Match Reports

Report: Albion picked off by Cherries

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Two goals in three first-half minutes helped Bournemouth gain revenge for last month’s defeat at the Amex as they claimed three precious Premier League points with a 3-1 win at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday evening.

By Bruce Talbot • 21 January 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Mooy nets against AFC Bournemouth.
  • Aaron Mooy scores second of the season
  • Seagulls on top until Bournemouth hit them with two in three minutes
  • Callum Wilson made it 3-0 before Mooy's late effort
  • Albion stay 15th and travel to West Ham United next

Graham Potter’s side had been in control before Harry Wilson and Pascal Gross’s own goal near the end of the first half put the Cherries in control.

Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale was named man of the match after he made a string of fine saves in the second half, as Albion went close several times to getting back into the game. But as they pushed men forward, they left themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack, and Callum Wilson sealed the points in the 74th minute.

Aaron Mooy scored for the second time this season against the Cherries with ten left to play, and it was no more than Albion deserved for their second-half efforts. They had 29 shots - eight on target - but Ramsdale's heroics ensured the points stayed in Bournemouth.

Albion made two changes to the side held by Aston Villa on Saturday. Gross came in for his first Premier League start since Boxing Day and there was a recall for Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

Albion enjoyed plenty of possession early on with Mooy and Gross finding space between the lines to put the home defence on the back foot and the home crowd living on their nerves.

But it took until the 28th minute before either side threatened when Albion went close to getting a reward for their early territorial dominance. Mooy’s clever pass found Neal Maupay in space and his first effort was brilliantly parried with his right hand by Ramsdale before Nathan Ake blocked the Frenchman’s follow-up. It was the first of several fine saves by the home keeper.

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay takes a shot during the first half.

That let-off seemed to galvanise the home side. Five minutes later Dominic Solanke’s cut back found Diego Roco and his shot hit the side netting, then Harry Wilson saw a shot from 12 yards deflected wide as the Cherries suddenly found their groove.

They took the lead in the 37th minute. Solanke played in Harry Wilson on the right-hand side of the box and his shot beat Ryan with the aid of a big deflection off Bernardo.

It got worse three minutes later. A corner was flicked on by Philip Billing and Gross, under pressure from Callum Wilson, could only turn the ball into his own net. Having looked in control for the first half hour Albion now found themselves with a mountain to climb, the hosts having scored twice in the Premier League for the first time in ten games.

By Paul Hazlewood
Bernardo battles with Adam Smith for possession.

Albion needed an early response in the second half and nearly got it. Jahanbakhsh found space in the 49th minute for a shot from the edge of the box which took a deflection and looped inches wide, and from the inswinging corner that followed by Gross, Ramsdale had to turn the ball over his own crossbar.

At the other end Ryan did superbly to save Phillip Billing’s close-range header with one hand, before Graham Potter made three changes on the hour, bringing on Aaron Connolly, Solly March and Leandro Trossard.

Lewis Dunk tested Ramsdale with a low drive from distance before the captain blocked Harry Wilson’s shot at the other end as Bournemouth tried to exploit the gaps with Albion committing more men forward.

Dunk thought he’d got one back when he met Mooy’s inswinging corner but Ramsdale made himself big to block the skipper’s effort from close range before the Cherries’ keeper made another excellent save in the 68th minute when he turned Maupay’s powerful drive from 20 yards over the bar.

By Paul Hazlewood
Lewis Dunk brings the ball forward from defence.

It was turning into some night for Ramsdale. Mooy thought he’d scored with a curling effort but the Bournemouth keeper was once again equal to it, pushing the ball over at full stretch as Albion increased their efforts to get a goal back.

Instead, as they pushed men forward, they conceded a third to a counter-attack in the 73rd minute. Callum Wilson ran at a retreating defence and took advantage of a fortunate ricochet off Adam Webster to round Ryan and roll the ball into an empty net for 3-0.

The scoreline flattered the home side and Albion did pull a goal back with ten minutes left when Mooy intercepted Simon Francis’s clearance, shifted the ball onto his left foot and Ramsdale was finally beaten by a powerful shot which went in off the inside of the right-hand post.

Trossard curled an effort from the left-hand edge of the box just wide and in stoppage time Ramsdale bravely denied Maupay at his feet. It had been a strong second-half response by the Seagulls but not enough to change the outcome – the impressive Ramsdale saw to that.

Albion line-up: Ryan, Alzate, Dunk, Webster, Bernardo (March 60), Jahanbakhsh (Connolly 60), Gross (Trossard 60), Propper, Stephens, Mooy, Maupay.

Subs not used: Button, Duffy, Murray, Schelotto.

Attendance: 10,065

Referee: Kevin Friend 

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