Anthony stars as Cherries hold on to sink QPR
- Keith Stroud
Jaidon Anthony scored one and set up a second for birthday boy Dominic Solanke as AFC Bournemouth maintained their unbeaten start in the Championship.
Scott Parker’s team turned on the style in the first half and reached the break leading 2-0 before Sam McCallum’s deflected strike after 57 minutes set up a thrilling second half which saw both teams go hammer and tong for the points.
QPR, the Championship comeback kings this season, were denied by a string of fine saves from Mark Travers, the Cherries inflicting a first defeat on Mark Warburton’s team and going joint top of the table with West Brom.
Anthony broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, the goal coming after Parker’s team had been forced to weather an early storm from the visitors.
The frontman nicked the ball off Rob Dickie as QPR were caught trying to play out from the back and finished from a tight angle to double his personal tally for the season.
Solanke, who turned 24 on the day of the game, applied the decisive final touch to a well-worked goal as the Cherries made it 2-0 eight minutes before the break.
He exchanged passes with Anthony – his third assist of the season – before calmly slotting the ball past QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng for his sixth goal in eight games.
Ryan Christie was drafted in for his full debut as head coach Parker made one change to the Cherries starting line-up following Saturday’s win over Barnsley.
Deadline-day signing Christie, who came off the bench during the second half against the Tykes, replaced Ben Pearson who was named among the Cherries substitutes.
Ilias Chair clipped an early free-kick past the upright after Christie had been penalised for a foul on McCallum.
And as the visitors made a bright start, the Cherries were forced to defend in numbers with Jordan Zemura blocking a shot from Chris Willock.
Zemura was booked for a flimsy foul on Dominic Ball, leaving the young defender on a tightrope for more than 80 minutes.
Despite their lively start, QPR shot themselves in the foot with defender Dickie culpable as Anthony opened the scoring in the 12th minute.
Dickie was caught dithering on the ball, allowing Anthony to rob it off him before curling a delightful right-foot shot past the outstretched hand of QPR goalkeeper Dieng.
As the Cherries went in search of a quick second, Christie fired wide from 20 yards following neat build-up play involving David Brooks and Solanke.
Dickie beat Solanke to a bouncing ball, the defender hacking it away for a throw, before Brooks required some treatment following a collision with Adam Smith and Osman Kakay.
Phil Billing’s timely tackle on the edge of the box prevented Chair’s shot from seriously testing Cherries goalkeeper Mark Travers midway through the first half.
Rangers again worked the ball to Chair near the 18-yard box, but the playmaker’s resultant effort flew well wide of Travers’s left-hand post.
Solanke doubled the Cherries’ lead following a superbly-crafted move involving Brooks and Anthony in the 37th minute.
The striker assuredly swept home his sixth goal in eight games from close range after neatly trading passes with Anthony, having been fed by Brooks.
Brooks and QPR captain Stefan Johansen were both booked following an innocuous coming-together on the stroke of half-time.
Travers saved comfortably from Lyndon Dykes’s header after the Scotland international had climbed to meet a cross from Kakay at the start of the second half.
The Cherries went close to adding a third when Billing fastened on to Solanke’s drag-back, only to see his effort from around 14 yards come back of the inside of the post with Dieng beaten.
A double substitution from the visitors saw Andre Gray and Albert Adomah replace Dykes and Kakay after 54 minutes.
And three minutes later, McCallum halved the deficit when his angled shot deflected off Gary Cahill to wrong foot Travers at his near post.
Jefferson Lerma’s low drive from 25 yards failed to trouble Dieng before Willock was booked for kicking out at Smith.
Zemura’s close-range effort was beaten away by Dieng before a shot from Solanke was smothered by a defender.
Travers preserved the Cherries’ lead when he made a crucial double save to keep out headers from Jordy de Wijs – from point-blank range – and Dickie nine minutes from time.
The Republic of Ireland international also kept out George Thomas’s volley after he had been picked out by Adomah and turned the ball past the post after Lloyd Kelly had deflected Dickie's cross.
In the dying seconds, Travers pushed Ball's cross-shot away for a corner before saving Gray's header following a frantic goalmouth scramble.
AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Smith, Cahill, Kelly, Zemura, Lerma, Christie (Mepham, 86), Billing, Anthony (Rogers, 76), Solanke, Brooks (Pearson, 61).
Unused subs: Stacey, Marcondes, Lowe, Nyland (g/k).
Booked: Zemura, Brooks, Kelly, Billing.
QPR: Dieng, Dickie, de Wijs, Barbet, Kakay (Adomah, 54), Johansen, Ball, McCallum, Chair (Thomas, 82), Dykes (Gray, 54), Willock.
Booked: Johansen, Willock, Barbet.
Unused subs: Amos, Dozzell, Dunne, Archer (g/k).
Referee: Keith Stroud.