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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 29 Oct 16 at 16:50 PM

Match report: Middlesbrough 2-0 AFC Bournemouth - Cherries defeated at the Riverside Stadium

AFC Bournemouth suffered their first defeat in five games as they went down 2-0 at Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday.

Goals either side of half-time from Gaston Ramirez and Stewart Downing were enough to secure all three points for the hosts at the Riverside Stadium.

The Cherries had the better of the first period with Joshua King seeing an effort cleared off the line and a brilliant volley touched onto the crossbar by Boro keeper Victor Valdes.

And that was to prove crucial as, six minutes before the break, Ramirez broke the deadlock, running half the length of the pitch before applying a composed finish.

Early in the second half, former England international Downing pounced on Alvaro Negredo’s downward header to double the lead.

And although Adam Smith, Harry Arter, substitute Benik Afobe and King all went close for the visitors with time ticking away, they travelled back to Dorset empty-handed.

A cautious opening saw Boro threaten first through full-backs George Friend and Antonio Barragan. However, both were unable to hit the target with ambitious efforts from distance.

The Cherries grew into the contest, though, and only an outstanding goalline clearance prevented King from breaking the deadlock in the 13th minute.

Jack Wilshere’s corner was met by the Norwegian forward but with his perfectly-placed first-time shot on its way in, midfielder Adam Clayton managed to nod to safety.

Up the other end, the hosts saw a penalty appeal waved away by referee Stuart Attwell after Adama Traore tumbled under the challenge of Charlie Daniels inside the area, but Bournemouth were soon back on the front foot, with King curling wide from 20 yards.

King had been the visitors’ most potent threat and proved so again with the half-hour mark approaching, taking Jack Wilshere’s lofted pass over the Middlesbrough rearguard brilliantly on his chest and volleying goalwards.

It looked certain to be the opening goal of the afternoon but Valdes had other ideas, pulling off a stunning fingertip stop to turn the ball onto the crossbar and away to safety.

On 36 minutes, the majority of the Riverside Stadium thought Boro had broken through, but Friend’s rising drive rippled the side netting rather than the back of it.

However, less than three minutes later they were in front.

As the home side broke at pace from a Cherries corner, Ramirez picked up the ball in his own half, raced forward down the left, made his way into the area, checked back onto his right foot and finished past Artur Boruc.

The second half was just 11 minutes old when Middlesbrough doubled their advantage.

Traore’s cross was headed down by Negredo and Downing pounced to turn the ball home from close range.

That prompted a double change from Eddie Howe as Bournemouth looked to get back in the contest, with Afobe and Ryan Fraser replacing Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe.

And Afobe was presented with an immediate chance to halve the deficit.

The former Arsenal and Wolves front man was played in by Daniels but found Valdes equal to his low, angled shot.

The visitors continued to press and Daniels cleverly worked himself space inside the box before teeing up fellow full-back Smith, whose drive was blocked.

Arter then sent a 25-yard free-kick over the bar before being replaced by Dan Gosling for the closing stages.

And although the Cherries piled on the pressure during the closing stages, they were unable to find a way through a resolute Middlesbrough back line.

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