Match Report and Mom v Palace

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
Stan the Man on the Spot....

It takes a lot to take a penalty with your first real touch...and it’s a sign of Stan’s growing stature at the club that you’d have put your house in him burying the late penalty that saw off Palace in an epic win at Dean Court.

Eddie made two changes from the Burnley debacle...Rico made way for Franno (Smith moving to the left) and Lewis Cook finally arrived in the middle with Surman stepping down. We miss night time league games and the passion and the slick passing was reminiscent of many nights in the championship as Palace were swept aside time and time again.

The front four were slick in their interchanging, Cook and Lerma imperious in winning the ball back high and moving it quickly. It was glorious to watch. The home side were in front in five minutes...Smith advanced left and his low cross was cleverly held by Wilson and cushioned into the path of BROOKS who bent a left foot beauty in off the crossbar from the edge of the box. It was his first premier league and club goal...and no better way to get it.

This just heralded more and more attacking play....Nathan Ake flashed a header just wide from one of the few times the ball was crossed in but too often the slick play didn’t see a ball in the box at the end of it.

Palace were feeding off scraps but Begovic got down well to Meyers drive.Lewis Cook was running the show though with a great first half...closely followed by Brooks and Fraser who caused havoc every time they got on the ball. Steve Cook would have doubled the lead had his bullet header from a set piece been anywhere other than straight at Hennessy.

The lack of creation in the final third saw the half hour vision of beauty in the other two thirds pass without the killer moment and Palace started to seize on the understandable drop in Bournemouth’s energy levels. Ake and Cook held firm though with some great blocks and Francis was confounding his critics by smothering Zaha.

HT Bournemouth 1 Palace 0

The second half began as the first half finished with Palace camping deep in Bournemouth’s half and looking exceptionally dangerous. The slick passing of the home side had disappeared. Too many rushed clearances and botched passes. Eddie was pacing furiously and trying to calm his team down and get them more advanced but each time an opportunity came to break it got wasted.

Two forwards are great when you have the ball but without it we were crying out for someone to drop deep and circulate it but with Fraser and Brooks tied up on the wing and King and Wilson looking for channel balls that weren’t forthcoming it was crying out for a tactical change.

Eddie had spotted it and was warming up Gosling before the goal that forced his hand. Zaha received a fortuitous rebound and fed VAN AAHOLT and the leftback cut in and blasted home from what turned out to be an offside position.

Gosling arrived for Brooks and immediately Bournemouth started to wrestle back possession. King moved wide and the whole shape felt better. Cook and Lerma were able to sit deeper and protect. Lerma in particular came of age with this performance, winning the ball time and time again particularly in the air.

Two key moments arrived that should have heralded a leading goal but when both came and went the game looked destined for a draw. First Fraser broke brilliantly and took out the entire back four...he could have shot but I selfishly squared to Wilson for a tap in...the forward hit Hennesseys leg with the whole goal gaping for a blast. The players hands went on their heads in disbelief. Minutes later the hands went back on their heads but this time for a different reason. Wilson, desperate to atone, skipped down the flank and his cross was met by a bullet diving header from looked in all the way but Hennessy pulled off a worldy to keep it out at full stretch.

It looked like it would fizzle out. Lerma had other ideas though...booked for an off the ball skirmish with Kouyate our pumped up Columbian then set about Sakho at a set piece. As the ball swung into the air Sakho saw his chance for revenge and smashed an elbow into Jefferson who collapsed. Mike Dean saw his chance and pointed at the spot. STANISLAS, newly arrived for King slotted it straight down the middle and the game bar a couple of not too nervy minutes was won.

FT Bournemouth 2 Palace 1

Begovic 7 - Solid enough and no chance with goal.

Francis 7- Excellent marshalling of Zaha in real captain like bravery.
Cook 7- Strong in air and on ground...concentration and power.
Ake 7 - usual Rolls Royce defending and link up play.
Smith 7 - great game on ‘wrong foot’ didn’t attack much but slick interchanges.

Fraser 7 - Dangerman at it again with bustling runs and clever passing.
Cook 7. - awesome first half...quieter in second. Range of passing and vision fantastic.
Lerma 8 - what a battling performance and intelligent passing. Coming of age night.
Brooks 7 - brilliant tricky goalscoring game first half...tired again second.

Wilson 6 - battled hard but lacked quality at times...needs to finish his run of the mill ones.
King 6 - playing in bursts with great feet but goes quiet a lot too.
(Gosling 7..knew his position well and turned game...Stan 7...calmness personified)

Mom...for never giving up the fight...winning the penalty with wind up and general all round cult hero potential status...Lerma tonight for me.

A great nights football. The first half was Bournemouth at their best for quick moving possession. Eddie will be looking at why less chances came from it than should. Wilson and King were guilty a lot of over playing when a quick cross would have caused havoc. He will have been delighted with his midfield duo of Lerma and Cook who complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses well and should be the future of this club.

Eddie knew the tactics should be changed and did this a fraction late. The extra man in midfield to bridge the gap between the two flat lines was necessary and worked a treat. It will be interesting to see if Eddie starts with it at a combative Watford. The issue is it sacrifices King to the would be great to see him up front on his own where he was so lively that one season. Wilson to me still needs too many chances and his miss today could have been costly

That said...had we scored earlier we would have had a more nerve wracking ending so perhaps in a way it all turned out well. Special mention to Francis. The whole queue around me on the way in was berating Eddie for starting him against Zaha. It didn’t phase our skipper at all who had his best ever game against the irritating self obsessed pineapple headed knobjockey.

