it, they're sure they should have a penalty as Smith goes down over the challenge of Boufal. Boufal dives into a slide tackle, catches the Bournemouth man but it does look a little like Smith is waiting for the contact and leaves his leg in. Tough call but probably the right one. WHAT A SAVE! A tale of two goalkeepers! The ball is curled in by Ward-Prowse superbly to Austin's run at the back post. He heads at goal from close range and Begovic denies him. The follow up shot comes off a Bournemouth player and Southampton want a penalty they're never getting. 1:59PM 30 mins Southampton attack down the left, Austin juggles the ball trying to bring it down in the area and Pied tries a long range effort which doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper.  Bournemouth run towards goal with King leading the charge but he's brought down while trying to thread a pass forward. The ball he plays is poor and the referee brings play back for the foul. He could shoot from here actually. It's about 25/30 yards out and Stanislas lines the shot up... but doesn't get enough power on it. The ball hits the ball and ends up as a throw on the left. 1:56PM 27 mins Whata pass by Daniels! He bends it around the Southampton centre-backs and wins a corner. Stanislas comes across to take it, it's fired into the near post and cleared.  Fraser loses control while trying to dribble inside and then fouls Boufal. 1:54PM 24 mins Cook strides forward after a one-two with Stanislas and tries an ambitious effort from about 30 yards but it doesn't dip and flies over the bar. It's always worth a go but the England youngster's got that one wrong. 1:52PM 22 mins Forster has to save again! Two wonder saves in a few minutes! Bournemouth so close to opening the scoring. Credit: REUTERS  The tide has turned a little here and Bournemouth are putting the pressure on Southampton. 1:50PM 19 mins Bournemouth threaten on the counter attack as Fraser is played in down the left but his attempted cross is cleared. The corner comes in and falls to Smith on the edge of the area. He shoots... it's deflected and WHAT A SAVE BY FORSTER! 1:46PM 16 mins Now Tadic goes close. Southampton causing all the early problems here. Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) They're passing quickly, stretching the pitch, moving into space and winning the midfield battle.   1:44PM 13 mins SO CLOSE VAN DIJK! He attacks a corner and turns his header onto the post.  Miss: Bournemouth 0 - 0 Southampton (Virgil van Dijk, 12 min) Good effort but it pings behind for a corner. 1:41PM 12 mins Bournemouth focusing play down the left, looking to get Fraser on the ball ahead of Daniels, who has been quite advanced so far.  Howe's team are pressing high but Southampton are committed to keeping the ball and do really well to pass around the press and come forward. Austin can't control a quick pass and ruins a promising attacking move.  1:38PM 9 mins This doesn't really have the feel of a particularly heated derby. Both teams are measured, calm, trying to build play from the back.  Possession: Bournemouth vs Southampton   1:35PM 6 mins Romeu and Davis are keeping things neat in the middle, Defoe catches the former with a late challenge and gives Southampton a chance to put the ball in the box from near the centre-circle.  It's put into the area, bounces around a bit and Davis tries a hopeful shot which goes out for a throw. 1:33PM 3 mins Southampton in control of possession early on. Tadic gets into the box down the left and pulls it back... this is a chance! But it's blocked. 1:31PM KICK-OFF And we're off! 1:25PM Here come the players Both teams are in the tunnel. It's nearly time for a south coast derby! 1:18PM The warm up Credit: GETTY IMAGES   1:16PM Managers' pre-match thoughts Howe Just to freshen the team up, three games in a week, I think we'll do very well. It's a good game for us, I think the crowd will get involved and at home against Southampton it should be a great atmosphere. I really want an energetic high tempo game.  Pellegrino Every single game is different but obviously with games in the middle of the week I will use most of them, people fresh, it will hopefully be different game. For us it will be important to keep same performance. It's part of our job, but we have to see the positive. We were competing against the best team in the world at the moment. Hopefully we can bounce back from this performance and today in the derby we need to do the same to have something positive here. 1:06PM Top scorers Neither of these teams tends to score a huge amount of goals in any given game, and the top scorer for both teams only has three. That said, Southampton have Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steve Davis all on three, while Bournemouth only have Callum Wilson to have scored over two. This might be a rather low scoring affair. 12:51PM The goalkeepers' thoughts Asmir Begovic "I don't think we reached the levels we know we can on Wednesday but it's a big chance to put things right." Fraser Forster "I think we've put it behind us, there were positives to take, today's a new challenge, a different game and one we're ready for. We need the right mentality, important to be ready for the battle from the opening minutes. You've got to be ready for the fight from minute one." 12:41PM Mauricio Pellegrino shooting a music video Credit: GETTY IMAGES   12:38PM Preview Hello! Welcome to our liveblog for Sunday's big, early Premier League match between Bournemouth and Southampton, which according to Eddie Howe is basically a derby. Derbies are exciting. Bournemouth will be looking to hit back after their 2-1 defeat to Burnley midweek, Southampton could just do with scoring some goals and providing some entertainment. Their season is very slowly becoming extremely medium. Here are the teams: Bournemouth Begovic, A Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Stanislas, L Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Defoe Southampton Forster, Pied, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Davis, Austin  

Gary Megson insists he is not auditioning for West Brom hotseat against Tottenham

