Solanke and Anthony at the double as Cherries sink Swans
- Tony Harrington
Doubles from Dominic Solanke and Jaidon Anthony earned AFC Bournemouth a 4-0 win against Swansea as Lewis Cook marked his comeback from a lengthy injury layoff.
Solanke bagged his 13th and 14th goals of the season to put the Cherries 2-0 ahead before Anthony netted twice in the second half to put the gloss on an outstanding all-round display.
And with eight minutes remaining, midfielder Cook came off the bench to replace Phil Billing for his first appearance since recovering from a serious knee injury sustained in March.
Head coach Scott Parker will have been delighted with his team’s performance which came just days after the Cherries had surrendered their unbeaten league record to Preston.
Victory saw the table-topping Cherries maintain a two-point lead over second-placed Fulham, 1-0 winners at Peterborough, and open an eight-point cushion on third-placed West Brom who were held to a 1-1 draw by Middlesbrough.
Leif Davis was handed his first start since August as Scott Parker made three changes following that midweek defeat by Preston.
The Leeds loan man was drafted in at left-back with Gavin Kilkenny and Jaidon Anthony also recalled to the starting line-up.
Swansea saw lots of the ball in the early stages and had a penalty appeal waved away after Ethan Laird had gone to ground under a Davis challenge.
Cherries goalkeeper Mark Travers gathered safely after Olivier Ntcham had tried his luck from distance before Kilkenny fired wide from Ryan Christie’s pass.
Jack Stacey’s timely interception prevented Jamie Paterson from fastening on to a pass from Ntcham before Travers got down well to parry Joel Piroe’s 25-yarder.
Solanke opened the scoring when he swept home Billing’s precise cross after Anthony’s slide-rule pass had set the Danish midfielder free down the left flank.
The striker’s 13th goal of the season came midway through the first half and after the hosts had defended well having weathered a sustained spell of Swans pressure.
A flare up between Billing and Flynn Downes sparked a melee with referee Tony Harrington booking both players after the situation had calmed.
Anthony failed to test Swans goalkeeper Ben Hamer after stepping inside and taking aim, his effort charged down by Laird.
Referee Harrington opted to take no action after Swans defender Ryan Manning appeared to pin Solanke to the ground inside the penalty area.
Ryan Bennett was booked for blocking Anthony, with Christie’s resultant free-kick deflecting off the Swans wall.
Billing and Lerma both jumped to meet Anthony’s corner on the stroke of half-time, the Colombia international requiring a spell of treatment after colliding with his team-mate.
Three minutes of added time failed to serve up any further chances before referee Harrington blew his whistle to bring to an end a lively first half.
Solanke doubled the Cherries’ lead with a superbly-crafted goal involving Anthony and Davis just four minutes into the second half.
Davis controlled Anthony’s ball over the top before crossing to Solanke who still had plenty to do and stretched out his right boot to apply an acrobatic finish past Hamer.
Referee Harrington turned a blind eye to Cherries’ penalty appeals after Manning had appeared to pull down Christie as he attempted to get on the end of Anthony’s cross.
The Cherries extended their lead through Anthony in the 64th minute, with Swansea skipper Matt Grimes gifting the ball to Christie in the build-up.
And after the Scotsman had cleverly got the better of Kyle Naughton with some neat footwork, his low shot was saved by Hamer.
But the ball looped up in the air and Anthony was perfectly placed to meet it, the winger nodding it past defender Bennett and into the back of the net.
Christie fired narrowly wide from a tight angle, the winger earning a deserved ovation when he was replaced by former Swansea frontman Jamal Lowe.
The visitors were forced to weather a wave of attacks with Hamer diving full length to his left to keep out Anthony’s curling effort in the 78th minute.
Billing dragged his shot wide from Lowe’s pass before Hamer saved with his legs to deny Solanke a hat-trick.
Lewis Cook received a huge cheer when he came off the bench to replace Billing, the midfielder having his first taste of action following an eight-month injury layoff.
Cook almost marked his return with a goal, sliding in at the far post and firing just wide before Anthony completed the scoring with a composed finish in stoppage time.
AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Stacey, Kelly, Cahill, Davis, Lerma, Kilkenny, Billing (L Cook, 82), Christie (Lowe, 75), Solanke (Rogers, 86), Anthony.
Unused subs: Mepham, Brady, Marcondes, Dennis (g/k).
Booked: Billing, Solanke.
Swansea City: Hamer, Bennett, Naughton, Manning, Laird, Downes (Smith, 66), Grimes, Bidwell (Whittaker, 66), Ntcham (Walsh, 75), Paterson, Piroe.
Unused subs: Cabango, Cullen, Latibeaudiere, Benda (g/k).
Booked: Downes, Bennett, Ntcham.
Referee: Tony Harrington.