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A special shout out to this man...

We'll round off the blog by giving a special bit of praise for Mark Travers.

At 2-1 and under pressure with ten men, the big Irishman pulled off a stunning save to deny Jutkiewicz - if he wasn't there who knows how it would have panned out.

But another impressive performance from Travers alongside a solid team effort.

Wherever you are around the world thank you so much for following our live updates and we'll see you on Saturday for Blackpool.




And how good were these two tonight?

Anthony's goal capped off a great evening for him, he was named the sponsors Man of the Match in the stadium.

The two academy graduates are really continuing to give head coach Scott Parker great options in this very talented squad.

That goal was Anthony's seventh of the season, a very good return so far!



A brilliant performance from the Cherries.

Despite going down to ten men, goals from Ryan Christie, Dom Solanke and Jaidon Anthony get us back to winning ways.

We're second in the table, two points ahead of Blackburn who lost 2-0 at home to Forest.

We've also got two games in hand over Rovers, so we have to make them count.

Plenty of positives all round this evening!


Superb run by Dembele

The winger receives the ball under pressure and makes a superb run up the field. He's eventually hauled down by Sunjic, who receives a yellow.


Birmingham plugging away

The visitors are still plugging away but the Cherries look resolute, making clearance after clearance. 


Five minutes added on

As the assistant signals additional time, Travers makes a brilliant stop from Sunjic, his left boot blocking a low effort from the middle of the box.


Birmingham change

Ryan Woods comes on for Jordan Graham for the final moments.


Final change for the Cherries

Another debut as Kieffer Moore replaces Philip Billing.

Superb from the Danish midfielder again. 


Bela fires over

The Birmingham wide-man takes aim from distance but his effort flies over the bar.


Yellow for Anthony

Not quite sure what the yellow is for but the referee signals for a foul where advantage had been played.

Meanwhile, Kelly curls a forward ball for Solanke to run on to and he gets the Cherries up the pitch and wins a throw. 


Ten minutes to go

There's still a task for the Cherries to do here, this game isn't over by any stretch of the imagination.

Scott Parker will want his side to defend strongly, maintain a good defensive line and make good decisions.

There'll be an element of calculated risks in order to ease pressure and get the Cherries up the pitch but nothing too outlandish. 


Big performance from Jaidon!



That's exactly what we needed!

Brilliant work by Jaidon Anthony as he receives the ball on the right, drives into the area.

He gets a touch of fortune as a heavy touch ricochets kindly for him but he then picks out the bottom corner.

Moore sits back down for the time being.


Cherries need to hold on

Immediate thoughts here will inevitably look back at the draw with Coventry earlier in the season.

The Cherries were similarly in control of the game before a Lerma red card gave the visitors a route back into the game.

Parker might be a little more aggressive in his approach than he was on that occasion, Kieffer Moore is being readied.



It's all Birmingham now.

Graham feeds a lovely ball behind the backline and finds Jutkiewicz, his side-footed effort forcing an excellent reaction stop from Travers.



Birmingham have a goal back.

Hernandez's weak shot from the edge of the box deflects off Phillips, wrong-footing Travers, and finds the back of the net.


Dembele booked

The signing receives a yellow card for an innocuous challenge at the edge of the box. Again, didn't look like much in it. 


RED CARD - Lerma

Oh no. Jefferson Lerma receives a straight red card.

He is late to a challenge on Hernandez, it's mistimed but a red card looks particularly harsh.

The Cherries now have to hold on with over 20 minutes remaining.

Hernandez booked for his reaction.


The tempo has slowed

As you'd expect, with two injuries in quick succession, the tempo of the game has slowed down quite considerably.

The introduction of Lewis Cook will be designed to offer more defensive discipline in the remaining minutes, as well as rest Cantwell who hasn't played a lot of minutes recently.

Dembele, who has settled on the left, has a few nice touches as he gets into the action. 


Change for Birmingham

Onel Hernandez replaces Teden Mengi, who has picked up an injury himself.


Changes for Bournemouth

It's a debut for Siriki Dembele as he comes on for Ryan Christie.