The last time Gary Megson managed in the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson was still at Manchester United and Portsmouth were a top-flight club. Megson is set to take charge of his first game in the top division since December 2009 on Saturday against Tottenham Hotspur, back in the technical area with West Bromwich Albion. He returned to the game this summer after answering an SOS from Tony Pulis but now finds himself as interim manager after Albion sacked the Welshman on Monday. Alan Pardew remains the favourite to take over permanently at the Hawthorns and Megson, 58, has admitted he finds the situation uncomfortable as he prepares for this weekend’s trip to Wembley. “This is absolutely not an audition for me and while everyone aspires to be in the Premier League, this is in the most unfortunate of circumstances,” he told Telegraph Sport. Alan Pardew remains the favourite to take over the role long-term Credit: Reuters “I’ve obviously been out of football for some time and this isn’t something I was expecting to happen earlier this year.  “I was on my way to Corsica on holiday with my wife when Tony called me and asked to come in as his assistant. I wasn’t sure about it as I’d never done the role before. “Now we’ve had a chain of events that require me to take charge of the team, for however long it is. I’ve taken nearly 700 games as a manager so hopefully West Brom think I know what I’m doing.” Megson's last managerial job was at Sheffield Wednesday Credit: Action Images Megson’s last job was at Sheffield Wednesday, with Milan Mandaric controversially wielding the axe in February 2012 after a 1-0 win over their Steel City rivals, with the club third in League One. He spent the next two years applying for managerial posts but struggled to even get an interview.  This weekend, however, he will face Mauricio Pochettino in front of over 65,000 people hoping to secure Albion’s first league win since August. “We’ve contrived to get three draws from three games we should have won and that’s why we’re in this position,” he said. “It makes the games against the super-powers even harder but we will go there and look to cause them problems. "There is no such thing as a caretaker manager - you're either the manager or you haven't got one. I'm contracted to West Brom and no matter what happens to me, we've all got a job to do."

Gary Megson insists he is not auditioning for West Brom hotseat against Tottenham

The last time Gary Megson managed in the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson was still at Manchester United and Portsmouth were a top-flight club. Megson is set to take charge of his first game in the top division since December 2009 on Saturday against Tottenham Hotspur, back in the technical area with West Bromwich Albion. He returned to the game this summer after answering an SOS from Tony Pulis but now finds himself as interim manager after Albion sacked the Welshman on Monday. Alan Pardew remains the favourite to take over permanently at the Hawthorns and Megson, 58, has admitted he finds the situation uncomfortable as he prepares for this weekend’s trip to Wembley. “This is absolutely not an audition for me and while everyone aspires to be in the Premier League, this is in the most unfortunate of circumstances,” he told Telegraph Sport. Alan Pardew remains the favourite to take over the role long-term Credit: Reuters “I’ve obviously been out of football for some time and this isn’t something I was expecting to happen earlier this year.  “I was on my way to Corsica on holiday with my wife when Tony called me and asked to come in as his assistant. I wasn’t sure about it as I’d never done the role before. “Now we’ve had a chain of events that require me to take charge of the team, for however long it is. I’ve taken nearly 700 games as a manager so hopefully West Brom think I know what I’m doing.” Megson's last managerial job was at Sheffield Wednesday Credit: Action Images Megson’s last job was at Sheffield Wednesday, with Milan Mandaric controversially wielding the axe in February 2012 after a 1-0 win over their Steel City rivals, with the club third in League One. He spent the next two years applying for managerial posts but struggled to even get an interview.  This weekend, however, he will face Mauricio Pochettino in front of over 65,000 people hoping to secure Albion’s first league win since August. “We’ve contrived to get three draws from three games we should have won and that’s why we’re in this position,” he said. “It makes the games against the super-powers even harder but we will go there and look to cause them problems. "There is no such thing as a caretaker manager - you're either the manager or you haven't got one. I'm contracted to West Brom and no matter what happens to me, we've all got a job to do."

Gary Megson insists he is not auditioning for West Brom hotseat against Tottenham

The last time Gary Megson managed in the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson was still at Manchester United and Portsmouth were a top-flight club. Megson is set to take charge of his first game in the top division since December 2009 on Saturday against Tottenham Hotspur, back in the technical area with West Bromwich Albion. He returned to the game this summer after answering an SOS from Tony Pulis but now finds himself as interim manager after Albion sacked the Welshman on Monday. Alan Pardew remains the favourite to take over permanently at the Hawthorns and Megson, 58, has admitted he finds the situation uncomfortable as he prepares for this weekend’s trip to Wembley. “This is absolutely not an audition for me and while everyone aspires to be in the Premier League, this is in the most unfortunate of circumstances,” he told Telegraph Sport. Alan Pardew remains the favourite to take over the role long-term Credit: Reuters “I’ve obviously been out of football for some time and this isn’t something I was expecting to happen earlier this year.  “I was on my way to Corsica on holiday with my wife when Tony called me and asked to come in as his assistant. I wasn’t sure about it as I’d never done the role before. “Now we’ve had a chain of events that require me to take charge of the team, for however long it is. I’ve taken nearly 700 games as a manager so hopefully West Brom think I know what I’m doing.” Megson's last managerial job was at Sheffield Wednesday Credit: Action Images Megson’s last job was at Sheffield Wednesday, with Milan Mandaric controversially wielding the axe in February 2012 after a 1-0 win over their Steel City rivals, with the club third in League One. He spent the next two years applying for managerial posts but struggled to even get an interview.  This weekend, however, he will face Mauricio Pochettino in front of over 65,000 people hoping to secure Albion’s first league win since August. “We’ve contrived to get three draws from three games we should have won and that’s why we’re in this position,” he said. “It makes the games against the super-powers even harder but we will go there and look to cause them problems. "There is no such thing as a caretaker manager - you're either the manager or you haven't got one. I'm contracted to West Brom and no matter what happens to me, we've all got a job to do."

