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.

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 17 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. 

 

Thomas Tuchel's view of football was changed by Ralf Rangnick and in Ralph Hasenhuttl he is looking forward to going up against another coach who worked alongside him.

Chelsea head to Southampton on Saturday and Tuchel will pit his wits against Hasenhuttl, who coached RB Leipzig during Rangnick's time as director of football at the Red Bull Arena.

Tuchel was a defender at Ulm for Rangnick between 1997 and 1998 and, following the premature end to his playing career due to a knee injury, was hired as a youth coach at Stuttgart by him two years later.

Rangnick is credited with revolutionising German football by introducing an intense high-pressing, counter-attacking style that was widely adopted.

His influence on Tuchel is clear, with Chelsea allowing the fewest opposition passes per defensive action (PPDA) in the Premier League since his first game in charge against Wolves on January 27.

Across the entire season, Southampton rank fourth in the league with a PPDA of 10.7, behind only Liverpool (10.4), Chelsea (10.3) and Leeds United (8.9).

"I was a player with Ralf Rangnick. I played in the third and second division and learned from Ralf that it's not necessary to follow the striker to the toilet," Tuchel told the media.

"He made a third-division team stronger than we actually were with brand new tactics, the back four not man marking but defending in the space in a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1.

"That was a gamechanger for me to watch football games after my experience with Ralf. It was different because I had a totally different view of what's going on.

"Ralf had his influence at Leipzig when he worked with Ralph as more or less the father of everything that happened in Leipzig.

"There are many coaches influenced by this philosophy, but I truly believe everybody has to find his own style, everybody needs to be authentic. You need to be yourself. You cannot copy anybody.

"The way from Ralph is very impressive. He had a very good season at Ingolstadt, very successful at Leipzig and now a big impact with his aggressive style of playing at Southampton.

"This is the challenge that we have to face. I cannot give you a reason why there is a trend, this is too much of a question for me right now."

Tuchel is unbeaten in six games since taking over at Chelsea, winning five straight since a 0-0 draw with Wolves in his first match.

Olivier Giroud found the back of the net in their 2-0 success over Newcastle United last Monday and Tuchel intends to give the France striker time to stake his claim for a new deal, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.

Tuchel said: "No decision is made because it's too soon to make these decisions. [It's] too soon in the season and I haven't had enough time to make these decisions because I just started three weeks ago and we need more time to get to know the group better. Everybody deserves more time to show their value.

"What I can say is that I am super happy that he's here. He's one of the top strikers in the box, he's physically strong, he has an incredible first touch and he's strong in headers.

"He did an amazing game against Newcastle. He's very strong, very positive in training, very impressive.

"Right now, he plays a key role in the squad with a lot of young offensive players. He is a key figure, maybe not because he plays every three days 96 minutes, but because of the way he behaves and with his experience on a daily basis, he has a huge impact in the most positive way.

"This is what I can say. When the decision arrives, we will make it."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirmed the club are close to signing Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan as he reflected on his side's 3-1 victory over Southampton on Tuesday.

Goals from Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette helped the Gunners come from behind and claim all three points at St Mary's, where they lost 1-0 in the FA Cup just three days earlier.

The result moved Arsenal above Southampton and into eighth place in the Premier League table, and Arteta indicated his side's positive start to 2021 could soon be boosted further by Odegaard's arrival.

"I think we are pretty close but it's not finalised as I understand it," Arteta told reporters, when asked about the 22-year-old Norwegian playmaker.

"I haven't spoken to [Arsenal technical director Edu] or the club in the last few hours but we're very positive that we'll finalise the deal."

After a dismal run of one victory in 10 league matches between October and December, Arsenal are unbeaten in their past five Premier League games and have won four of them.

Arteta indicated that the upturn in form has restored belief to his squad, saying: "Football games are always judged by the result and that affects the confidence.

"The moment that we started to win and confidence went up and we started to grow and understand each other better, we got some players back and the spirit started to lift a little bit, things were much better to be fair."

