BournemouthAFC Bournemouth4BirminghamBirmingham City2

Bournemouth 4-2 Birmingham City

By Mark MitchenerBBC Sport at Goldsands Stadium
Charlie Daniels celebrates
Bournemouth top the Championship by a point with five games remaining

Bournemouth returned to the top of the Championship, coming from 2-0 down to win as Birmingham finished with 10 men.

Andrew Shinnie fed Clayton Donaldson to lob Birmingham in front, before David Cotterill fired in a low drive.

But Bournemouth hit back when Steve Cook bundled home Matt Ritchie's corner and Callum Wilson slotted home for 2-2.

Yann Kermorgant added a third from the spot after Wilson was fouled, Charlie Daniels crashed in a fourth and Blues skipper Paul Robinson saw red late on.

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick and Harry Arter both hit the woodwork in the second half, while keeper Darren Randolph saved well from substitute Kenwyne Jones as the Cherries, in bright sunshine, briefly threatened to recapture the free-scoring form which saw them hammer Birmingham 8-0 at St Andrew's in October.

Bournemouth's Championship run-in
Brighton (away, 10 April), Reading (away, 14 April), Sheff Wed (home, 18 April), Bolton (home, 27 April), Charlton (away, 2 May)

Watford's win over previous leaders Middlesbrough at lunchtime had opened the door for Eddie Howe's side to top the pile again, but Birmingham, with a mid-table finish seemingly nailed on, looked set to rain on Bournemouth's Easter parade with two goals within three minutes.

Shinnie's hopeful-looking ball over the top set up for Donaldson, whose lob over Artur Boruc was inch-perfect.

No sooner were the visiting fans chanting "We want eight" when Bournemouth gifted Cotterill time and space down the right and he picked his spot with a low shot across the keeper.

Howe had described Bournemouth's equaliser at Ipswich on Friday, a header from a corner, as "un-Bournemouth-like" - and their first goal here was scrappy, as Elphick rose to meet Ritchie's corner but when his effort was blocked, a melee ensued and Cook was credited with the crucial touch.

Suddenly, normal service was resumed as a pass from Kermorgant played in strike partner Wilson, whose finish was slick.

The Kermorgant-Wilson partnership bore fruit again straight after the break when the Frenchman again sent Wilson through, and when Robinson hacked Wilson down near the byeline but escaped a card, Kermorgant made no mistake with a powerfully-struck penalty.

A fourth eventually arrived when substitute Adam Smith's shot was blocked and left-back Daniels lashed in from just outside the box.

Cherries show home fight
Bournemouth fell behind for the first time in a home game this season when Donaldson netted

Birmingham's - and Robinson's - miserable afternoon was completed when he felled Wilson as the pacey striker bore down on goal, and this time received a straight red card.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "Credit to Birmingham as they made it difficult for us.

"They're a tough team to beat, nothing we didn't expect but the key thing was that we stayed in the game, kept fighting and got those crucial goals before half-time.

"The crowd stayed with us, and our mental strength was key. We know we can beat anyone when we're at full pelt, and hopefully we can learn from this experience."

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett: "I said two or three months ago that Derby were probably the best team in the division, now I'd say Bournemouth probably are. They're probably the most complete team in the division as they work so hard for each other.

"At 2-0 after 35 minutes it was some of the best attacking play we've had since I've been here. We caused one of the best attacking sides in the league plenty of problems.

"But we've got to be stronger mentally and see the half out, rather than coming in at 2-2. That's the two sides to our team at the moment, we need to see those games out."

Callum Wilson scores
Callum Wilson rounded Darren Randolph to level before the break and notch his 20th goal of the season in all competitions
Yann Kermorgant
Yann Kermorgant's penalty gave the home side the lead for the first time on the day
Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe's side do not face an opponent currently in the top 10 of the Championship in their final five games



Formation 4-4-2

  • 31Boruc
  • 2FrancisBooked at 69mins
  • 5Elphick
  • 3S Cook
  • 11Daniels
  • 30Ritchie
  • 8Arter
  • 6Surman
  • 20FraserSubstituted forA Smithat 56'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 13WilsonBooked at 55minsSubstituted forJonesat 88'minutes
  • 18KermorgantSubstituted forPitmanat 87'minutes


  • 1Camp
  • 4Gosling
  • 10Pitman
  • 15A Smith
  • 19Stanislas
  • 22Ward
  • 49Jones


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 28Morrison
  • 4RobinsonBooked at 77mins
  • 3GroundsBooked at 61mins
  • 26DavisBooked at 28mins
  • 13Tesche
  • 11Cotterill
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forThomasat 75'minutes
  • 40DyerSubstituted forGrayat 69'minutes
  • 9DonaldsonSubstituted forKiernanat 79'minutes


  • 10Thomas
  • 12Novak
  • 15Kiernan
  • 19Zigic
  • 21Doyle
  • 29Brown
  • 33Gray
Andy Woolmer

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamBirmingham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bournemouth 4, Birmingham City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bournemouth 4, Birmingham City 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Brett Pitman (Bournemouth).

  4. Post update

    David Davis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Michael Morrison.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Kenwyne Jones (Bournemouth).

  7. Post update

    Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Darren Randolph.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kenwyne Jones (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Charlie Daniels with a cross.

  10. Booking

    Adam Smith (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

  12. Post update

    Demarai Gray (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Harry Arter (Bournemouth) hits the right post with a left footed shot from more than 35 yards. Assisted by Kenwyne Jones.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Jonathan Grounds.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Kenwyne Jones replaces Callum Wilson.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Brett Pitman replaces Yann Kermorgant.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Steve Cook.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andrew Surman (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Arter.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

As It Stood

9Nottm Forest411513136558758
12Sheff Wed411315133743-654
View full Championship table

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