Cameo King! Stoke Veteran Crouch Sets New EPL Record With Appearance Against Brighton

​He's set to turn 37 years of age at the end of January 2018, but that's not stopping Peter Crouch from packing football in any time soon. The beanpole striker is as evergreen as ever and still regularly turns out in the Premier League for Stoke City, despite his advancing years. He doesn't have the legs to start many matches in a row these days, but that hasn't stopped Crouch from appearing from the bench on a regular basis.  Now, the ex-Liverpool and Portsmouth man has written his way into...

Cameo King! Stoke Veteran Crouch Sets New EPL Record With Appearance Against Brighton

​He's set to turn 37 years of age at the end of January 2018, but that's not stopping Peter Crouch from packing football in any time soon. The beanpole striker is as evergreen as ever and still regularly turns out in the Premier League for Stoke City, despite his advancing years. He doesn't have the legs to start many matches in a row these days, but that hasn't stopped Crouch from appearing from the bench on a regular basis.  Now, the ex-Liverpool and Portsmouth man has written his way into...

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth, Britain, November 10, 2016, ahead of the final America's Cup World Series event in Fukuoka, Japan. REUTERS/Alexander Smith/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth, Britain, November 10, 2016, ahead of the final America's Cup World Series event in Fukuoka, Japan. REUTERS/Alexander Smith/File Photo

Liverpool legend Bill Shankly's years at Anfield coal face seem an age away

Should you have the company of any football fan under the age of 15 when Sunday night’s BBC documentary tribute to Bill Shankly is broadcast, you should be braced for an interrogation on the source material. This will likely take the form of questions like “What was coal?”, “Who were the miners?” and “Are there any Scottish football managers left?” The tone of the programme – Shankly: Nature’s Fire – is inevitably elegiac but it also powerfully evokes a period of football and social history which seems now almost as remote as the 19th century. That should not be surprising, given that Shankly and the Liverpool fans who placed him at the heart of their idolatry became acquainted amid the expiring energy of the Industrial Revolution. His birthplace of Glenbuck, in the hills around the Ayrshire-Lanarkshire border, remains a blasted heath, rendered virtually bereft of nutrients by the insatiable desire for coal to fuel Britain’s factories, foundries and fleets at the height of empire. The five Shankly brothers worked in the local colliery until, by 1931, even the dross had been exhausted. The brothers all went on to become professional footballers, swelling a roster that included four other local boys who won caps for Scotland. Two earlier Glenbuck natives, Sandy Tait and Sandy Brown, won FA Cup medals with Tottenham Hotspur in 1901, the year that Shankly’s uncle, Bob Blyth, became manager of Portsmouth. There is sufficient material for a further programme in their stories – and yet another in the fact that as a manager Bob Shankly won the Scottish league title with Dundee and took them to a European Cup semi-final against FC Cologne in 1963 – but the opening montage of Sunday night’s film mingles shots of the Glenbuck wasteland with footage of Liverpool streets and buildings crammed with fans saluting the return of their team from Wembley with the FA Cup in 1965. “Even when the Beatles came back to the city on tour and were at the height of their fame they didn’t get as many people as we got. Unbelievable,” says Ian St John. Players putting in earphones and walking off the bus without acknowledging the fans – he'd hate thatKevin Keegan on Bill Shankly Command of multitudes was intuitive to Shankly. He was an unaffected populist, as emphasised repeatedly in Sunday night’s account. “He was one of the people, a leader of the people, really,” St John observes. That characteristic was personified by the fans who turned up in such numbers at the Shankly home in Bellefield Road that the lawn became threadbare and his wife, Nessie, insisted on having it concreted. The visitors were attracted by the guarantee that they would be invited inside for a cup of tea and a chat. The same philosophy applied at Liverpool’s Anfield home and at the Melwood training ground, where Shankly chatted routinely with the tea ladies, cleaners and general staff and knew them by name. Like his fellow Scottish management legends, Sir Matt Busby and Jock Stein – also former miners – he endlessly emphasised the need for collective endeavour, on and off the pitch. Shankly and Sir Matt Busby were men cut from the same cloth In other circumstances, Shankly would surely have channelled his ambition towards Westminster, rather than Wembley. A glimpse of a match programme reveals his photograph below the headline: “Politics is my escape hatch”. His demotic power can be gauged in an address to another vast congregation of Liverpool fans – a speech which an emotional Kevin Keegan admits to watching regularly – when Shankly tells his rapt audience: “I have drummed it into our players time and again that they are privileged to play for you. And if they didn’t believe me, they believe me now.” Shankly’s niece and granddaughter are on hand to illuminate his personality, while former players testify to the thrall in which he held them and footage reminds us of his transformation of a complacent second-tier club into a major football power. There is, too, the dispiriting poignancy of his decision to quit and subsequent realisation that he had done so prematurely, only to find that nobody on the Liverpool board had the imagination to devise a role which could harness his love for the club to mutual benefit. And if Bill Shankly could survey the game today? “Players putting in earphones and walking off the bus without acknowledging the fans – he’d hate that,” says Keegan. One member of the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ club complains that, “it has been taken out of our hands by greedy people who’ve got involved in football because of the money”. Shankly died of a cardiac arrest – some said that his heart had been broken – in 1981. Now, when teams have become brands and supporters are seen as revenue streams, the epitaph on his statue at Anfield is all the more emotive. “He made the people happy…” Shankly: Nature’s Fire will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on Sunday at 9pm and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.