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl lambasted his side's defending after they succumbed to a third defeat in six league games.

Hasenhuttl told BT Sport: "It's always frustrating when you concede goals, but when it is that easy I think it hurts even more.

"The first was a mistake in the build-up, but then still we had the chance to defend it and we didn't do it, and then the second one was similar.

"It's not the way we can defend, we can do it much better and we know this. After being down one at half-time it's difficult to come back. We had chances to do it, but also the final quality was not good enough.

"We know we are a good side when we play a perfect game, but today we were far off this."

Inter star Lautaro Martinez's future could be closer to being sorted, while Frank Lampard is under enormous pressure.

After impressing at Inter, Martinez, 23, has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona.

The Argentina international is contracted at Inter until 2023, but that could be set to change.

 

TOP STORY – INTER OPTIMISTIC OVER MARTINEZ RENEWAL

Inter are optimistic about reaching an agreement for a new contract with Lautaro Martinez, according to Sky Sport.

The report says Martinez's agents met with Inter on Wednesday.

Martinez has scored nine goals in 18 Serie A games this season, having netted 14 in 35 in the league in 2019-20, leading to interest from Barcelona.

 

ROUND-UP

- As Chelsea's struggles continue, Lampard is under growing pressure as head coach. Sky Sports reports the former England international will lose his job unless results improve immediately. Chelsea have lost five of their past eight Premier League games to slip to eighth in the table. The Independent, meanwhile, reports Chelsea are not interested in an interim replacement. Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel, RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, Southampton's Ralph Hasenhuttl and ex-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri have been linked.

- Previously linked to Arsenal, Houssem Aouar may be looking elsewhere if he leaves Lyon. ESPN claims the midfielder is eager to join Barcelona or Real Madrid.

- Set to stay at Manchester City until the end of the season, Eric Garcia has been linked with a move to Barcelona when his deal expires in June. However, Mundo Deportivo says PSG are planning a move for the defender.

- Arsenal could make moves in January. Sky Sports reports they have approached Real Madrid about a move for Martin Odegaard, while Cuatro claims Sevilla are hoping to loan the midfielder.

Ralph Hasenhuttl said signing a new four-year contract at Southampton was "a simple decision" that could lead to a bright future for the Premier League club.

Confirmation of the manager's new deal came on Tuesday, with Hasenhuttl and Southampton extending the working relationship that began in December 2018.

Hasenhuttl staved off the threat of relegation last season and Southampton were sitting 14th – seven points clear of the bottom three – when the 2019-20 campaign was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 52-year-old Austrian is confident his team are making steady progress, and the Saints' long-term commitment indicates overwhelming support for his achievement so far.

"This, for me, was a simple decision," former RB Leipzig boss Hasenhuttl told Southampton's officla website. "Simple because of the relationship that I have built with the club, the players and the fans, and also because of the relationship they have built with me too.

"I said when I arrived at the club that we were at the beginning of a long journey, and also a journey that would bring emotion and hopefully enjoyment. We have already had some moments where we could celebrate together, and some that have been emotional and also challenging.

"The way we have handled this together as a group of people has been incredible for me, and I believe we now have strong foundations here that can allow us to take the next steps in our progress as a team."

Southampton chief executive Martin Semmens told the club's website: "It is clear to me that Ralph believes in this club and is passionate about the project we have ahead of us. He understood who we are very quickly, and over the last six months has developed a vision for the club that we believe will lead us back to success on the pitch.

"To be competitive within the Premier League you simply cannot stand still. We need a clear plan that is rooted in hard work and the development of young players on and off the pitch. Ralph brings to us experience of winning, but more than that, an absolute commitment to his philosophy and the development of all age groups at the club."

Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed the injury suffered by James Ward-Prowse was "not that bad" after the midfielder was carried off on a stretcher during Southampton's FA Cup defeat to Tottenham.