Great to see the team physically kicking off as well. We have more strength this year.

So thirteen points on the board...the scum gap growing...7th in the table...a virtual European play off on Saturday with Watford... Mike Dean having a great game....there’s a lot to be happy about you know....soak it all in,
Good report Neil.
It was a night when almost no Cherries players made any mistakes and I think that made the difference in the teams. The whole defence were superb and concentrated so well not to jump into tackles. The amount of headed clearances from Ake was immense. Thought Smith was great, especially in first half. Some of the interplay in this period was outstanding.
There were several times when Lerma worried me, wanting to long on the ball, but he did well to break up play towards the end.
Shame about King who has looked poor in the last 2 games. I would have never doubted Callum’s ability to finish 1 on 1, but he’s missed several good chances recently.
We did well to get back into the game after Palace dominated proceedings for the first 20 minutes in the 2nd half.
We look so much stronger and more adaptable than in seasons past.
Maybe Burnley was just one of those days?

I love this club


Fans' Favourite
I'm always happy to be wrong when I'm disappointed in our players. Like I said at the time I just saw a lot of misplaced passes that day. Everyone's allowed an off day. Didn't get to watch this evening, but caught some extended highlights, and a cracking report above. Really did look like we could score at any time, shame we weren't a touch more clinical
Sakho gives the impression of being a lumbering oaf but in the first 30 mins he kept Palace in the game with some great last ditch interceptions. How frustrating must it be for a manager to have a defender so talented but undo all his own and his team’s hard work with a moment of madness.

Thought overall we were excellent tonight. Lerma makes such a difference. Apart from the obvious, we are starting to see a greater range of passing too. And what might not be obvious for those watching on TV, the mere presence of Lerma seems to result in opposition players pulling out of challenges they might otherwise have gone in for against our other midfielders
Thanks Neil. Watched it on Sky Go, my first of the season. Was really impressed with the work ethic. Having seen posts about Franno on here I must say I was very pleased with the way he kept the flying fish out of the game. Also good to see heads didn't go down after the off-side goal. Dean had a good game, pity about the linesman!
Good one Neil, I like the way Smith and Fraser battered them down the left first half.Is three in the middle the formation to go with as we looked stronger there when Gosling came on,yet with two in there in first half we produced lots of chances

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
Good one Neil, I like the way Smith and Fraser battered them down the left first half.Is three in the middle the formation to go with as we looked stronger there when Gosling came on,yet with two in there in first half we produced lots of chances
I think it depends who you are playing. In the tougher games I’d always play it as I think we look vulnerable when we try three at the back in those fixtures as it quickly becomes five at the back and we never get out.

That said, the formation that finished the game would be at its best with Stanislas on the wing King was on and with King up top instead of Callum but I just can’t see Eddie ever doing that.
Fabulous report, thank you Neil. I’m glad that you highlighted Lerma, he brings a physicality and edge which we have previously lacked, has a bit of the devil about him, love how he wound the opposition up which ultimately led to the winning goal. Some of his ball-winning tackles were sensational and was it me but did this also inspire Lewis Cook to pull similar tackles out of the bag, too? Shout out to Franno who, as others have said, shut Zaha out of the game. I was surprised how easily Zaha let his head drop first half when a couple of things didn’t go his way. But a sign of how well he was marshalled.

Cracking night, awesome atmosphere. Thought the Palace fans played their part, too. Best singing from the away end I’ve heard for a while. Onto Watford, let’s see if we can produce this form away from home. What a start to the season.

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
Saha reminds me of a poor mans Ronaldo... everything has to go through him and he gets well narked when it doesn’t. Lots of gestuculations at his own team. That’s his worst game against us and I think Brooks deserved a lot of credit for that...and on occasions when he couldn’t get back Lewis Cook. Probably 80% of the time he got the ball he had to go past them before he got to Franno.
First time I had seen Zaha live and honestly I was expecting to see a much better footballer after all the hype you hear and read. He just didn’t seem to be a threat. But yes full credit to Brooks and Franno, they had his number.
Good report Neil. So we finally got our dream pairing of Lerma and Cook, but what we learned last night is that they can sometimes get overrun without a Gosling. Cook in particular was struggling in the 2nd half until he came on. Thought King was below par all night, although he was starved of service for long periods. Some long balls into the channels when we were under pressure in the 2nd half would have given him something to work with. Very impressed with Lerma- still made a few silly mistakes but his physicality, workrate and anticipation more than compensated. On to Watford....
Good report, I would give Franno MOM simply because so many expected him to get ripped apart by Zaha and in the end Zaha was anonymous. he did a fantastic job on him all night. Lerma awesome as well.
Overall it was one of those Dean Court nights when you come away buzzing, I can still feel it this morning. thank you Cherries.


Star Player
Good team performance especially the typical Bournemouth goal. I liked our shape with 3 in midfield. Junior handled the pressure of the spot kick extremely well.
Time and time again you used the same expression Neil - you are Alan Shearer and I claim my £5 (y)

Terrific game of football that made for a really enjoyable evening made even more so by the late winner.