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Siriki stunner caps comeback win

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Steve Martin

Siriki Dembele’s stunning solo goal capped a superb comeback win for AFC Bournemouth as they ran out 3-2 victors against Bristol City at Vitality Stadium.

Dembele came off the bench to post a goal-of-the-season contender, the winger leaving three City defenders in his wake before drilling the ball past Dan Bentley nine minutes from time.

His late third goal added to Dominic Solanke’s 25th of the season and Lewis Cook’s first for 498 days as Scott Parker’s team re-established a six-point lead in second place in the Championship.

Defender Rob Atkinson drew first blood for the visitors when he headed home Matty James’s corner in the fourth minute.

And despite dominating possession and putting together some lovely moves, the Cherries found clear chances hard to come by in the first half.

However, it all changed five minutes before the break when Solanke swept Jordan Zemura’s cross past Bentley to make it 1-1.

Cook, whose last goal for the Cherries came in November 2020, fired an unstoppable drive past Bentley in the 52nd minute before Dembele administered the coup de grace with Andi Weimann's injury-time effort making it 3-2.

Head coach Scott Parker named an unchanged starting line-up for the visit of  City and kept faith with the same 11 players who had turned on the style during the 3-0 victory at Huddersfield ahead of the international break.

The only change to the Cherries squad came on the bench where goalkeeper Will Dennis replaced Freddie Woodman who was unwell.

A clever corner routine almost paid dividends after just 50 seconds when Jefferson Lerma headed narrowly wide from Jaidon Anthony’s delivery.

Nat Phillips did well to beat Timm Klose to Alex Scott’s cross but City opened the scoring through Atkinson from the resultant corner.

The defender climbed above the Cherries defence to meet Matty James’s delivery, his header finding the back of the net despite the best efforts of Mark Travers.

Lewis Cook’s excellent pass teed up Solanke for a raid on the City goal but the striker’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.

The Cherries continued to put together some promising moves but the City defence stood firm and did well to protect goalkeeper Dan Bentley.

Bentley saved comfortably from Jordan Zemura’s speculative effort before Adam Smith required treatment after a coming-together with Chris Martin.

A lovely move involving Anthony and Zemura created a chance for Phil Billing, only for his effort to flash past the upright with Ryan Christie unable to slide in and convert at the far post.

Solanke was rewarded for his endeavours, the striker equalising five minutes before half-time with a move he started and finished.

Having stood his ground and held off marker Klose, Solanke managed to work the ball to Christie who slipped it into the path of Zemura.

And the left-back’s precision cross fell invitingly for Solanke who guided it with deadly accuracy past the despairing dive of Bentley.

Solanke then traded passes with Billing to fashion another opportunity but his flicked effort lacked pace and was eventually gathered by Bentley.

Billing lifted the ball over the City defence to find Lerma whose lofted centre fell to Solanke but his effort was blocked on the line by Atkinson at the start of the second half.

A sensational cross from Billing found Lerma in the 18-yard box, the Colombia international’s volley pushed over the crossbar by Bentley.

And from the resultant corner taken short by Anthony, the Cherries took the lead when Cook unleashed an unstoppable 25-yarder past Bentley.

Billing met Smith’s low cross but saw his effort from close range blocked before City’s claims for a penalty fell on deaf ears after Martin had gone to ground under a challenge from Lloyd Kelly.

Anthony was denied by Bentley after being set free by Christie before Cook’s heroic block charged down Jay Dasilva’s piledriver.

Travers added another stunning save to his repertoire when he kept out Martin’s effort from six yards following a cross from Dasilva in the 74th minute.

Dembele, on as a 72nd-minute replacement for Anthony, posted a goal-of-the-season contender to make it 3-1 with nine minutes left on the clock.

The winger, fed by Cook, beat three City defenders, leaving two on the floor, and ended a mesmerising run by rifling past Bentley from around eight yards to raise the roof at Vitality Stadium.

Christie, teed up by Solanke, fired narrowly wide late on before Andi Weimann pulled one back from Tommy Conway’s cross in added time. 

AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Smith, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura, Cook, Lerma (Pearson, 84), Billing, Christie, Solanke (Lowe, 88), Anthony (Dembele, 72).

Unused subs: Stacey, Cahill, Cantwell, Dennis (g/k).

Bristol City: Bentley, Cundy (Conway, 80), Klose, Atkinson, Dasilva, James, Scott, Pring (Massengo, 58), Weimann, Martin, Wells.

Unused subs: Vyner, Bell, Benarous, Owers, O’Leary (g/k). 

Booked: Cundy.

Referee: Stephen Martin.

Play video

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