The other change is Lewis Cook replacing Todd Cantwell, who receives a huge ovation following an excellent first start.


Ryan Christie's game is done

The Scot has been superb today but has dropped to the floor off the ball and his evening looks to be over.

The Cherries are preparing two changes...


Change for Birmingham

Scott Hogan is replaced by Lukas Jutkiewicz. 


A bright start

The Cherries have started this second half largely in the manner we finished the first half.

Solanke almost found himself through on goal after a clever chest from Billing, before causing Etheridge a panic as chases a backpass down.

As I type, Travers is forced into an excellent save as he pushes away Hogan's strong header from close range. The first real time he's been called into action and he does well.


Yellow card for Graham

The third booking of the game for Birmingham as Jordan Graham receives a yellow card for a tackle from behind on Zemura.


Back underway!

Birmingham get this second half started.

Can the Cherries build on an excellent first half?



The Cherries have dominated the first half. Here's the stats...

Bournemouth - 67%
Birmingham - 33%

Bournemouth - 7
Birmingham - 3

Shots on target:
Bournemouth - 4
Birmingham - 0

Bournemouth - 5
Birmingham - 2


A brilliant opening 45 minutes


20 goals for Dominic Solanke

Congratulations to Dominic Solanke for grabbing his 20th goal of the season in all competitions - the first time he's reached the milestone in his career.

His performance today has highlighted everything brilliant about the forward.

He's run selflessly down the channel, providing an outlook for the defence and stretching the defence to allow Billing and Cantwell to pick up dangerous areas.

When he's received the ball to his feet, he's been tidy on the ball and strong in his hold-up.

His chance came when he received the ball from Christie's pass and he made no mistake, finding the bottom corner.

What a brilliant performance so far!



An excellent, excellent first half from the Cherries!

Goals from Ryan Christie and Dominic Solanke have us ahead at the break.


Two minutes added time

We're entering the final moments of the first half...

Two minutes until I wax lyrical about Dominic Solanke!


How else to describe this first half?


Anthony forces a save

It has to be said, Ryan Christie is absolutely everywhere.

This time he makes a darting run across the pitch and finds Anthony on the left.

He shuffles onto his right foot and curls an effort at goal, Etheridge is behind it to make a comfortable save.



Almost a third goal for the Cherries!

Anthony clips in a beautiful cross from the right and Billing has made a good run towards the back post.

He guides his header back to where it came from but watches the ball bounce off the bottom of the post. 


Pedersen booked

The Birmingham man is a lucky, lucky player.

He doesn't control a ball forward and finds himself tackled by Solanke.

The Cherries man looks set the drive forward, near enough clean through on goal, but is pulled to the ground by the Birmingham man.

Presumably only the distance from the goal prevents it being a straight red card.



This is absolutely ruthless!

Solanke has been causing problems with his runs into the channels all game and he makes no mistake once he gets a scoring opportunity.

Sunjic miscontrols the ball in the middle and the Cherries are away, Christie playing a nicely weighted ball for Solanke to run onto and he picks out the bottom corner.

Superb performance so far!


The pressure is not relenting

Scott Parker will be delighted with how his side have started here.

Birmingham are lined up in a back three and as a result the Cherries wide players are operating with a lot of space.

Christie and Anthony are hugging the touchline until they get the ball and have the ability to go multiple ways, with the wing backs constantly on the overlap.

Cantwell and Billing are very technical in the middle and can manipulate the ball into the areas that are hurting Birmingham quickly. 


A super start!


The opening goal!


Gardner booked

The Cherries look very sharp and they're continuing to press, Gardner picking up the first yellow card for a cynical pull on Billing.



There's the opener and Ryan Christie gets it!

The Cherries work the ball really well and Billing touches it to Christie at the edge of the box, his first time effort crashes off the bar.

Anthony does well to keep it alive and Zemura fires a cross into the middle.

It's not cleared, Billing picking it up and cutting it back towards the penalty spot, Christie in the right place to sweep it into the back of the net and the crowd erupts!

A superb opener.