Liverpool legend Bill Shankly's years at Anfield coal face seem an age away

Should you have the company of any football fan under the age of 15 when Sunday night’s BBC documentary tribute to Bill Shankly is broadcast, you should be braced for an interrogation on the source material. This will likely take the form of questions like “What was coal?”, “Who were the miners?” and “Are there any Scottish football managers left?” The tone of the programme – Shankly: Nature’s Fire – is inevitably elegiac but it also powerfully evokes a period of football and social history which seems now almost as remote as the 19th century. That should not be surprising, given that Shankly and the Liverpool fans who placed him at the heart of their idolatry became acquainted amid the expiring energy of the Industrial Revolution. His birthplace of Glenbuck, in the hills around the Ayrshire-Lanarkshire border, remains a blasted heath, rendered virtually bereft of nutrients by the insatiable desire for coal to fuel Britain’s factories, foundries and fleets at the height of empire. The five Shankly brothers worked in the local colliery until, by 1931, even the dross had been exhausted. The brothers all went on to become professional footballers, swelling a roster that included four other local boys who won caps for Scotland. Two earlier Glenbuck natives, Sandy Tait and Sandy Brown, won FA Cup medals with Tottenham Hotspur in 1901, the year that Shankly’s uncle, Bob Blyth, became manager of Portsmouth. There is sufficient material for a further programme in their stories – and yet another in the fact that as a manager Bob Shankly won the Scottish league title with Dundee and took them to a European Cup semi-final against FC Cologne in 1963 – but the opening montage of Sunday night’s film mingles shots of the Glenbuck wasteland with footage of Liverpool streets and buildings crammed with fans saluting the return of their team from Wembley with the FA Cup in 1965. “Even when the Beatles came back to the city on tour and were at the height of their fame they didn’t get as many people as we got. Unbelievable,” says Ian St John. Players putting in earphones and walking off the bus without acknowledging the fans – he'd hate thatKevin Keegan on Bill Shankly Command of multitudes was intuitive to Shankly. He was an unaffected populist, as emphasised repeatedly in Sunday night’s account. “He was one of the people, a leader of the people, really,” St John observes. That characteristic was personified by the fans who turned up in such numbers at the Shankly home in Bellefield Road that the lawn became threadbare and his wife, Nessie, insisted on having it concreted. The visitors were attracted by the guarantee that they would be invited inside for a cup of tea and a chat. The same philosophy applied at Liverpool’s Anfield home and at the Melwood training ground, where Shankly chatted routinely with the tea ladies, cleaners and general staff and knew them by name. Like his fellow Scottish management legends, Sir Matt Busby and Jock Stein – also former miners – he endlessly emphasised the need for collective endeavour, on and off the pitch. Shankly and Sir Matt Busby were men cut from the same cloth In other circumstances, Shankly would surely have channelled his ambition towards Westminster, rather than Wembley. A glimpse of a match programme reveals his photograph below the headline: “Politics is my escape hatch”. His demotic power can be gauged in an address to another vast congregation of Liverpool fans – a speech which an emotional Kevin Keegan admits to watching regularly – when Shankly tells his rapt audience: “I have drummed it into our players time and again that they are privileged to play for you. And if they didn’t believe me, they believe me now.” Shankly’s niece and granddaughter are on hand to illuminate his personality, while former players testify to the thrall in which he held them and footage reminds us of his transformation of a complacent second-tier club into a major football power. There is, too, the dispiriting poignancy of his decision to quit and subsequent realisation that he had done so prematurely, only to find that nobody on the Liverpool board had the imagination to devise a role which could harness his love for the club to mutual benefit. And if Bill Shankly could survey the game today? “Players putting in earphones and walking off the bus without acknowledging the fans – he’d hate that,” says Keegan. One member of the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ club complains that, “it has been taken out of our hands by greedy people who’ve got involved in football because of the money”. Shankly died of a cardiac arrest – some said that his heart had been broken – in 1981. Now, when teams have become brands and supporters are seen as revenue streams, the epitaph on his statue at Anfield is all the more emotive. “He made the people happy…” Shankly: Nature’s Fire will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on Sunday at 9pm and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.

Referee named Ben Toner replaced for Blackpool game following high court ruling on the Oystons 

Referee Ben Toner has been replaced for Blackpool's League Two match with Portsmouth just days after a high court decreed that the Seasiders' owners, the Oystons, had operated an “illegitimate stripping” of the Lancashire club.  The EFL say they have brought in Premier League referee Jon Moss to officiate the match due to the “increased attention” surrounding the fixture - but the timing of the decision has been met with amusement online.  In a ruling handed down by Justice Marcus Smith on Monday, Owen Oyston and his son Karl were ordered £31m to buy out the minority shareholder Valeri Belokon because of “fundamental breaches” of their duties as directors. Given Toner's name, the decision to appoint the Lancashire-born referee was the subject of some amusement on social media. Blackpool chairman Karl Oysten  Credit: AFP  Toner will now officiate Carlisle United’s fixture against Yeovil Town in League Two. “As a result of the increased attention surrounding this weekend’s League One fixture between Blackpool and Portsmouth, PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Limited] has determined it would be appropriate for a select group 1 referee to take charge of proceedings at Bloomfield Road," said an EFL spokesman.  “The previously selected official will instead fill a vacancy that has a arisen at Brunton Park for the League Two match between Carlisle United and Yeovil Town as the referee who was scheduled to officiate sustained an injury during Bury’s game with Stoke City Under-21s on Wednesday evening.”

