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Cherries battle back but suffer Wolves loss

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Attendance:
10539
:
Simon Hooper

Ten-man AFC Bournemouth fought back impressively, but after falling two goals behind couldn't fully recover and lost 2-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Wolves took the lead through a brilliant Joao Moutinho free-kick midway through the first half, and there was double disappointment for the home fans when Raul Jimenez slotted home from close range.

Things went from bad to worse before the break when Simon Francis received his second booking of the opening period after pulling back his man, the Cherries reduced to ten men.

Against the odds, Steve Cook halved the deficit with a header on the hour, and the hosts had chances to complete a memorable comeback, but their first half had given them too much to do and Wolves claimed their first ever league win on Bournemouth soil. 

With Joshua King absent due to a hamstring injury picked up on international duty, Eddie Howe reverted to a three in defence, Francis making his first start of the season, while at the sharp end put Harry Wilson and Ryan Fraser fitted in behind Callum Wilson.

The Cherries got the game started on a drizzly and grey south-coast day, Ruben Neves soon showing a glimpse of his talent with a 22-yard volley that flew a yard or so wide.

After stand-in defender Romain Saiss was cautioned for a late tackle on Lewis Cook, Moutinho then shot off target as the visitors' bright start continued. Philip Billing soon given his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he'll miss the upcoming Tottenham game through suspension.

Francis became the third man to enter the book, bringing down Diogo Jota on the left side of his own box, and from the set piece Wolves took the lead.

Moutinho weighed up the situation and an unfavourable angle, a shot looking unlikely, but the Portugal international's delivery was superb, over the heads and straight in at the back post.

The hosts began to see more of the ball, building patiently from the back as they set about finding their footing in the match, Fraser delivering a dangerous low ball before Francis did likewise, Callum Wilson getting the ball stuck in his feet as he looked to get a shot away.

However, in the 31st minute the away side scored their second. A quickly-taken free-kick on halfway allowed Adama Traore to gallop down the right and play in a low centre that Jimenez gratefully dispatched from six yards.

Harry Wilson had a shot blocked and Callum Wilson flashed a header wide, before Jimenez came close to his second when he was played in and tried to beat Aaron Ramsdale, the Cherries 'keeper getting just enough on the effort and allowing a defender to scoop the rolling ball off the line.

The bad news kept coming for the home side, as after a Wolves attack came to nothing referee pulled the play back for an earlier foul by Francis on Jota, producing a second yellow card and then a red for the Cherries skipper.

The atmosphere muted, Bournemouth went back down the tunnel for half time with it all to do.

The changes were rung at the break, Jefferson Lerma and Arnaut Danjuma coming on in place of Billing and Harry Wilson and the home tempo rose accordingly, though Callum Wilson was unable to get a clean connection on Adam Smith's swinging ball into the danger zone after the restart.

Neves sent another long-range shot off target before Lewis Cook at the other end the similarly shot, though his effort was via a deflection, setting up a corner the Cherries would score from.

Fraser took the set piece, inswinging from the left, and Steve Cook got to the ball first with a glancing header at the near post and after the ball had taken a touch off Traore if nestled in the far side of the net.

Jimenez cursed himself after planting a header from a similar opportunity wide, as the play became increasingly stretched with both sides fully aware of the crucial nature of the game's next goal.

The continual rain was seeing the pitch become increasingly sodden, and with 15 minutes to go Dan Gosling came on for his minutes since April, the outcome of the points still uncertain.

After a Bournemouth corner was cleared Jota was suddenly free with a whole half to speed into, Steve Cook recovered excellently, though the Portuguese still got a shot away, brilliantly saved by Ramsdale.

Inside the final ten minutes and the home side were within a fine Rui Patricio save of an equaliser, Ake connecting on the volley with a cross but seeing the Wolves 'keeper block the powered effort, Steve Cook's follow up smothered away.

Into the three minutes of added time, with Steve Cook pushed into a striking role and with Aaron Ramsdale coming up to attack a corner, the home side couldn't force a leveler despite Callum Wilson teeing Danjuma up with a clear shot from 12 yards in the dying seconds.

Burnley Turf Moor

Premier League

22nd February 2020 3:00 PM

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