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An excellent win for the Cherries at Vitality Stadium!

Goals from Ryan Christie, Dominic Solanke and Jefferson Lerma (or an Alex Smithies own-goal) secure three points.

A perfect way to end 2021 at Vitality Stadium. 


Three minutes added on



Almost for Jamal Lowe!

He races the length of the half and while a defender tackles him before he gets his shot off, the ball bounces off Lowe and towards goal.

However, a defender is on the line to hook it clear. 



Ryan Christie can't quite get his second goal.

Marcondes sends in a brilliant cross to the back post and Christie is there to meet it, but can't get his feet sorted and it falls wide of the near post.


Another change for the Cherries

It slipped under the radar before the goal but Junior Stanislas was replaced by Emiliano Marcondes. Not sure what's happened to Junior but we'll bring you all the news on afcb.co.uk after the game. 



This will probably go down as an own goal but Lerma is celebrating.

A good corner isn't cleared and Lerma lashes it at goal, hitting the underside of the bar.

Looks like it bounces out and hits Smithies before it goes in but its our third goal nonetheless.

Lerma runs over to Leif Davis and Scott Parker on the bench to celebrate.


Excellent save Smithies!

Zemura makes a great overlapping run and lays the ball off to Billing at the edge of the box.

He pokes it at goal but Smithies does brilliantly to make a low save, and Christie's follow-up is well blocked.


Second change for the Cherries

Jamal Lowe comes on to replace Dominic Solanke.

Another superb effort by the Cherries number nine, who scored once again.

Lowe, a former Swansea player, receives a warm reception from the Cardiff fans!


19 for the season for Solanke!



Should be three for the Cherries!

Christie beats his man on the right and drives unchallenged into the box.

As Smithies comes out to narrow the angle, Christie elects to square for Solanke but it's a tough pass and it just hits the forward and can be cleared away.

Cardiff make their third change as Isaak Davies, their half-time sub, is replaced by Rubin Colwill. 


Cardiff have a couple efforts at goal

The visitors have been camped in their own half for most of the second half, but have a couple shots at goal.

Both from distance as McGuinness and Vaulks shoot but no threat to Travers in goal.


Our first change

The goal allows the Cherries to make our first change of the game.

Junior Stanislas comes on for Jaidon Anthony, who has put in a decent shift at left wing.

Some more minutes for Stanislas!



There's the second and no surprise, it's Dominic Solanke!

The forward exchanges a clever one-two with Billing at the edge of the box, the Dane with a good flick.

Solanke takes a touch and fires into the bottom corner to double our advantage!

Excellent football.



That's close to the second!

Billing wins a corner on the left and Anthony curls it into a good area in the middle.

Lerma has made a run from deep and shows real determination to win the header - no-one was stopping him!

Unfortunately, he jumps too early and while he meets it well, it's over the bar. 


Patient from the Cherries

Scott Parker's team are very much dominating the play now and operating very patiently as they move the ball around.

They're waiting for holes to appear where they can attack or getting into good areas in wide areas, as well as keeping the ball to limit Cardiff's threat. 


Change for Cardiff

Kieffer Moore is replaced by James Collins.

The forward will be ruing two good opportunities in the first half.


Billing proving a threat

With the Cardiff backline sitting so deep, the late runs by the likes of Billing are proving a problem.

The midfielder is getting beyond Anthony on the left well and getting crosses into the box.

In the meantime, Kieffer Moore has picked up an injury and it appears his evening is over.


First threat by Cardiff

The away side get the opportunity to launch a long-throw into the box as Billing concedes a throw.

You'd expect set pieces will become even more vital in this second half with a man disadvantage but the Cherries deal with it well.

At the other end, Billing's low cross is cleared before a cut back to Stacey is just a bit beyond the full back, who'd picked up a great position, and Cardiff clear.


Cardiff gone more compact

Cardiff's response to the red card is to replace Harris with a midfielder, and have subsequently gone more conservative in their approach.

Moore is the lone man up top and there are two banks of four behind him, operating in a very narrow fashion.

That has left a lot of room for Christie and Anthony on either flanks and the Cherries have worked it to the pair quickly on multiple occasions so far this second half, Anthony almost releasing Billing.

That's not to say Cardiff wont push men forward, Moore was joined with a series of runners when they threatened a counter attack, albeit it didn't lead to anything. 


Back underway!

