Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Cherries find goals and a point at Swansea 2-2

Match Report
Swansea 2 v 2 AFCB
21 November 2015
Attendance: 20,878
First view of the Liberty Stadium.
The football Gods may have not noticed that AFC Bournemouth could do with some luck now and again. They played with a tempo and energy that left Swansea's players finding it hard to get hold of the ball for much of the game, and having established a 0-2 lead it finally appeared that the Cherries were headed back to winning ways. Unfortunately, the fragile defence shipped a goal from Ayew's back heel in the six yard box, just before the half hour and a trip by Francis on Ayew gave Shelvey the opportunity to level things up from the spot. Swansea had been given a life line and they took it. While Steve Cook probably came closest to finding the net for AFCB in the second half there was to be no winner, but this game offered further reason to believe that the Cherries are starting to find their feet at this level. Josh King got his first Premier League goal and Gosling demonstrated what a midfield dynamo he is.
The Cherries feature on the stadium fixture board.
Team line up for AFCB - I got it right this week (that must be a first!).

Jason Tindall reveals the team news.

The team was set up similarly to the Newcastle game with five in midfield, but with Steve Cook coming into the starting line up at centre back and Adam Smith moving to the bench. That allowed Simon Francis to go to right back and Josh King and Junior Stanislas kept their starting places while Glenn Murray returned to the sub's bench. There was no Boruc or Pugh  though in the 18-man squad.
The teams greet each other.
The teams stand together to honour the French victims of last week.
The French national anthem is played
Swansea made four changes from their last game with Sigurdsson, Montero, Fernandez and gomis dropped to the bench and they were replaced by Britton, Routledge, Eder and Bartley. It was Eder's first Premier League start.
AFCB huddle.

Swansea fans Oscar and Paul appear on Cherry Chimes' FanCam.

There are more pictures on the Match Day Gallery.

The Cherries certainly did not play like a team that had just landed in the bottom three. This was an AFCB side that were showing determination from the start and by pushing up and boxing Swansea in, it was the home side that seemed short on ideas and forced into errors. Right from the start a ball into the Swansea box bobbled and caused a hurried clearance. With Junior Stanislas darting in to the number 10 position from the wing, he was finding Gosling in advanced positions and Dan had the first shot that went wide on four minutes.

AFCB fans were soon celebrating though as Daniels intercepted a pass that Jonjo Shelvey made and gave Stanislas a ball to chase that Yeung and Bartley made a mess of, and Junior crossed quickly and Josh King broke his duck with a smart finish to put AFCB 0-1 upon 10 minutes. Winning the ball high up in the Swansea pass had paid off and it had been a good opening by the Bournemouth players.

Swansea came straight back though. Eder broke away on the right and passed to Ayew and Wayne Routledge found himself clear on the left with just Federici to beat, but the Australian keeper made a super save that went out for a corner. The danger was still there from the corner as Kyle Bartley headed the ball towards the far post where Eder headed towards goal, but again the shot was saved by Federici.

Josh King was clearly encouraged by his goal and was chasing down Swansea's back four whenever he almost made it 0-2 when Britton slipped and King broke free. The striker raced towards goal, beating Routledge and Williams, but his shot was saved low down to Fabianski's right. A move then from Francis on the right swept passed the Swansea defence and Stanislas running in flicked his shot off the post and in (hurray!), only the flag went up for offside and the goal was disallowed (so close!).

Referee Andre Mariner was not helping matters by not allowing advantage when King was fouled and Bournemouth had come away with the ball. Cook and Distin then clashed heads and there was a break in play, but Cook recovered after receiving some attention. Matters became worse for Swansea though on 26 minutes when Bournemouth broke with Daniels who made a long run into the heart of the Swansea defence. He found Arter who passed up a chance to shoot, but released the ball to Ritchie who knocked it back to Dan Gosling, who picked out the top right corner from 18 yards and Swansea were 0-2 down!

The Cherries should have known that Swansea strike back quickly if they can having seen what happened after the first goal. This time AFCB did not get tight on Shelvey who headed a cross on to the feet of Ayew, who back-heeled in from about three yards into the goal, even if the AFCB fans thought he was offside. There was a suspicion that Distin might have played him on though and the goal was given , it was 1-2 after 28 minutes.

