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Ten-man Cherries defeated at Norwich

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Paul Tierney

AFC Bournemouth were defeated 1-0 by Norwich City at Carrow Road, with the Cherries playing nearly 60 minutes with ten men.

AFC Bournemouth were defeated 1-0 by Norwich City at Carrow Road, with the Cherries playing nearly 60 minutes with ten men.

Defender Steve Cook was sent off for a deliberate handball in the first-half which handed Norwich a penalty, Teemu Pukki scoring the opener from the spot as a result.

Home defender Ben Godfrey then saw red in the 81st minute, a decision which was upgraded to a red card by a VAR decision.

But despite some late pressure, the home side held on for three points in Norfolk.

The Cherries welcomed Aaron Ramsdale and Diego Rico back to the starting line-up as Eddie Howe shuffled his pack, altering formation to a 4-3-3 with Jefferson Lerma, Philip Billing and Dan Gosling playing as a midfield trio.

And the change almost reaped rewards three minutes in when Ryan Fraser swung in a beautiful cross which Callum Wilson nodded at goal in the six-yard box, but Tim Krul was there to deny the England striker.

In an open game, Emi Buendia then went extremely close to the opener for the hosts with a header in the area, one which whizzed narrowly past Ramsdale’s right-hand post.

But the Canaries had the lead in the 32nd minute after a bizarre set of events which saw Steve Cook sent off in the process.

Todd Cantwell lofted a dangerous ball over the top which set striker Pukki in behind the visitors’ defence. Ramsdale did so well to sprawl himself to deny the Finnish striker, but the ball bounced kindly to Canaries debutant Ondrej Duda who lofted the ball towards the top corner.

The shot was going in for the goal, but Cherries captain Steve Cook dived – almost like a goalkeeper – to divert the ball over the bar in the penalty area to deliberately stop the midfielder from scoring.

Referee Paul Tierney had no hesitation in issuing a penalty and giving the defender a straight red card, but the decision went to VAR despite it being blatant to all the supporters and Steve Cook himself, who had already gone down the tunnel.

Pukki stepped up to convert the penalty high and centrally to send Daniel Farke’s men into the lead.
Harry Wilson was then replaced by Simon Francis in an attempt to shore things up after Steve Cook’s dismissal as the half fizzled out with a nervy atmosphere around Carrow Road despite the hosts having the lead.

Despite having ten-men, the Cherries started the second-half well, seeing plenty of the ball Norwich sat back looking to absorb pressure and counter attack.

And the Cherries had a glorious chance to draw level just after the hour mark, when Fraser’s low cross was perfect for the waiting Callum Wilson in the penalty area, but just as he looked set to apply the finish in the six-yard box he slipped and the ball agonisingly rolled to safety.

The game could’ve been over for the Cherries though five minutes later, when Pukki went through one-on-one into the area and looked set to finish unopposed, but his tame effort was well read by Ramsdale who dived low to his left to make a crucial stop.

The Cherries ‘keeper then had to be alert again moments later to keep out a Duda effort and make a superb save to deny Emi Buendia in the area as the Canaries enjoyed a positive spell.

But Howe’s side got through the tough moment and were given a lifeline when Ben Gofrey went lunging in very late on Callum Wilson, with referee Tierney – after originally giving a yellow – reversing his decision after a tense few minutes checking the VAR screen pitchside.

Dominic Solanke then came on for Jefferson Lerma as the tide began to turn back in the Cherries’ favour, and Gosling had a huge chance to level it with ten minutes to go as he tamely headed at ‘keeper Tim Krul from eight-yards.

Krul then made a superb stop to keep the hosts in the ascendency, as Fraser’s free-kick was met superbly by Nathan Ake, his looping header forcing his fellow countryman to acrobatically get a fingertip to the ball to divert it over the bar.

Despite the Cherries enjoying a lot of the ball in the late stages, the hosts stood firm and the Cherries now look ahead to Brighton at home on Tuesday.

Manchester City Etihad Stadium

Premier League

15th July 2020 6:00 PM

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