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First Team

Bees strike late to sting Cherries


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth’s bid for a club-record 14th Premier League win in a single season was scuppered as Brentford triumphed 2-1 at Vitality Stadium.

Dominic Solanke looked to have salvaged a share of the spoils for the Cherries when he registered his 19th top-flight goal of 2023/24 a minute from time.

His finely-taken header cancelled out Bryan Mbeumo’s 86th-minute strike, only for Yoane Wissa to come off the bench and grab the winner in the fifth minute of added time.

Although the teams reached the break deadlocked at 0-0, the Cherries had two Solanke strikes ruled out during the first half.

Firstly, his 27th minute effort was chalked off after referee Matthew Donohue deemed Antoine Semenyo had handled in the build-up.

And, just ten minutes later, the official penalised Solanke for a foul on Nathan Collins when the Bees defender appeared to have slipped as he duelled with the Cherries striker.

Donohue then awarded the Bees a penalty in the second half after Ivan Toney had gone to ground under an Illia Zabarnyi challenge, only for the official to change his mind after reviewing the decision.

Although the Bees enjoyed the lion’s share of possession during the early stages, the Cherries stood firm and restricted them to a cross-shot from Christian Nørgaard which Mark Travers saved.

The Cherries goalkeeper had to be at his best to push away Keane Lewis-Potter’s seventh-minute strike, Travers diving full length to his left to thwart the striker.

Semenyo took aim from 25 yards, his thunderous strike just clearing the crossbar before his centre was nodded narrowly wide of the upright by Solanke.

Travers got down quickly to push Ivan Toney’s fierce drive around the post before Bees goalkeeper Mark Flekken pouched Dango Ouattara’s speculative effort from the edge of the box.

Semenyo, teed up by Justin Kluivert’s pass, fired wide from a tight angle and under pressure from Brentford defender Nathan Collins.

Solanke thought he had opened the scoring in the 27th minute, only for his effort to be ruled out for a handball against Semenyo in the build-up.

Lloyd Kelly threw himself in front of Toney’s piledriver to make a brave block before Solanke had another effort chalked off for an apparent foul on Collins in the 37th minute.

Flekken beat away Semenyo’s stinging drive following a sharp turn from the Cherries frontman before the goalkeeper punched clear Lewis Cook’s long-range effort.

Kelly did well to beat Toney to Nørgaard’s through ball at the start of the second half before Ryan Christie was well placed to stop Lewis-Potter’s effort from crossing the line following a Brentford break.

A glancing header from Kelly from Cook’s corner flashed past the post before referee Donohue again took centre stage when he pointed to the spot after Toney had gone to ground under a Zabarnyi challenge in the 72nd minute.

However, after being invited to review the decision by VAR, Donohue changed his mind and awarded the Cherries a free-kick.

Mbeumo broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion, the striker rifling home from around 12 yards after Yoane Wissa had cushioned Flekken’s mule-like clearance into his path four minutes from time.

However, Solanke restored parity a minute from time when he climbed above the Bees defence to direct a superb header over Flekken after meeting Marcos Senesi’s cross.

Wissa grabbed the winner five minutes into added time, the substitute fastening on to Mbeumo's pass and driving the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Cook, Kelly, Solanke, Christie (Scott, 81), Ouattara (Tavernier, 66), Smith (Adams, 81), Kluivert (Ünal, 66), Semenyo, Senesi, Zabarnyi.

Unused subs: Neto (g/k), Aarons, Billing, Hill, Sadi.

Booked: Senesi, Ouattara.

Brentford: Flekken, Ajer (Roerslev, 62), Collins, Pinnock, Reguilón, Damsgaard (Schade, 75), Nørgaard (Jensen, 63), Janelt (Yarmoliuk, 83), Mbeumo, Toney, Lewis-Potter (Wissa, 63).

Unused subs: Valdimarsson (g/k), Strakosha (g/k), Ghoddos, Zanka.

Booked: Jensen, Toney.

Referee: Matthew Donohue.

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