Stunning Cherries too hot for Marseille
AFC Bournemouth took Ligue 1 big guns Marseille apart with a rampant performance to conclude their pre-season program.
Adam Smith gave the hosts a sensational start as within 13 seconds of the kick-off he blasted home a stunning half-volley, Joshua King doubling the lead on 25 minutes after an equally impressive team goal.
Before half time King scored his second as the Cherries' lead grew even lengthier, and Ryan Fraser gave the hosts a fourth to cap another strong Bournemouth attack just after the restart.
In the 50th minute Callum Wilson added his name to the scoresheet as he confidently finished in the area, though Valere Germain pulled one back for Marseille just past the hour and Remy Cabella rounded off the scoring with a scorching strike in the closing moments.
Right from the off among beaming sunshine and the Cherries already had the lead. Callum Wilson's smart backheel freed Ryan Fraser to cross at the byline and the Scot's centre found its way to Smith just inside the area.
The right-back didn't hesitate and hit the bouncing ball with an unerring drive that gave 'keeper Yohan Pele no chance.
With the French side growing into the game, Bournemouth scored their second following a flowing counter.
The ball was played out expertly from the back to Dan Gosling who turned and surged into the Marseille half, his ball wide left was deliciously directed into the area by Fraser with King turned the ball home first time from eight yards to cap the excellent move.
Two became three ten minutes before the break, King again making a tricky finish look easy after he was fed into the box by David Brooks, the Norweigan dinked the ball over the onrushing 'keeper.
There were no Cherries changes for the start of the second half, and the home side had a fourth within two minutes of the restart.
Brooks turned in his own half and with the outside of his boot brilliantly played King into space, the Norwegian picking out Fraser in the middle and the ball turned home first time for another fine Bournemouth goal.
Incredibly, the lead only stretched as three minutes later Wilson ran onto a good ball forwards, turned inside and wrong-footed the 'keeper to add a fifth for the rampant Cherries.
There was a concern as Nathan Ake was replaced and headed straight down the tunnel, he was replaced by Emerson Hyndman.
Germain then neatly tucked home a lasered ball across the six yard box, Marseille finally registering as they looked to restore some pride.
The pace reduced as the match entered its finale ten minutes still in blazing Dorset sunshine, with the away side pushing for a second consolation late on and got it when Cabella scored a blinder in the 89th minute from range.
But the Cherries retained their commanding lead to the end while giving pre-season opportunities to a number of younger players from the bench.
While Cherries fans still have seven days left to debate and pick their starting 11s for the Premier League opener against Cardiff, the team-work evident on Saturday against Marseille will only have pushed forward the cases of those in action against the French side.
Bournemouth's second goal especially oozed speed, trust and deadly finishing, moving the ball from one end of the pitch to the back of the net at the other in the blink of an eye, an exciting prospect for home fans on the eve of the new campaign.
It was a performance full of energy and every player looked extremely sharp against last season's Europa League finalists.
Goals, goals, goals!
After drawing a blank on Friday night against Real Betis, an entirely-changed Cherries side showed attacking intent and ability by the sackload against last the French outfit.
King and Wilson's finishes showed strikers in confident mood while Fraser's goal brought into focus a sharp display on the left flank, Brooks equally as eye-catching on the right not for his speed but more his speed of thought, cleverly threading balls after cutting inside onto his left foot.
Eddie Howe's side, from front to back, looked ready to go as we rapidly close in on the 2018/19 Premier League starter.