Referee named Ben Toner replaced for Blackpool game following high court ruling on the Oystons 

Referee Ben Toner has been replaced for Blackpool's League Two match with Portsmouth just days after a high court decreed that the Seasiders' owners, the Oystons, had operated an “illegitimate stripping” of the Lancashire club.  The EFL say they have brought in Premier League referee Jon Moss to officiate the match due to the “increased attention” surrounding the fixture - but the timing of the decision has been met with amusement online.  In a ruling handed down by Justice Marcus Smith on Monday, Owen Oyston and his son Karl were ordered £31m to buy out the minority shareholder Valeri Belokon because of “fundamental breaches” of their duties as directors. Given Toner's name, the decision to appoint the Lancashire-born referee was the subject of some amusement on social media. Blackpool chairman Karl Oysten  Credit: AFP  Toner will now officiate Carlisle United’s fixture against Yeovil Town in League Two. “As a result of the increased attention surrounding this weekend’s League One fixture between Blackpool and Portsmouth, PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Limited] has determined it would be appropriate for a select group 1 referee to take charge of proceedings at Bloomfield Road," said an EFL spokesman.  “The previously selected official will instead fill a vacancy that has a arisen at Brunton Park for the League Two match between Carlisle United and Yeovil Town as the referee who was scheduled to officiate sustained an injury during Bury’s game with Stoke City Under-21s on Wednesday evening.”

Referee Ben Toner dropped from Blackpool game after Oystons court verdict

The referee Ben Toner will take charge of a League Two match rather than Blackpool’s game at home to Portsmouth.

Kevin Prince Boateng has previously played for AC Milan, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Hertha Berlin and Schalke

Kevin Prince Boateng has previously played for AC Milan, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Hertha Berlin and Schalke

Kevin Prince Boateng has previously played for AC Milan, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Hertha Berlin and Schalke (AFP Photo/Bernd Thissen)

Football Manager 2018: the seven best and most exciting teams to manage on new game

Football Manager 2018 is nearly here. The latest in the gaming series is released on today, so it's time to turn your phone off and go into hibernation over the weekend in a new game. First, it's time to decide which team to manage. Do you want to take a fallen giant back to the heights of their heyday? Does a new project, with an exciting, vibrant team excite you? Or do you want the riches of Manchester City to splash around lavishly? Here, with the help of the guys at Football Manager, we list the best teams to start a game with on the 2018 edition of the game. As you'll see, they are all very different, but each boasts a lure all of their own.  AC Milan Completely redesigned their squad over the summer transfer window by capturing established talents like Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Mussachio and Lucas Biglia alongside highly-rated prospects like Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu. Leo Bonucci made the switch from Juventus to AC Milan in the summer Credit: reuters With similar investment from the new owners likely to continue over the next few seasons this is a perfect time to restore Milan to their former glories and usher in a new level of dominance at the San Siro. They haven't started the new season brilliantly but they surely have the potential to break Juventus' monopoly on Serie A. Wolves Sitting near the top of the Championship and playing some scintillating football, Wolves are one of the most exciting teams in English football at the moment. Super-agent Jorge Mendes has been instrumental in securing the services of players like Ruben Neves and Diego Jota who would’ve likely been unattainable last season. Wolves will expect to be back in the Premier League before long Credit: Getty images That leaves Wolves nicely placed to sustain a place in the top flight – if they can get there. Napoli The hipsters dream. This is a squad that is built for attacking football but their goal difference is the highest in Serie A which shows they can keep it tight at the back, too. Could this be the year that they bring back the glory days of the late 80s? Or will Juventus prove too strong, yet again? Portsmouth Would there be any greater achievement than taking Portsmouth back to the big time after they tumbled down the leagues? Could you take Portsmouth back to former glories? Credit: PA Promotion from League Two in 2016/17 needs to be built on; can you keep the momentum up and inspire a rise up the tables as fast as their freefall of the last decade? The club's finances are at least slightly more secure than they were, but this is a challenge and a half. Just don't sign Niko Kranjcar, alright? Nantes Anyone looking for the chance to ‘do a Leicester’ need look no further than French side Nantes. Not only do they have their title-winning manager, Claudio Ranieri, in charge but they are also the surprise package in Ligue 1 this season. How about 'doing a Leicester' with Nantes? Credit: Reuters They combine exciting young players with experience, but there are very, very few household names at the club: probably the most recognisable is former Fulham man Alexander Kacaniklic. There is a solid defence in place, leaving you free to focus on bringing in a few more goalscorers that could propel you to an unlikely title win. Forest Green Rovers For those who like to take on the challenge of managing in the lower leagues, there may be no better option than Forest Green. Newly promoted into the Football League and struggling at the foot of the table in the real world, Football Manager gives you the chance to put that right with a healthy (by League 2 standards) transfer budget. If you can avoid a relegation scrap in the first season you could be well on your way to taking this plucky Gloucestershire club up the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon A sad footballing story that is could one day still have its fairytale ending, Wimbledon's short history has seen a meteoric rise up the English leagues that has seen six promotions in just 15 seasons of existence. Could you uncover the next Vinnie Jones? Credit: Getty images Now in League One and hoping to build on their 15th-placed finish last season, they are just two dream campaigns from being back in the Premier League.  A chance to recreate the Crazy gang could be too good to turn down for some, while a return to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace would be historic.

Football Manager 2018: the seven best and most exciting teams to manage on new game

