Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Bournemouth's back four stood up to the Swansea challenge

There was no place to hide for Bournemouth's back four against a Swansea City side looking to halt their slide back towards the relegation zone. Paul Clement was satisfied that the dead leg that Llorente had picked up against Hull City was fine to play on and Steve Cook and Simon Francis immediately knew when they looked at the team sheet that this would be a tough afternoon for them.

The Cherries find some defensive qualities.
The Swansea attack would also have Gylfie Sigurdsson on the wing and he was perhaps the most active player they had going forward, but even he had few chances to make Artur Boruc get his shirt dirty. The only reason for that was the excellent closing down by the Bournemouth players and their determination to stop the crosses coming in. The back four managed to keep the clean sheet in large part because Surman and Gosling were winning the second balls in midfield and along with Josh King they were excellent at robbing Swansea players of the ball.

There were still times when the heart missed a beat with Boruc and Steve Cook both going for the same ball and neither of them making a good contact with it. Why they don't always shout for the ball in such situations is staggering when most of us can remember to do that from the school yard. Still, AFCB had some luck in this game and there was also a real intent to keep a clean sheet.
Broom Hill Garden Buildings

Some of Simon Francis' tackles did make me think that he was a second away from a yellow card or even a red if he was going to keep going in with his sliding tackles and the studs showing, but he managed to always win the ball which was just as well. Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith were also managing to press up field while getting back well when Swansea had a break on.  It all meant that Boruc only had to save a few shots from distance and it is hopeful that AFCB can continue to defend like this in future games.

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