Mousset strike nets Cherries comeback win
- Paul Tierney
AFC Bournemouth came from behind to defeat Stoke City 2-1 at Vitality Stadium.
The Potters had a fifth-minute lead when Xherdan Shaqiri headed a centre home, a lead they still held at the break despite increasing home pressure.
Joshua King - a first half substitute - equalised calmly for the Cherries with 20 minutes left and with just over ten remaining the hosts had the advantage, the effervescent Lys Mousset heading home his first league goal for the club.
Stoke battled forwards late on in the hope of an equaliser but with none forthcoming the Cherries collected the three points and cemented their top-half position - stretching their Premier League unbeaten run to seven games, the club's longest yet.
The hosts' starting 11 was unchanged from their stunning midweek Chelsea win, but there was no time to rest on laurels as Shaqiri quickly fired in an angled shot that Steve Cook had to smartly clear from his goal line.
The warning wasn't heeded, however, and moments later it was the Swiss international who gave the Potters an early lead.
Debutant Badou Ndaiye picked out Shaqiri with a good cross from the left flank and the diminutive attacker was able to get between men and glance his header home from six yards.
Bournemouth were immediately onto the attack, Jordon Ibe hit the side netting as he moved the ball onto his right foot to shoot, with the home side soon forced into a change with Steve Cook leaving the game injured and replaced by King.
The change also led to a switch in formation, Eddie Howe moving to four at the back.
Callum Wilson somehow got a shot away when he volleyed Lewis Cook's searching long ball goalwards, though Jack Butland was able to save and gather down to his right.
Wilson soon had the chance to run at goal after picking off a loose pass on halfway, though Kurt Zouma was able to steal the ball off the striker's toes as he neared the area.
The Cherries thought they were level after King surged into the left side of the box, played the ball across the face of the goal with Ibe there to finish, only for Erik Pieters to somehow recover to miraculously clear off the the line.
From the corner Pieters was in the thick of the action again, home fans calling for a penalty after Wilson was perceived to have been pushed down by the defender in the box.
A Ryan Shawcross handball gave the hosts a freekick in a promising position, Stanislas firing the set piece into the wall; the Cherries pressure mounting into the closing stages of the half.
Stanislas tested Butland at his near post with another freekick, the Bournemouth momentum unable to make a mark on the scoresheet ahead of the interval, though King and Wilson's late link up nearly opened the visiting defence.
Within moments of the restart King almost drew the Cherries level, shooting from 20 yards Butland was wrong-footed but able to recover and save, Wilson flagged then offside as he attempted to pick up the pieces.
The home offensive becoming relentless, Ibe had a shot from close in blocked, though the backline still needed to be on guard, as shown when Ndiaye volleyed wide from a central position.
Asmir Begovic saved from Peter Crouch's well-hit shot, before Mousset was introduced for the hosts in place of Stanislas just ahead of the hour.
A succession of Bournemouth corners couldn't unlock the Stoke rearguard while Crouch's height again caused danger from a visiting flag kick, the striker clipping the top of the bar with his header.
Wilson seemed certain to level after neat work from Mousset and Dan Gosling gave the striker a clear opening, but his speared low finish flashed past the far post.
The goal so long threatened finally arrived when King slotted home.
Mousset and Gosling were again involved in the build-up, the ball then bouncing kindly off a defender and into the Norwegian's path with a dead-eye finish from ten yards evening the scores.
The wind in home sails, Gosling fired a half-volley over the bar following some good work from Ryan Fraser before Mousset was close but unable to convert a flashed centre in ahead of Butland.
Mousset's wonderful cameo was rewarded with a first Premier League goal as the Cherries steamed into the lead.
A freekick on the right apex was delivered into the danger zone by Ibe, with Mousset stealing in to head down and home from four yards.
Into the dying embers of the game, the Potters pushed for a reply of their own with the fourth official signalling a further four minutes at the end of the 90.
Marc Pugh replaced the excellent Ibe in time added on, the Cherries seeing the game out and even going close to a third when Wilson's shot was saved.
Onto the referee's final whistle and Bournemouth claimed another impressive result in their quest to secure Premier League football for a fourth season.