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Phil takes top Billing in big cup win

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Attendance:
10064
:
Darren England

Philip Billing and Dominic Solanke both scored their first goals for the club as the Cherries booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in four years.

Summer recruit Billing settled any nerves in the home camp when he started the ball rolling with a well-taken strike after just eight minutes.

And although Solanke saw a 15th-minute header chalked off following a VAR review, he completed the scoring after goals from Callum Wilson and Billing had made it 3-0.

Callum Wilson netted within 60 seconds of coming off the bench midway through the second half, while Solanke scored from close range after Billing's piledriver had given the Cherries a three-goal cushion with 11 minutes remaining.

The hosts dominated for long periods, enjoying the lion’s share of possession and creating the majority of the goalscoring chances.

But for all their pressure, they were relieved to reach the break leading through Billing’s early goal after Alan Sheehan had missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

But Eddie Howe’s team continued to turn on the style after the break and ran out deserved victors over the Championship strugglers.

Billing, Mark Travers, Jack Simpson, Ryan Fraser, Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas were drafted into the Cherries starting line-up as boss Eddie Howe made six changes.

Solanke, picked out by Diego Rico, was denied by a save from Hatters goalkeeper Simon Sluga inside the opening 80 seconds.

Some neat footwork from Rico created an opening for Harry Wilson but the Liverpool loan star lifted his effort over the crossbar.

Billing drew first blood after trading passes with Rico in the eighth minute, the Dane’s first goal for the club since his summer move from Huddersfield.

The 23-year-old midfielder started the move with an incisive pass to Rico who found himself in acres of space on the left.

And after Rico had returned the compliment, Billing finished by despatching a left-foot shot into the top corner from just inside the 18-yard box.

Although Solanke appeared to have doubled the Cherries’ lead on 15 minutes, his header from a Fraser corner was chalked off by the video assistant referee.

Solanke arrived at the near post to glance Fraser’s delivery past Sluga but Harry Wilson was deemed by VAR to have been in an offside position and interfering with play.

The hosts had a let-off after 20 minutes when former Christchurch frontman Harry Cornick seized on a loose pass from Billing.

But having raced clear and advanced into the 18-yard box, Cornick’s fierce shot was superbly beaten away by Cherries goalkeeper Travers.

Chris Mepham, who was hurt as he challenged Cornick to the loose ball, was able to continue following treatment.

A patient move from the visitors ended with Jacob Butterfield firing narrowly over the crossbar from 20 yards in the 29th minute.

And after Elliot Lee had fastened on to a headed clearance, his effort from the edge of the box also flew over the top of Travers’s goal.

A flare-up involving Billing and Luton skipper Alan Sheehan resulted in the Cherries player and Hatters defender Lloyd Jones receiving yellow cards from referee Darren England.

As the first half drew to a close, Stanislas’s shot deflected off a defender for a corner before Fraser’s stinging strike was charged down by Glen Rea.

However, the Hatters were awarded a penalty in first-half stoppage time when Billing was judged to have tripped Matty Pearson.

But after the decision had been confirmed by VAR, Sheehan stepped forward to take the spot-kick, only to see his penalty hit the crossbar.

Harry Wilson rattled the stanchion behind Sluga’s goal after Surman’s corner had found its way to him early in the second half.

And after Solanke’s inch-perfect pass had set Stanislas free, he deftly lifted his effort over Sluga but also over the crossbar.

Travers watched George Moncur’s curling shot clear the woodwork before Sluga was forced to save acrobatically from Harry Wilson’s opportunist effort.

Harry Wilson rattled the stanchion behind Sluga’s goal after Surman’s corner had found its way to him early in the second half.

And after Solanke’s inch-perfect pass had set Stanislas free, he deftly lifted his effort over Sluga but also over the crossbar.

Travers watched George Moncur’s curling shot clear the woodwork before Sluga was forced to save acrobatically from Harry Wilson’s opportunist effort.

Billing’s long-range strike failed to trouble Sluga before the Cherries made their first change with Callum Wilson replacing Stanislas after 66 minutes.

And the switch paid instant dividends with Callum Wilson converting a cross from his namesake with his first touch, the goal coming less than 60 seconds after he had come off the bench.

Callum Wilson pulled away from his marker before Harry Wilson put the ball on a plate for him, the England striker needing no second invitation as he slipped it past Sluga.

Billing extended the Cherries’ lead 11 minutes from time when his venomous 25-yard strike found the back of the net, with a slight deflection off Donervon Daniels not helping Sluga.

And Solanke was rewarded for his endeavours with a deserved goal, the striker poking home from close range despite the best efforts of Sluga just three minutes later.

Manchester City Etihad Stadium

Premier League

2nd May 2020 3:00 PM

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