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Match Reports

AFC Bournemouth 2 Albion 1

17 March 2018

ALBION were pegged back by AFC Bournemouth to suffer a 2-1 defeat at the Vitality Stadium.

Jay Rodriguez controlled a cushioned header from Salomon Rondon before turning and smashing home from close range in the 49th minute to convert his ninth goal of the season and put the Baggies ahead.

But Jordon Ibe's strike from distance 13 minutes from time brought the scores back level heading into the final stages.

Junior Stanislas' stunning free kick in the 89th minute meant the Cherries took all three points on a snowy and bitterly cold south coast in mid-March.

Albion now head into the international break before hosting Burnley at The Hawthorns when Premier League action resumes.

Alan Pardew made three changes from last weekend - captain Jonny Evans, Claudio Yacob and Rodriguez replacing Oliver Burke, Matt Phillips and Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Rondon, who opened the scoring in the defeat to Leicester, came close to connecting with Allan Nyom's early cross before seeing his header force Asmir Begovic into action.

Rodriguez brought a low save out of the Cherries goalkeeper before Rondon, who appeared to be held by Nathan Ake in the penalty area, saw another header kept out.

Both sides had further spot-kick appeals rejected by referee Graham Scott, who also booked both Jake Livermore and Adam Smith following a challenge in the middle of the park, before Ben Foster got down to keep out a free-kick from Junior Stanislas just before the break.

But the Baggies broke the deadlock four minutes after the restart, Rodriguez firing home from close range after controlling and turning on Rondon's headed knockdown from Kieran Gibbs' left-wing cross.

The encounter flowed from end-to-end as both sides went in search of the game's crucial second goal, Stanislas sending a set-piece on to the roof of the net.

But the Cherries levelled in the 77th minute when Ibe's dipping long-range strike found the far corner.

Albion looked the more likely to snatch victory as the game approached its conclusion. But they were undone by a moment of quality from Stanislas who curled a 20-yard free kick into the top corner at this, the second time of asking.

Credit to the Baggies who battled until the end, with Matt Phillips seeing his header cleared off the line by Charlie Daniels in the last of a frantic five minutes added.

But it wasn't enough to claim a point on the south coast.

ALBION: Foster, Nyom, Dawson, Evans (c) (Phillips 77), Hegazi, Gibbs, Livermore, Yacob, Brunt (Field 82), Rodriguez (Robson-Kanu 86), Rondon.

Subs: Myhill, Krychowiak, Burke, McClean.


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