AFC Bournemouth were beaten by a late goal at the Britannia Stadium in a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City.
The Cherries were denied a battling point by an 84th minute winner from Mame Diouf, who came on as a second half substitute for the Potters.
Jonathan Walters gave Stoke City a first half lead, only for Dan Gosling to get the away side back on level terms.
His effort looked to have earned a draw, but Diouf had other ideas and scored with a stooping header to seal victory.
Eddie Howe kept faith in the 11 players that recorded his side’s first Premier League home win the week before, but were dealt an early blow when top scorer Callum Wilson left the field on a stretcher 17 minutes in. The five-goal man landed awkwardly after a foul from Philipp Wollscheid and, despite a lengthy stoppage in play and an attempt to continue the match, was forced to concede to a knee injury.
With the Cherries adjusting to Glenn Murray’s early introduction the Potters began to dominate proceedings, and former Barcelona starlet Bojan tested Artur Boruc in the 23rd minute with a fierce strike from a tight angle. The Pole held on well but was moments later called into action again, this time beating Charlie Adam’s thunderous drive behind for a corner.
Jack Butland held onto a Matt Ritchie set-piece, but the home side’s pressure finally paid dividends when Walters handed them the lead in the 32nd minute. Adam’s fine cross field ball found Marko Arnautovic on the left of the Cherries’ box, and he beat Simon Francis before cutting back to Walters in an unmissable position.
The Cherries crafted a golden opportunity in the 43rd minute but were denied by an exceptional piece of defending. Marc Pugh’s low cross found Lee Tomlin unmarked in the box, but he selflessly teed up Ritchie, whose effort from six yards was blocked by Erik Peiters’ last ditch tackle.
With the visitors in the ascendancy for the first time in the game, nine minutes of injury time was added on in lieu of time lost during Wilson’s treatment. Despite winning five corners the Cherries couldn’t capitalise, and it was Stoke City who nearly doubled their lead when, in the last action of the half, they broke at speed but Arnautovic put his effort just past the post.
Both sides plugged away during the the opening stages of the second half but neither could create a clearcut opportunity. Bojan’s left footed strike was blocked by Steve Cook and Murray’s effort was easily held by Butland.
With little quality coming from both sides it was no surprise that when it did come, the Cherries leveller was a scrappy one. Ritchie’s cross field ball found Pugh on the edge of the box, who did well to turn and create a shooting opportunity. His blocked effort was tame, but with the ball ricocheting around the City box Gosling hacked the lose ball passed Butland.
With the visitors buoyed by the equaliser, Gosling nearly gave the Cherries the lead four minutes later when Pugh’s back heel found him on the edge of the area, but the goalscorer’s half volley was pushed wide by Butland.
With seven minutes remaining Stoke restored their lead with Diouf getting between the Cherries centre halves to head home in a cruel late blow for Howe's side and impressive 1,600 travelling fans.
Stoke City: Butland, Johnson, Cameron, Wollscheid, Pieters, Whelan, Adam (van Ginkel 75’), Shaqiri (Afellay 45’), Bojan (Diouf 62’), Arnautovic, Walters.
Subs: Given, Muniesa, Joselu, Afellay, van Ginkel, Diouf, Crouch.
Goals: Walters 32’, Diouf 83’
Cherries: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Pugh (Smith 86', Tomlin (King 71’), Wilson (Murray 17’).
Subs: Federici, Cargill, Smith, Bennett, MacDonald, King, Murray.
Goal: Gosling 76’
Attendance: 27,742 (1,635 from AFC Bournemouth)