A big second half is kicked-off by Cardiff. The Cherries will be looking to cement their lead here against the 10-men.

The visitors have made a change at the break, Mark Harris is replaced by Isaak Davies. 


The red card challenge

Hard to argue against when you see the challenge back. Thankfully Billing was okay! 



The Cherries lead at the break.

Ryan Christie's first goal is enough to give the Cherries the lead. 


RED CARD - Bacuna

That's a nasty, nasty challenge.

Billing is breaking away in the middle of the park and Bacuna flies into a mid-air, two footed lunge from behind.

No surprise at all that the referee flashes a red card. Billing is lucky to avoid a serious injury.


Three minutes added on


McGuinness fires over

A decent Cardiff corner is flicked on by Moore and McGuinness meets the ball at the edge of the area but sends his first-time effort well over the bar. 


Cardiff lining up with a back five

While the Cherries have the lead and are generally holding quite comfortable possession, it's hardly been a vintage display.

Parker's side are finding it fairly difficult to break down a tough Cardiff defence, who have lined up with a compact back five.

The likes of Harris up top are running their socks off to give them something to hit and they're naturally a threat from set-pieces. 


Another good stop Travers!

The Irishman is putting in another good shift in goal.

Ryan Giles has the most assists in the league and you can see why as he sends in a brilliant low cross into the box.

Moore gets the wrong side of Kelly and sticks out a boot to divert it at goal, but Travers does really well to make the stop and then collect the loose ball.

The Cardiff forward needs a bit of treatment to his neck afterwards but is okay to continue.


Anthony forces a save

Both goalkeepers have been called into action in the last couple minutes.

Travers has to be alert to make a low stop from Harris' drilled cross, getting a hand to divert it away from any waiting attackers in the middle.

At the other end, Anthony uses the overlapping run of Zemura to create space for a shot himself, trying to curl it into the far corner. It takes another deflection but this time Smithies can readjust himself and make the block. 


Yellow for Mark Harris

In the minutes after the goal, Harris picks up the first yellow card of the game as he pulls back Christie. 


What it means!

It's taken Ryan Christie 20 matches to get his first goal for the Cherries and you can see what it means to him!



Finally, it has come for Ryan Christie!

It takes a fair bit of luck as a massive deflection takes it away from Smithies, but that's just what the Scot deserves.

The goal comes from good build-up work by Solanke, who picks up the ball on the right and drives inside the box, finding Christie at the edge.

He tries to guide it into the far right corner but it deflects off McGuinness and bounces into the net. 


Zemura receives treatment

The Cherries left-back has picked up a knock to his ankle as he slipped while receiving a pass.

He needs treatment when the ball goes out of play but he looks like he'll be okay to continue. 


Our set-pieces

Cardiff City are one of the most aerially dominant teams in the division so it's no surprise to see the Cherries are trying to be clever from set-pieces.

We've won two corners and one free-kick so far and each of them has gone short, trying to use quick interchange to work positions to score.

None of them have worked so far, Christie did get a cross into a decent position before it was cleared but that's more about our final product than they're being read by Cardiff. 


Solanke fighting for the ball


A chance for the Cherries!

It almost opens up for Lewis Cook there!

Solanke makes a dart beyond the back-line and receives a good clipped ball forward.

He holds it up in the area well, finding Lewis Cook in a decent area.

Unfortunately, he can't quite get his shot off and Cardiff get it behind for a corner.

The following corner is well defended.


Excellent save Travers!

Cardiff cause carnage with a long throw.

Vaulks launches it into the box and Billing swings a foot at it to clear it, but McGuinness keeps it alive.

Moore is in the six yard box and heads it towards goal but Travers has anticipated brilliantly and makes a good stop.

An early sign of the set-piece ability that Cardiff possess, something the Cherries will have to be alert to in this game.


Early action for Smithies

The first piece of action for either goalkeeper comes from Alex Smithies as he holds Billing's low cross.

The Cherries had won the ball as Kelly intercepted a clipped ball forward and Solanke did excellently to hold it up and find Christie.

Anthony darted down the left touchline, his pass inside blocked but the winger regained the ball and found Billing on the overlap.

His low cross forced Smithies into action.

Moments later, Lerma has the first shot on goal as he lets fly from 35 yards. He hits it sweetly but it flies over the crossbar.


Let's go!

We're underway here at Vitality Stadium as Jaidon Anthony kicks-off.

