ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
LONDON • Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez bagged two goals to inspire his side's 3-1 win against local rivals Bournemouth yesterday.
Rodriguez had not scored in the Premier League since August but he ended that barren stretch with a second-half double in the south-coast derby at Dean Court.
Claude Puel's team had fallen behind to Nathan Ake's early opener, but Ryan Bertrand levelled soon after to set the stage for one of the better days in recent memory for the injury-plagued Rodriguez.
"First half was difficult, but we showed what we are capable of in the second half. It was true grit and determination," Rodriguez told the BBC. "The second goal I enjoyed more but any goal scored means a lot. Just playing is the best feeling."
Southampton's second win in their last nine away league matches lifted them into seventh place, while Bournemouth remained in mid-table.
Just over 50km separate these two clubs, but derbies between them have been few. The rarity of the fixture seemed to give extra intensity to both teams.
Eddie Howe's side made the perfect start when Jack Wilshere lofted a cross to the far corner, where Ake planted a diving header past goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
But Bournemouth were in front for only eight minutes as Saints left-back Bertrand equalised with a superb individual effort.
After the interval, Rodriguez scored with a sliding effort and he delivered the killer blow in the 85th minute.
Nathan Redmond lost control of the ball on the edge of the penalty area and Rodriguez unfurled a brilliant dipping shot that raced into the top corner.