Football Manager 2018 is nearly here. The latest in the gaming series is released on today, so it's time to turn your phone off and go into hibernation over the weekend in a new game. First, it's time to decide which team to manage. Do you want to take a fallen giant back to the heights of their heyday? Does a new project, with an exciting, vibrant team excite you? Or do you want the riches of Manchester City to splash around lavishly? Here, with the help of the guys at Football Manager, we list the best teams to start a game with on the 2018 edition of the game. As you'll see, they are all very different, but each boasts a lure all of their own.  AC Milan Completely redesigned their squad over the summer transfer window by capturing established talents like Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Mussachio and Lucas Biglia alongside highly-rated prospects like Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu. Leo Bonucci made the switch from Juventus to AC Milan in the summer Credit: reuters With similar investment from the new owners likely to continue over the next few seasons this is a perfect time to restore Milan to their former glories and usher in a new level of dominance at the San Siro. They haven't started the new season brilliantly but they surely have the potential to break Juventus' monopoly on Serie A. Wolves Sitting near the top of the Championship and playing some scintillating football, Wolves are one of the most exciting teams in English football at the moment. Super-agent Jorge Mendes has been instrumental in securing the services of players like Ruben Neves and Diego Jota who would’ve likely been unattainable last season. Wolves will expect to be back in the Premier League before long Credit: Getty images That leaves Wolves nicely placed to sustain a place in the top flight – if they can get there. Napoli The hipsters dream. This is a squad that is built for attacking football but their goal difference is the highest in Serie A which shows they can keep it tight at the back, too. Could this be the year that they bring back the glory days of the late 80s? Or will Juventus prove too strong, yet again? Portsmouth Would there be any greater achievement than taking Portsmouth back to the big time after they tumbled down the leagues? Could you take Portsmouth back to former glories? Credit: PA Promotion from League Two in 2016/17 needs to be built on; can you keep the momentum up and inspire a rise up the tables as fast as their freefall of the last decade? The club's finances are at least slightly more secure than they were, but this is a challenge and a half. Just don't sign Niko Kranjcar, alright? Nantes Anyone looking for the chance to ‘do a Leicester’ need look no further than French side Nantes. Not only do they have their title-winning manager, Claudio Ranieri, in charge but they are also the surprise package in Ligue 1 this season. How about 'doing a Leicester' with Nantes? Credit: Reuters They combine exciting young players with experience, but there are very, very few household names at the club: probably the most recognisable is former Fulham man Alexander Kacaniklic. There is a solid defence in place, leaving you free to focus on bringing in a few more goalscorers that could propel you to an unlikely title win. Forest Green Rovers For those who like to take on the challenge of managing in the lower leagues, there may be no better option than Forest Green. Newly promoted into the Football League and struggling at the foot of the table in the real world, Football Manager gives you the chance to put that right with a healthy (by League 2 standards) transfer budget. If you can avoid a relegation scrap in the first season you could be well on your way to taking this plucky Gloucestershire club up the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon A sad footballing story that is could one day still have its fairytale ending, Wimbledon's short history has seen a meteoric rise up the English leagues that has seen six promotions in just 15 seasons of existence. Could you uncover the next Vinnie Jones? Credit: Getty images Now in League One and hoping to build on their 15th-placed finish last season, they are just two dream campaigns from being back in the Premier League.  A chance to recreate the Crazy gang could be too good to turn down for some, while a return to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace would be historic.

Football Manager 2018: the seven best and most exciting teams to manage on new game

Football Manager 2018 is nearly here. The latest in the gaming series is released on today, so it's time to turn your phone off and go into hibernation over the weekend in a new game. First, it's time to decide which team to manage. Do you want to take a fallen giant back to the heights of their heyday? Does a new project, with an exciting, vibrant team excite you? Or do you want the riches of Manchester City to splash around lavishly? Here, with the help of the guys at Football Manager, we list the best teams to start a game with on the 2018 edition of the game. As you'll see, they are all very different, but each boasts a lure all of their own.  AC Milan Completely redesigned their squad over the summer transfer window by capturing established talents like Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Mussachio and Lucas Biglia alongside highly-rated prospects like Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu. Leo Bonucci made the switch from Juventus to AC Milan in the summer Credit: reuters With similar investment from the new owners likely to continue over the next few seasons this is a perfect time to restore Milan to their former glories and usher in a new level of dominance at the San Siro. They haven't started the new season brilliantly but they surely have the potential to break Juventus' monopoly on Serie A. Wolves Sitting near the top of the Championship and playing some scintillating football, Wolves are one of the most exciting teams in English football at the moment. Super-agent Jorge Mendes has been instrumental in securing the services of players like Ruben Neves and Diego Jota who would’ve likely been unattainable last season. Wolves will expect to be back in the Premier League before long Credit: Getty images That leaves Wolves nicely placed to sustain a place in the top flight – if they can get there. Napoli The hipsters dream. This is a squad that is built for attacking football but their goal difference is the highest in Serie A which shows they can keep it tight at the back, too. Could this be the year that they bring back the glory days of the late 80s? Or will Juventus prove too strong, yet again? Portsmouth Would there be any greater achievement than taking Portsmouth back to the big time after they tumbled down the leagues? Could you take Portsmouth back to former glories? Credit: PA Promotion from League Two in 2016/17 needs to be built on; can you keep the momentum up and inspire a rise up the tables as fast as their freefall of the last decade? The club's finances are at least slightly more secure than they were, but this is a challenge and a half. Just don't sign Niko Kranjcar, alright? Nantes Anyone looking for the chance to ‘do a Leicester’ need look no further than French side Nantes. Not only do they have their title-winning manager, Claudio Ranieri, in charge but they are also the surprise package in Ligue 1 this season. How about 'doing a Leicester' with Nantes? Credit: Reuters They combine exciting young players with experience, but there are very, very few household names at the club: probably the most recognisable is former Fulham man Alexander Kacaniklic. There is a solid defence in place, leaving you free to focus on bringing in a few more goalscorers that could propel you to an unlikely title win. Forest Green Rovers For those who like to take on the challenge of managing in the lower leagues, there may be no better option than Forest Green. Newly promoted into the Football League and struggling at the foot of the table in the real world, Football Manager gives you the chance to put that right with a healthy (by League 2 standards) transfer budget. If you can avoid a relegation scrap in the first season you could be well on your way to taking this plucky Gloucestershire club up the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon A sad footballing story that is could one day still have its fairytale ending, Wimbledon's short history has seen a meteoric rise up the English leagues that has seen six promotions in just 15 seasons of existence. Could you uncover the next Vinnie Jones? Credit: Getty images Now in League One and hoping to build on their 15th-placed finish last season, they are just two dream campaigns from being back in the Premier League.  A chance to recreate the Crazy gang could be too good to turn down for some, while a return to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace would be historic.