Sigh of relief for Etheridge

A moment of worry for the Birmingham goalkeeper as he has to go scrambling to retrieve a heavy back pass.

Colin has fired it back at goal and Etheridge's heavy touch threaten to let Lerma in, who has chased him across the length of the pitch!

Unfortunately for the Cherries, the goalkeeper just about gets it clear!


Inches away from the opener!


Christie forces a save

It's not a difficult stop for Etheridge but he is called into action.

Solanke drifts into a wide area before attempting to drive with the ball into the box.

He's tackled but Cantwell picks up the loose ball and feeds Christie at the edge of the box and he tries to guide it into the far corner.

It lacks real venom and Etheridge shuffles across to make a straight forward catch.


Good defending Phillips!

Birmingham suddenly have a period of pressure and Nat Phillips has to make two excellent interventions.

A good cross from the right finds Pedersen at the back post and his header across goal looks set to find the back of the net but Phillips gets his head to it.

The ball then bounces out to Lyle Taylor, who puts his header beyond Travers but again Phillips gets to it and deflects it over!



The Cherries are moving the ball really well and win corner three and four of the opening stages.

Etheridge punches away the latter but we keep on the pressure, Cantwell picking up the ball on the left touchline and curling a dangerous ball across goal.

Solanke flings himself at the ball but can't connect with it and it bounces beyond the far post, much to the relief of the stricken goalkeeper.

A really bright start!


'Red Army' being sung loud and proud!

The atmosphere is excellent in the early stages as 'Red Army' reverberates around Vitality Stadium.

The Cherries have started well and have clearly identified Solanke's runs in the channels as Stacey arcs a ball forward for the striker to run onto, forcing Pedersen to head behind for a corner.

Christie's corner is decent but a Blues head wins it in the middle, Phillips blocking the clearance behind for a goal kick.



The Cherries kick us off!

We work the ball forward to Solanke, who controls it on his chest and wins a free-kick on the right touchline.

Phillips rises highest to meet Christie's cross but plants his header wide. A bright start.


Here they come!

It's a proper night under the lights here at Vitality Stadium - 'Power' is playing, the lights show is going and the atmosphere is rocking!

We're just moments away from kick-off...


Ten minutes to go

We're just ten minutes from kick-off at Vitality Stadium!

Both teams have returned to the dressing rooms for a final word from the head coach.

The mission for the Cherries is simple: put in a better performance than the weekend and get a positive result. 


Getting warm!

We're getting closer and closer to kick-off here at Vitality Stadium and warm-ups are well underway! 


What to expect from Birmingham City?

We spoke to BBC Radio West Midlands journalist Richard Wilford who provided some insight on Birmingham City.

How have Blues fared since the teams met in August?

RW: It’s been a very up and down season, not least because they’ve had a lot of injury problems.

Losing their loan player Tahith Chong so early in the season was very difficult. He’ll be back soon but he is their main playmaker.

They’ve had a lot of difficulties in terms of midfield and defence with suspensions. It’s been a bit of a make-do and mend season for Lee Bowyer.

It’s not an enormous surprise that they haven’t produced any real consistency over the course of the campaign so far.

Two in two for Lyle Taylor – give us your thoughts on his signing?

RW: He worked under Lee Bowyer at Charlton and is a very confident lad. He’s certainly not afraid to give the other players his opinion on the pitch!

He has fitted in very well. He gives them good movement and is very fit and agile. He’s given them a mobile focal point which I don’t think they’ve really had so far this season. He’s made a really good impact.

With Troy Deeney out injured at the moment, having Lyle join Lukas Jutkiewicz and Scott Hogan as options for a front two has given Lee Bowyer a little more that he can throw at the opposition.

Compared with Chuks Aneke, who went back to Charlton in the window, you would have to say Lyle is an upgrade.


Phillips's pre-match thoughts

Nat Phillips joined afcbTV ahead of the game and has emphasised how important it is for the Cherries to bounce back from the weekend's disappointment. 


Ready for action!



Todd Cantwell has been handed his full AFC Bournemouth debut in one of nine changes from Sunday's FA Cup defeat to Boreham Wood. 

