Post by Football News on Mar 17, 2018 17:26:47 GMT
Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom
A tendency to undo their hard work has plagued West Bromwich Albion all season long and it blighted them again here as Ben Foster was caught cold by Jordon Ibe’s swerving effort on a biting and blustery afternoon on the south coast before Junior Stanislas’s postage-stamp free-kick from 25 yards sealed victory two minutes from time. In reality, squandering leads is only a small slice of a fairly miserable story for a West Brom side who have been resigned to playing Championship football in August for a while now.
Alan Pardew’s men have dropped 24 points from winning positions –more than any other team in the Premier League – and were again left with nothing to show for a solid if unspectacular performance in which Jay Rodriguez opened the scoring. An exasperated shake of the head by Pardew as Charlie Daniels hacked off the line from Matt Phillips with seconds left to play said it all. For Bournemouth, who will now fly to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp, this might ultimately prove a victory that helped ensure a fourth successive season of top-flight football.
A fairly comical first half was punctuated by aimless passes and mistimed tackles, two of which led to halfhearted penalty claims. First Ahmed Hegazi’s following clumsy challenge on Joshua King and then, at the other end, Nathan Aké lunged in on Salomón Rondón. Eddie Howe stressed that his side would have to cope with expectation when they hosted the Premier League’s bottom club but they struggled to assert themselves and were lax in possession. Clear chances were in short supply and, when Stanislas was slid in by King, he fluffed his lines as he looked to check inside Craig Dawson. Rondón was painfully isolated, effectively needing to produce a miracle every time he gathered the ball, but he did force a save out of Asmir Begovic after attempting to steer Hegazi’s cross goalwards. He also linked well with Jake Livermore, the midfielder called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad this week, who made his presence felt, bullying Dan Gosling and Lewis Cook. The latter is in line to win his first England cap next week but struggled to pick holes in Albion’s congested back five.
If Bournemouth were frustrated at the interval, their misery was compounded four minutes into the second half. Kieran Gibbs stood up a searching cross for Rondón, who comfortably rose above Aké to nod the ball back across goal. There, Rodriguez was lurking to swivel and smash home his ninth goal of the season. Howe responded by throwing on Lys Mousset and Jermain Defoe, forming a front three in an attempt to swing the pendulum in their favour. But it was Ibe, whose devious, and rather hopeful effort, eluded Foster down to his left before Stanislas secured victory with a peach of a free-kick two minutes from time after Dawson felled King.