Ward-Prowse hurt his knee in the first half of Wednesday's fourth-round replay when attempting to block Ryan Sessegnon's clearance.

There were fears the England international, who was given oxygen while undergoing treatment on the field, may have sustained serious damage, but Hasenhuttl had positive news on the midfielder after the game.

"I think it is not that bad," the Southampton told BBC Sport. "I think it is only a cut on the knee. That is a positive message for me.

"It's a deep cut on the knee and you could see the bone. It will take a bit of time to heal but if it was a ligament injury it would be more of a problem for us."

Strikes from Shane Long and Danny Ings gave Southampton a 2-1 lead with 72 minutes played, the visitors having fallen behind in the first half following an unfortunate own goal by Jack Stephens.

But a Lucas Moura equaliser and a late penalty from Son Heung-min sent Tottenham - who boss Jose Mourinho admitted were second best during the game – through to the fifth round of the competition.

"The last 15 minutes we didn't defend like we had to," Hasenhuttl said after the 3-2 loss. "It doesn't count - we had 30 minutes of the second half perfect.

"We were not defending like we wanted to for the second goal and the third goal was too easy, they ran through our midfield like there was nobody [there].

"In the FA Cup it is not about being the better team - it is a game of results and [Mourinho] got the result and we didn't. After a very busy period we now have time to recover."

AC Milan, Bologna, Perth Glory, Inter and even Juventus have been linked to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy contract is set to expire before the end of the year and the veteran striker is not short of suitors.

And a return to Old Trafford could be on the cards for the 38-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TARGETING IBRAHIMOVIC

Manchester United are preparing to make a move for former striker Ibrahimovic, reports Mail Online.

Ibrahimovic left United for MLS outfit LA Galaxy in 2018 and he has flourished in the United States, where he has scored 53 goals across two seasons.

But with Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to AC Milan, Bologna and A-League side Perth Glory – coming off contract and United looking to bolster their attacking options following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, a Manchester comeback has been mooted.

ROUND-UP

Inter are set to back Antonio Conte in the January transfer window. Following Conte's outburst over a lack of squad planning after Inter's Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Calciomercato says the Nerazzurri are ready to sign Parma duo Matteo Darmian and Dejan Kulusevski. Darmian only arrived from Manchester United at the start of the season, while teenage midfielder Kulusevski is on loan from Atalanta.

- Pressure is mounting on Unai Emery but Arsenal are not worried. According to the Mail, the Gunners will not be panicked into sacking head coach Emery – whose side have gone four league games without a win and sit sixth, eight points outside of the top four. Former Spain and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Despite Southampton's poor form, the Premier League strugglers are still behind boss Ralph Hasenhuttl according to The Sun. The Saints are 19th and three points adrift of safety amid a seven-match winless streak in the league – highlighted by a record 9-0 humiliation against Leicester City.

Dries Mertens could be set to leave Napoli. Second on the club's all-time scoring list, Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport claim Mertens has agreed to join Inter as a free agent at the end of the season. The 32-year-old has called Naples home since arriving from PSV in 2013.

Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy hit hat-tricks as Leicester City stormed to a record-equalling 9-0 Premier League win over a beleaguered 10-man Southampton at St Mary's.

Perez, a close-season signing from Newcastle United, was fouled in the build-up to Ben Chilwell's 10th-minute opener – an incident that saw Ryan Bertrand sent off after a VAR review.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's home side failed comprehensively to deal with their numerical disadvantage as the goals rained in amid a torrential downpour on England's south coast – Youri Tielemans scoring number two before Perez's first Leicester goal set him on the way to a share of the matchball.

The goals flooded in, and James Maddison's superb free-kick made it 8-0 – which at the time matched the biggest margin of away victory in Premier League history.

Leicester went one better still when Vardy won and converted a stoppage-time penalty, to bring the Foxes level with Manchester United's 9-0 shellacking of Ipswich Town in March 1995.

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