Nat Phillips and Jaidon Anthony keep their places in the starting line up, while Lloyd Kelly comes back into the side and takes the armband. 

With Mark Travers in goal, Jack Stacey and Jordan Zemura occupy the full-back places as Dominic Solanke leads the line up the other end of the pitch. 

He'll have Ryan Christie and Jaidon Anthony either side of him, with Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing in a midfield three with Cantwell. 

As for the bench, it's a first appearance in a matchday squad for deadline day signings Siriki Dembele and Kieffer Moore, who weren't involved in the FA Cup tie at the weekend, while fellow new recruit Freddie Woodman is also included.



Here's how Scott Parker lines up for tonight's SkyBet Championship game.

The key news:
- Nat Phillips and Todd Cantwell start
- There are nine changes from Sunday's FA Cup clash
- Kieffer Moore and Siriki Dembele are on the bench


Cantwell loving life so far!

New signing Todd Cantwell will be hoping to make his first league appearance for the Cherries this evening, having completed 45 minutes for the side in the weekend's FA Cup game.

He sat down with afcb.co.uk this week and revealed that he's settling into life in Bournemouth really well!

Cantwell told the club website: "I've found it really easy to settle in, probably a lot easier than I could've asked for.

“The players have been ever so welcoming and the staff have been brilliant, but it's also a really nice area. It's similar to Norwich in some aspects, but I've found it really smooth settling in and I can't wait to get in the thick of the games now. 

"It's a group of lads that are young and ambitious which, when you get a set of players that have the same ambition, naturally you're going to get on and look at things the same way.

“In that sense, it's been pretty easy to fixate ourselves in what we want to achieve. We can only do that by winning games and we can only do that when the games come around. I'm just looking forward to getting going.”


Captain Kelly issues rallying cry

We caught up with Cherries skipper Lloyd Kelly ahead of this evening's fixture and he had some strong words.

“Obviously the result at the weekend wasn’t the one we were looking for so we know we had a lot of work to do coming into another big week.

“These two games coming up make it an important week and we have to set our focus on what we set out to achieve at the start of the season, which is promotion.

“I think everyone now knows where we are with 18 games to go, we know what we need to do and that’s winning as many games as possible.”

Can the Cherries bounce back tonight?


An outgoing today

Just when you thought transfer season was over!

It was confirmed today that defender Zeno Ibsen Rossi has joined Scottish Premiership side Dundee on loan until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old had agreed to make the move in the last moments of the January transfer window and the deal was ratified by FIFA this afternoon. 


Welcome to our live coverage!

The Cherries are back under the lights at Vitality Stadium this evening as we get back into league action.

It was a disappointing game at the weekend but Scott Parker's side are looking to respond with a positive performance against Birmingham City.

Follow us throughout the evening as we bring you full updates.

Other games that day

  • Sheffield United2
    West Bromwich Albion0
  • Cardiff City4
    Peterborough United0
  • Blackburn Rovers0
    Nottingham Forest2
  • Preston North End0
    Huddersfield Town0
  • Bristol City2
  • Queens Park Rangers2

As it stood

1 Fulham 29 +51 61
3 Blackburn Rovers 31 +12 53
4 Queens Park Rangers 29 +13 52
5 Huddersfield Town 31 +6 49
6 Nottingham Forest 30 +10 46
7 Middlesbrough 29 +6 46
8 Luton Town 29 +8 45
9 West Bromwich Albion 30 +8 45
10 Sheffield United 28 +6 45
11 Stoke City 29 +6 42
12 Preston North End 31 -1 42
13 Coventry City 28 +4 41
14 Blackpool 30 -2 41
15 Millwall 29 -3 37
16 Bristol City 31 -14 37
17 Swansea City 29 -9 35
18 Birmingham City 31 -15 33
19 Hull City 30 -9 32
20 Cardiff City 29 -13 32
21 Reading 29 -23 22
22 Peterborough United 28 -36 20
23 Derby County 30 0 18
24 Barnsley 29 -27 14

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