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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 30 Jun 15 at 20:49 PM

AFC Bournemouth suffered a 3-1 defeat in their latest Barclays Premier League match at home to Stoke City.

The visitors took an early lead after just nine minutes, as Giannelli Imbula volleyed past Artur Boruc from 18-yards. 

That was how the scoreline remained until a flurry of three goals in five minutes during the second half. Ibrahim Afellay bagged the first after a swift Stoke counter before substitute Joselu headed in a third having only been on the pitch a matter of seconds.

Despite the 3-0 deficit the Cherries continued to rally. Substitute Matt Ritchie rifled home a strike from the edge of the area which at the time felt like a lifeline, but was, eventually, no more than a consolation. 

Eddie Howe made one change to the AFC Bournemouth side that faced Arsenal last weekend, as the previously injured Junior Stanislas was given a starting berth in place of Matt Ritchie.

Despite the Cherries controlling the majority of the early possession it was the visitors that took the lead. A half-cleared ball fell to the feet of Imbula at the edge of the area, where the Frenchman instinctively volleyed first time into Boruc’s bottom left corner.

The Potters came close again as a long ball over the top found Jonathan Walters in behind. The forward bore down on goal and eventually released a strike, but Boruc was able to clutch the ball into his chest.

The visitors were in once again just moments later, this time Xherdan Shaqiri was the man with the ball at his feet. But the former Inter Milan dragged his shot wide to let the Cherries off the hook.

With five minutes remaining before the interval Howe’s men almost levelled. Charlie Daniels found himself in space at the edge of the Stoke penalty area following a corner, but his cross-come-shot was tipped behind by Jack Butland.

Stanislas then slipped in Benik Afobe who looked clear through on goal, but was felled by Marc Muniesa. Yet referee Graham Scott was unmoved and waved play on - much to the disapproval of the home support.

Eddie Howe used the interval to make his intentions clear. Joshua King and Matt Ritchie were introduced in place of Marc Pugh and Dan Gosling.

King almost made an instant impact as he was threaded in one-on-one with Butland, but the goalkeeper made himself big and managed to push the Norwegian’s half-volley clear.

A revitalised Cherries side continued to heap the pressure on, but Stoke stood firm and soon doubled their lead. Jonathan Walters left Steve Cook in his wake on the halfway line before squaring for Afellay to slot into the far right corner.

The visitors were rampant and a third followed soon after. Joselu, having only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds, was first to meet Shaquiri's cross in the penalty area and headed past Boruc from close range.

The Cherries were not ready to roll over, however, and soon pulled one back through a substitute of their own. Ritchie thumped home a strike from the edge of the penalty area, following a sharp cross from Daniels on the left flank.

King then almost teed the Scotland international up for a second moments later. Driving to the byline he cut the ball back across goal for the onrushing Ritchie, but it was just too far ahead for him to make the necessary contact and steer it home.

With fifteen minutes remaining and chasing a two goal lead, Howe made his final change of the afternoon. Juan Iturbe was introduced to the field in a straight swap with Stanislas.

The Roma loanee brought a new dimension to the Cherries attack during the final moments, yet the Stoke backline stood firm to hold onto their lead and secure all three points.

Stoke: Butland, Pieters, Muniesa, Whelan, Johnson (Joselu, 52), Afellay (Ireland, 85), Diouf, Walters, Imbula, Shaqiri, Wollscheid
Subs not used: Haugaard, Odemwingie, Teixiera, Crouch, Bojan
Cherries: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Gosling (Ritchie, 45), Surman, Pugh (King, 45), Arter, Daniels, Smith, Stanislas (Iturbe, 74), Afobe
Subs not used: Federici, Distin, Grabban, O’Kane
Attendance: 10,863 (1,245)
Yellow cards: Diouf (21), Pugh (36), Surman (73), Arter (90), Imbula (90)
Goals: Imbula (9), Affelay (52), Joselu (55), Ritchie (57)

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