Cherries return to winning ways
- Michael Salisbury
Gary O'Neil's Cherries picked up three points away from home with a Marcus Tavernier goal sealing a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Tavernier, making his first start since the 3-0 win over Everton in November, turned in Dominic Solanke's drive across goal shortly after the restart as the Cherries climbed to 17th in the league table.
The Cherries were looking to build on their positive recent performances, following the points earned at home against Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United and the narrow late defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Marcos Senesi recovered from a back problem sustained during last week's 1-1 draw with Newcastle, with Tavernier replacing Jaidon Anthony on the left wing the only change to Gary O'Neil's starting line-up.
Wolves enjoyed most of the ball in the opening stages of the first half, earning multiple corners but failing to capitalise on them.
They enjoyed a similar spell to close out the first 45 minutes but the Cherries, compact in their defensive shape, continued to repel the hosts' attack.
Indeed it wasn't until the 39th minute until either goalkeeper was truly called into action, when Neto got down well to make a diving stop from Pablo Sarabia's close-range strike in the final five minutes.
The stopper then calmly collected an effort from Adama Traoré moments later as the half came to a close.
The second half started in similar fashion with Wolves creating space for an attempt on goal, but Rúben Neves' curling effort was never troubling the Bournemouth skipper.
The game's breakthrough came moments later when Tavernier played Solanke in down the right after controlling the ball with his chest.
He continued his own run past the penalty spot and met the striker's drilled cross to guide the ball past José Sá and give the Cherries the lead.
That would be Tavernier's final contribution to the match, as Gary O'Neil made a double substitution shortly after the goal. He and Dango Ouattara were replaced by Anthony and Antoine Semenyo.
Wolves continued to create chances, with Traoré a particular threat down the right. On the opposite flank, Adam Smith was booked for a sliding challenge on Rayan Aït-Nouri, though the right-back was adamant he took the ball.
The game was broken up by substitutions and treatment, with Bournemouth making late switches to steady the ship with Chris Mepham and Matias Viña entering the play.
Despite Wolves enjoying plenty of late possession, the Cherries defence remained firm to keep a clean sheet and seal three points to bring back to Dorset.
Wolves: Sá, Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Bueno (Aït-Nouri, 62), Moutinho (Gomes, 70), Neves, Sarabia, Nunes (Podence, 61), Traoré (Jiménez, 77), Cunha (Costa, 70).
Unused subs: Bentley, Collins, Jonny, Hodge.
Booked: Sarabia, Aït-Nouri, Gomes.
AFC Bournemouth: Neto, Smith, Senesi, Stephens, Zemura (Viña, 85), Lerma (Rothwell, h-t), Billing, Ouattara (Semenyo, 56), Traorè (Mepham, 81), Tavernier (Anthony, 56), Solanke.
Unused subs: Travers, Fredericks, Christie, Moore.
Booked: Smith, Senesi, Billing.
Referee: Michael Salisbury.