Cardiff win the ball quickly and earn a throw on the left touch-line as they pick up early possession. 


The teams take to the field

We're edging ever closer to kick-off here at Vitality Stadium!

Lloyd Kelly is back in the team and back wearing the armband, leading the Cherries out.

Joe Ralls is the captain of Cardiff this afternoon, who are wearing their usual blue shirt.

The atmosphere is excellent! 


Cardiff fans in fine voice

The travelling Cardiff fans are in fine voice in the away end this evening.

They aren't able to attend home games at the moment, due to local restrictions in Wales, so they'll value this away trip even more.

Hopefully Scott Parker's side will give them a disappointing evening. 


Warm-ups wrap up

The warm-ups have come to an end here at Vitality Stadium and both teams return to the tunnel.

Scott Parker and his staff will have a final chance to get their message across ahead of kick-off.

The man pictured, Dominic Solanke, will be looking for his 19th goal of the season today, having headed home the winner against QPR just a few days ago. 



Jordan Zemura has been speaking to afcbTV ahead of kick-off and insists the Cherries are ready to go again, following a big win over QPR on December 27th.

The left-back is continuing his return from injury and starts with winger, and housemate, Jaidon Anthony ahead of him.


Both managers on friendly terms

Scott Parker greets opposition manager Steve Morison ahead of kick-off here at Vitality Stadium.

The duo would have competed against each other on numerous occasions in their impressive playing careers. 



Here's the line-up for AFC Bournemouth this evening.

Lloyd Kelly and Jaidon Anthony return to the starting line-up, coming in for Chris Mepham and Junior Stanislas in two changes. 


In attendance

As mentioned before, the Cherries players are in the building!

Jefferson Lerma seems to be in a jovial mood as he arrives at Vitality Stadium.

We'll be able to bring you news on the team at 6.45pm this evening, with Scott Parker able to welcome back Lloyd Kelly to the team following his illness with Covid. 


A new man in the dugout

Cardiff City have a new man in the dugout this evening.

Steve Morison, the former Millwall, Leeds United and Norwich City striker, was appointed manager on a permanent basis on November 12th.

He's won three, drawn two and lost three of his eight matches in charge, including his time in caretaker charge.

There have been a host of different challenges for Morison, firstly bringing to an end an eight-game losing streak as well as a Covid outbreak which means they haven't played since December 11th.


Our cover star tonight!

In this photo, Ryan Christie is posing next to all the better Scottish players in the Championship!

He's the cover star for this evening's programme and spoke about working under Scott Parker.

He told MATCHDAY: "I’ve said quite a lot that he was a big aspect of me joining the club in the first place, the way he spoke, his style of football and that’s only gone up in my estimations since I’ve joined.

"The training we do and the ideas he tries to put across are right up there with the very best I’ve had.  

"It’s benefitting me massively and I’m really enjoying it, I’m feeling like I’m learning again which is nice.

"It’s nice to feel like you’re always learning and improving."



Welcome to our live coverage

For one final time in 2021, welcome to our live coverage as we prepare for action at Vitality Stadium.

The players have arrived and are walking across the pitch towards the dressing room as I type.

Cardiff City are the visitors this afternoon and we'll be bringing you all the updates from throughout the evening. 

Other games that day

  • Bristol City1
    Queens Park Rangers2
  • Nottingham Forest0
    Huddersfield Town1
  • Stoke City1
    Derby County2
  • West Bromwich Albion0
    Preston North End0

As it stood

2 Fulham 23 +32 45
3 Blackburn Rovers 24 +15 45
4 West Bromwich Albion 24 +12 41
5 Middlesbrough 25 +5 39
6 Huddersfield Town 25 +3 39
7 Queens Park Rangers 23 +6 38
8 Stoke City 23 +4 35
9 Nottingham Forest 25 +4 34
10 Coventry City 23 +2 34
11 Millwall 23 +1 33
12 Sheffield United 22 +1 32
13 Blackpool 25 -6 30
14 Luton Town 22 +4 29
15 Preston North End 22 -4 28
16 Swansea City 22 -5 27
17 Birmingham City 23 -8 27
18 Bristol City 24 -10 27
19 Hull City 23 -8 23
20 Cardiff City 23 -17 22
21 Reading 22 -7 21
22 Peterborough United 23 -24 19
23 Barnsley 24 -20 14
24 Derby County 24 -1 10

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