Football Manager 2018: the seven best and most exciting teams to manage on new game

Football Manager 2018 is nearly here. The latest in the gaming series is released on today, so it's time to turn your phone off and go into hibernation over the weekend in a new game. First, it's time to decide which team to manage. Do you want to take a fallen giant back to the heights of their heyday? Does a new project, with an exciting, vibrant team excite you? Or do you want the riches of Manchester City to splash around lavishly? Here, with the help of the guys at Football Manager, we list the best teams to start a game with on the 2018 edition of the game. As you'll see, they are all very different, but each boasts a lure all of their own.  AC Milan Completely redesigned their squad over the summer transfer window by capturing established talents like Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Mussachio and Lucas Biglia alongside highly-rated prospects like Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu. Leo Bonucci made the switch from Juventus to AC Milan in the summer Credit: reuters With similar investment from the new owners likely to continue over the next few seasons this is a perfect time to restore Milan to their former glories and usher in a new level of dominance at the San Siro. They haven't started the new season brilliantly but they surely have the potential to break Juventus' monopoly on Serie A. Wolves Sitting near the top of the Championship and playing some scintillating football, Wolves are one of the most exciting teams in English football at the moment. Super-agent Jorge Mendes has been instrumental in securing the services of players like Ruben Neves and Diego Jota who would’ve likely been unattainable last season. Wolves will expect to be back in the Premier League before long Credit: Getty images That leaves Wolves nicely placed to sustain a place in the top flight – if they can get there. Napoli The hipsters dream. This is a squad that is built for attacking football but their goal difference is the highest in Serie A which shows they can keep it tight at the back, too. Could this be the year that they bring back the glory days of the late 80s? Or will Juventus prove too strong, yet again? Portsmouth Would there be any greater achievement than taking Portsmouth back to the big time after they tumbled down the leagues? Could you take Portsmouth back to former glories? Credit: PA Promotion from League Two in 2016/17 needs to be built on; can you keep the momentum up and inspire a rise up the tables as fast as their freefall of the last decade? The club's finances are at least slightly more secure than they were, but this is a challenge and a half. Just don't sign Niko Kranjcar, alright? Nantes Anyone looking for the chance to ‘do a Leicester’ need look no further than French side Nantes. Not only do they have their title-winning manager, Claudio Ranieri, in charge but they are also the surprise package in Ligue 1 this season. How about 'doing a Leicester' with Nantes? Credit: Reuters They combine exciting young players with experience, but there are very, very few household names at the club: probably the most recognisable is former Fulham man Alexander Kacaniklic. There is a solid defence in place, leaving you free to focus on bringing in a few more goalscorers that could propel you to an unlikely title win. Forest Green Rovers For those who like to take on the challenge of managing in the lower leagues, there may be no better option than Forest Green. Newly promoted into the Football League and struggling at the foot of the table in the real world, Football Manager gives you the chance to put that right with a healthy (by League 2 standards) transfer budget. If you can avoid a relegation scrap in the first season you could be well on your way to taking this plucky Gloucestershire club up the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon A sad footballing story that is could one day still have its fairytale ending, Wimbledon's short history has seen a meteoric rise up the English leagues that has seen six promotions in just 15 seasons of existence. Could you uncover the next Vinnie Jones? Credit: Getty images Now in League One and hoping to build on their 15th-placed finish last season, they are just two dream campaigns from being back in the Premier League.  A chance to recreate the Crazy gang could be too good to turn down for some, while a return to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace would be historic.

Football Manager 2018: the seven best and most exciting teams to manage on new game

Football Manager 2018 is nearly here. The latest in the gaming series is released on today, so it's time to turn your phone off and go into hibernation over the weekend in a new game. First, it's time to decide which team to manage. Do you want to take a fallen giant back to the heights of their heyday? Does a new project, with an exciting, vibrant team excite you? Or do you want the riches of Manchester City to splash around lavishly? Here, with the help of the guys at Football Manager, we list the best teams to start a game with on the 2018 edition of the game. As you'll see, they are all very different, but each boasts a lure all of their own.  AC Milan Completely redesigned their squad over the summer transfer window by capturing established talents like Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Mussachio and Lucas Biglia alongside highly-rated prospects like Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu. Leo Bonucci made the switch from Juventus to AC Milan in the summer Credit: reuters With similar investment from the new owners likely to continue over the next few seasons this is a perfect time to restore Milan to their former glories and usher in a new level of dominance at the San Siro. They haven't started the new season brilliantly but they surely have the potential to break Juventus' monopoly on Serie A. Wolves Sitting near the top of the Championship and playing some scintillating football, Wolves are one of the most exciting teams in English football at the moment. Super-agent Jorge Mendes has been instrumental in securing the services of players like Ruben Neves and Diego Jota who would’ve likely been unattainable last season. Wolves will expect to be back in the Premier League before long Credit: Getty images That leaves Wolves nicely placed to sustain a place in the top flight – if they can get there. Napoli The hipsters dream. This is a squad that is built for attacking football but their goal difference is the highest in Serie A which shows they can keep it tight at the back, too. Could this be the year that they bring back the glory days of the late 80s? Or will Juventus prove too strong, yet again? Portsmouth Would there be any greater achievement than taking Portsmouth back to the big time after they tumbled down the leagues? Could you take Portsmouth back to former glories? Credit: PA Promotion from League Two in 2016/17 needs to be built on; can you keep the momentum up and inspire a rise up the tables as fast as their freefall of the last decade? The club's finances are at least slightly more secure than they were, but this is a challenge and a half. Just don't sign Niko Kranjcar, alright? Nantes Anyone looking for the chance to ‘do a Leicester’ need look no further than French side Nantes. Not only do they have their title-winning manager, Claudio Ranieri, in charge but they are also the surprise package in Ligue 1 this season. How about 'doing a Leicester' with Nantes? Credit: Reuters They combine exciting young players with experience, but there are very, very few household names at the club: probably the most recognisable is former Fulham man Alexander Kacaniklic. There is a solid defence in place, leaving you free to focus on bringing in a few more goalscorers that could propel you to an unlikely title win. Forest Green Rovers For those who like to take on the challenge of managing in the lower leagues, there may be no better option than Forest Green. Newly promoted into the Football League and struggling at the foot of the table in the real world, Football Manager gives you the chance to put that right with a healthy (by League 2 standards) transfer budget. If you can avoid a relegation scrap in the first season you could be well on your way to taking this plucky Gloucestershire club up the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon A sad footballing story that is could one day still have its fairytale ending, Wimbledon's short history has seen a meteoric rise up the English leagues that has seen six promotions in just 15 seasons of existence. Could you uncover the next Vinnie Jones? Credit: Getty images Now in League One and hoping to build on their 15th-placed finish last season, they are just two dream campaigns from being back in the Premier League.  A chance to recreate the Crazy gang could be too good to turn down for some, while a return to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace would be historic.