Ritchie soon picked up a yellow card after the restart for pulling back Ayew on half way. Swansea were picking up the pace and Ki Sung Yueng's shot was smothered in the box by Francis and Cook with some appeals for a penalty, but the referee did not agree. AFCB resorted to their possession football and yet this game was now on a knife edge with Swansea definitely back in it.

That was made even clearer when Leon Britton who had been starting to orchestrate Swansea attacks found Ayew running into the box and Francis clipped the back of Ayew's heel leaving mariner with a simple decision to point to the spot. It was a clear penalty from where we stood, even if the striker had run across Francis' path. The collision could mean only one outcome. Federici composed himself with a drink behind the goal before facing Jonjo Shelvey, but the England midfielder powered his shot to Federici's left and it was all square at 2-2 on 38 minutes.

AFCB won their first corner on 41 minutes but Arter did not even get his dummy completed, and after three minutes of extra time only a shot wide from Ritchie came close to giving the Cherries a first half lead.
The players come off after an action packed first half.
Half time fun.

Arter and King are ready for the second half.
Second Half
AFCB had 59 per cent of the possession in the first half and things started off in similar fashion in the second. stanislas was yellow carded for a lunge on half way. Arter tried a shot from over 20 yards out but it was deflected and an easy save for Fabianski.

Some of the football was sparkling from the Cherries with Arter, Gosling, Stanislas and King getting straight on to Swansea when they had the ball on their back line. Ritchie was warned after running across Britton and for a second I wondered if it would be a second yellow, but he got away with it.

AFCB's clearest chance came from a corner on the hour when Cook flashed a shot across the goal and just wide of the far post along the ground. The shots were coming still from Ritchie and Cook again, but Swansea were holding on. At times the Cherries play was unbelievably neat and tidy but just needed someone to pull the trigger.

Swansea were also looking for goals and  a move by Yeung had Ayew in the clear but his shot was deflected and Federici saved, with 20 minutes to go. Montero then replaced Routledge and Sigurdsson came on for Britton.

Kyle Bartley who had a fine game was given a yellow card for his mistimed tackle on King and from the free kick it was Steve Cook who fired over. Swansea were visibly tiring and Gary Monk brought on Gomis for Eder. AFCB changed Ritchie for Smith with 11 minute to go.

Swansea were refreshed with their changes and Gomis might have scored but for Adam Smith throwing himself in for the block. Shevley's shot from distance was worse though and went into the stands. AFCB's next change saw Murray come on for King who had been fabulous.

The yellow cards came out again for Sigurdsson and Shelvey after a half way late tackle and then tussle on an AFCB breakaway. Gosling then fired over after Murray had made a nuisance of himself in the Swansea box. On 90 minutes Shaun MacDonald came on for Harry Arter and received a big round of applause.

With four minutes of added on time, Gosling was still running past most players but could not get past Williams. It was a point a piece.
It could have been more than a point but at least
the Cherries were rewarded with something
for a much improved display.
The players after a tight second half.
This was a game that could have been redemption for AFCB if they had taken all three points. While they did not get the win the positives were all clear to see. King is now making the runs that are opening up defences and the front players are much more effective as a unit with Stanislas and Gosling causing all kinds of problems. At the back there is still much work to be done, but Federici is growing into the keeper's role and the team just need to panic less and concentrate more when the ball comes into the Cherries' box. The importance of picking up a point cannot be underestimated even if the team will be disappointed not to have got a win. At last AFCB move off eight points.
Eddie's wave.
The players reflect on the game.
Homeward bound.
A good effort by the lads.
Fabianski, Naughton, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Sigurdsson 70), Ki Sung-yueng, Routledge (Montero 70), Shelvey, Ayew, Γ‰der (Gomis 73)

Swansea Substitutes
Gomis, Montero, Rangel, Sigurdsson, Cork, Tremmel, Fernandez, 

Federici, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie (Smith 80), Surman, Gosling, Stanislas, Arter (MacDonald 90), King (Murray 86)

Cherries' Substitutes
Allsop, Smith, MacDonald, Kermorgant, Murray, O'Kane, Cargill

AFCB Ratings
Federici 8, Francis 6, Cook 7, Distin 6, Daniels 7, Ritchie 6, Surman 6, Gosling 10, Stanislas 8, Arter 7, King 8

Referee Watch: Andre Mariner 4/10 made some poor decisions on advantage and on not giving free kicks for some fouls but did get the penalty right.

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