Southampton booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals after a 3-0 win over second-tier Bournemouth on Saturday thanks to a brace from Nathan Redmond. (More Football News)
The Premier League side saw off a brief spell of Bournemouth first-half pressure and took the lead when Moussa Djenepo finished coolly after being found by Redmond.
Redmond then struck either side of half-time as he first scored a fine individual goal and then calmly stroked in a rebound after the ball had bounced to him off the post.
Southampton's victory over the Championship outfit ensured they progressed to the semi-finals of the competition for the second time in 18 seasons, having last done so in 2017-18.
Saints thought they had taken the lead early on when Cameron Carter-Vickers put through his own net from a Kyle Walker-Peters cross, but VAR deemed the Saints man offside.
Arnaut Danjuma tested Fraser Forster at his near post and Rodrigo Riquelme fired wide after a free-kick routine for the Cherries, but Southampton then took control.
Djenepo struck a low, angled finish beyond Asmir Begovic after receiving Redmond's clever pass at the end of a slick counter-attack to put Saints ahead.
Provider then turned goalscorer in first-half injury time when Redmond burst forward at pace and curled a fine finish back across goal into the top-left corner.
Che Adams crisply arrowed the ball into the net from long range eight minutes in the second half only for it to be chalked off by VAR with Stuart Armstrong in an offside position.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's side effectively made the outcome certain with 31 minutes left when Armstrong's shot bounced into the path of Redmond who placed it low it the corner.
The impressive Redmond almost had a hat-trick when he curled wide from a good position after fine play by Armstrong.
What does it mean? FA Cup tonic for Saints
This was just Bournemouth's second appearance in the FA Cup quarter-final, with the Cherries losing to Manchester United's 'Busby Babes' in their only previous such game in March 1957.
And with Southampton having slid down the Premier League table following a run of eight defeats and one draw in their last nine games they might have sensed the chance of an upset.
However, Hasenhuttl's men produced a disciplined display to help Saints progress for the 22nd time from 24 FA Cup ties against sides from a lower division with a confidence-boosting victory.
Redmond was directly involved in three goals in a single game in all competitions for the first time since May 2015 for Norwich versus Fulham in the Championship (one goal, two assists).
After finding the net for the first time in 15 matches, Southampton will hope Redmond can continue his form to help address their Premier League dip.
Asked to lead the line for Bournemouth, much of the home side's goalscoring burden fell to Dominic Solanke but he failed to make any kind of impression on the game.
The former Liverpool striker failed to register a single shot in 90 minutes and managed just two touches inside Southampton's box.
Key Opta Facts:
- Moussa Djenepo's opener for Southampton was his first in 20 games in all competitions since netting against West Brom in October.
- Nathan Redmond scored his first brace for Southampton since April 2019 against Wolves - his two goals today against Bournemouth are as many as he managed in his previous 34 appearances for the Saints across all competitions.
- Bournemouth have lost three of their last five home games in all competitions (W2), as many defeats as they suffered in their previous 18 (W11 D4).
Southampton are back in Premier League action two weeks on Sunday when they host Burnley. Bournemouth's bid to make the Championship play-offs will resume Friday April 2 with a home fixture against Middlesbrough.