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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 22 Apr 17 at 16:52 PM

Report: AFC Bournemouth 4-0 Middlesbrough

AFC Bournemouth picked up a crucial three points in fine attacking style as they breezed past ten-man Middlesbrough at Vitality Stadium.

Joshua King gave Bournemouth the lead after just 96 seconds as the hosts raced out of the blocks, Benik Afobe soon added a second ahead of Gaston Ramirez's red card; with all three incidents taking place within a frenzied 20 minutes.

Marc Pugh stroked home a delightful third after the break and Charlie Daniels made it four as he danced through the Boro back line and planted a low strike beyond Brad Guzan.

There were two changes to the team that lost at White Hart Lane a week previously, Dan Gosling and Ryan Fraser in from the off in place of Jack Wilshere and Junior Stanislas.

Ahead of kick off, Vitality Stadium united to pay tribute to former Boro defender Ugo Ehiogu who passed away on Friday with a minute's applause, with black armbands also worn throughout the game by the two sides.

It took under two minutes for the Cherries to turn a positive start into a goalscoring one, with King continuing his explosive 2017.

Pugh - making his 250th league appearance for the club - was the architect, exchanging passes with Charlie Daniels and then playing in a low ball that King dispatched from six yards.

Ramirez received the game's first yellow for a crude dive in the home penalty area as Boro looked to feel their way back into the match.

However, it was the Cherries still in the ascendancy and the lead was doubled after 16 minutes.

Afobe was the man on the spot this time as Harry Arter nipped in to force Adam Clayton into a mistake on the edge of his own area, the ball breaking to the Cherries striker who assuredly finished past Guzan.

Alvaro Negredo caught a volley that Artur Boruc saved while King should have scored a Bournemouth third when breaking into the box, but in space he flashed his shot off target.

Middlesbrough's bad start got even worse on 20 minutes as Ramirez's needless late challenge Pugh got the yellow card it deserved, the Uruguayan's second, and Boro were down to ten men. 

Arter drove over the bar as the home side looked to push home their advantage, though it took a stunning save from Boruc that kept out Marten De Roon and maintained the Cherries' two-goal gap.

The hosts were dominating possession and territory as the half drew to a close, probing for a further first-half goal which Arter again threatened with a 23-yard drive that Guzan saved.

The undermanned away side began the second period on the offensive Daniel Ayala heading over a corner, Fraser soon slicing a half-volley wide at the other end.

Middlesbrough were more organised and purposeful after their interval pep talk, though it was Afobe close to the game's third as he met a bouncing centre with his head; Guzan making a fine save on his line.  

Visiting full-back George Friend was fortunate to evade a similar fate to Ramirez as he picked up a yellow card then brought down Fraser minutes later.

Guzan continued to earn his corn as he clawed away Fraser's shot from outside the area, but Pugh soon marked his landmark appearance with a trademark goal.

Substitute Lewis Cook found the winger with a fine skidding ball out to the left, Pugh cutting inside his marker and curving home a classy bending finish.

Three became four on 70 minutes as Fraser teed up Daniels from a rolled free kick. The left-back skipped past two advancing challenges and blasted a low strike into the bottom corner.

A fifth nearly followed as Stanislas, on from the bench, picked out Pugh whose ball across the six-yard box evaded both King and Afobe, the strikers looking to pounce.

Substitute Lys Mousset blasted over from just outside the six-yard box with time running out, the Cherries comfortably seeing the match out to move onto 38 Premier League points in their quest for top-flight safety.


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