Football Manager 2018: the seven best and most exciting teams to manage on new game

Football Manager 2018 is nearly here. The latest in the gaming series is released on today, so it's time to turn your phone off and go into hibernation over the weekend in a new game. First, it's time to decide which team to manage. Do you want to take a fallen giant back to the heights of their heyday? Does a new project, with an exciting, vibrant team excite you? Or do you want the riches of Manchester City to splash around lavishly? Here, with the help of the guys at Football Manager, we list the best teams to start a game with on the 2018 edition of the game. As you'll see, they are all very different, but each boasts a lure all of their own.  AC Milan Completely redesigned their squad over the summer transfer window by capturing established talents like Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Mussachio and Lucas Biglia alongside highly-rated prospects like Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu. Leo Bonucci made the switch from Juventus to AC Milan in the summer Credit: reuters With similar investment from the new owners likely to continue over the next few seasons this is a perfect time to restore Milan to their former glories and usher in a new level of dominance at the San Siro. They haven't started the new season brilliantly but they surely have the potential to break Juventus' monopoly on Serie A. Wolves Sitting near the top of the Championship and playing some scintillating football, Wolves are one of the most exciting teams in English football at the moment. Super-agent Jorge Mendes has been instrumental in securing the services of players like Ruben Neves and Diego Jota who would’ve likely been unattainable last season. Wolves will expect to be back in the Premier League before long Credit: Getty images That leaves Wolves nicely placed to sustain a place in the top flight – if they can get there. Napoli The hipsters dream. This is a squad that is built for attacking football but their goal difference is the highest in Serie A which shows they can keep it tight at the back, too. Could this be the year that they bring back the glory days of the late 80s? Or will Juventus prove too strong, yet again? Portsmouth Would there be any greater achievement than taking Portsmouth back to the big time after they tumbled down the leagues? Could you take Portsmouth back to former glories? Credit: PA Promotion from League Two in 2016/17 needs to be built on; can you keep the momentum up and inspire a rise up the tables as fast as their freefall of the last decade? The club's finances are at least slightly more secure than they were, but this is a challenge and a half. Just don't sign Niko Kranjcar, alright? Nantes Anyone looking for the chance to ‘do a Leicester’ need look no further than French side Nantes. Not only do they have their title-winning manager, Claudio Ranieri, in charge but they are also the surprise package in Ligue 1 this season. How about 'doing a Leicester' with Nantes? Credit: Reuters They combine exciting young players with experience, but there are very, very few household names at the club: probably the most recognisable is former Fulham man Alexander Kacaniklic. There is a solid defence in place, leaving you free to focus on bringing in a few more goalscorers that could propel you to an unlikely title win. Forest Green Rovers For those who like to take on the challenge of managing in the lower leagues, there may be no better option than Forest Green. Newly promoted into the Football League and struggling at the foot of the table in the real world, Football Manager gives you the chance to put that right with a healthy (by League 2 standards) transfer budget. If you can avoid a relegation scrap in the first season you could be well on your way to taking this plucky Gloucestershire club up the football pyramid. AFC Wimbledon A sad footballing story that is could one day still have its fairytale ending, Wimbledon's short history has seen a meteoric rise up the English leagues that has seen six promotions in just 15 seasons of existence. Could you uncover the next Vinnie Jones? Credit: Getty images Now in League One and hoping to build on their 15th-placed finish last season, they are just two dream campaigns from being back in the Premier League.  A chance to recreate the Crazy gang could be too good to turn down for some, while a return to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace would be historic.

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth, Britain, November 10, 2016, ahead of the final AmericaÕs Cup World Series event in Fukuoka, Japan. REUTERS/Alexander Smith/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth

FILE PHOTO: British sailor Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew practices in the waters off Portsmouth, Britain, November 10, 2016, ahead of the final AmericaÕs Cup World Series event in Fukuoka, Japan. REUTERS/Alexander Smith/File Photo

David Unsworth, then with Portsmouth, celebrates after scoring a penalty against Manchester United during a game on October 30, 2004 in Portsmouth, southern England

David Unsworth, then with Portsmouth, celebrates after scoring a penalty against Manchester United during a game on October 30, 2004 in Portsmouth, southern England (AFP Photo/)

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