Southampton went into their clash with south coast neighbours Bournemouth at St Mary’s on Saturday knowing that they realistically needed to win to keep alive their chances of preserving their Premier League status, and that is exactly what they did.
Mark Hughes’ men moved to within one point of safety as a brace from Dusan Tadic saw the hosts run out 2-1 winners on the afternoon, and the Serbia international was one of a number of players that stood up and was counted in front of a sell-out crowd.
The £13.5m-rated playmaker – like many of his teammates – has struggled to find his best form in what has been a hugely disappointing campaign, but he certainly did on Saturday and his improved showing didn’t go unnoticed by the fans on Twitter.
Firstly, he latched on to Mario Lemina’s through ball before calmly slotting past Asmir Begovic, and then after the break he netted the winner with a brilliant toe-punted effort with the outside of his left boot from outside the penalty area.
The Serbia international scored from both of the two shots he had on target before he was substituted off for James Ward-Prowse in the 87th minute, while he showed his quality in possession by making five key passes, as well as having a passing accuracy of just over 89%, as per WhoScored.com.
While the 29-year-old was a huge threat in the final third, he also showed that he doesn’t shy away from his defensive responsibilities by also making two tackles.
On this performance, he will be Southampton’s key man in their final three fixtures of the season, with their survival potentially depending on him being at the top of his game.