BournemouthAFC Bournemouth3MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1

Bournemouth 3-1 Middlesbrough: Cherries bolster play-off hopes

Jefferson Lerma
Jefferson Lerma's first goal in 34 matches put the Cherries back in front

Bournemouth enhanced their play-off bid and dealt a blow to Middlesbrough's top-six hopes with a hard-fought win.

Philip Billing latched onto Arnaud Danjuma's flick-on over the top of Boro's defence and planted a half-volley into the bottom corner.

Duncan Watmore controlled Yannick Bolasie's pass into the box and lashed in a deserved equaliser off the right-hand post.

But the hosts were soon back in front through Jefferson Lerma's deflected shot, and Dominic Solanke stabbed in his 12th goal of the season late on to seal the points.

Bournemouth's fourth win in six league matches leapfrogged them above Reading into the play-off places on goal difference, but the Royals then reclaimed sixth place with a 1-1 draw at Barnsley in the tea-time kick-off.

A third defeat in five matches left Neil Warnock's side seven points adrift of the top six, in ninth, with seven matches left.

Cherries boss Jonathan Woodgate, up against his former side and the man who replaced him as Boro manager, saw his side make the early running and take a deserved lead through Billings' impressive finish.

However, the visitors ended the first half the stronger and went close to a leveller when Marc Bola met Neeskens Kebano's far-post cross and looped a header onto the bar.

Boro maintained their momentum after the break and deservedly drew level when Watmore swivelled and unleashed a fine strike on the turn.

Yet their good work was undone when Sam Morsy failed to cut out Billings' tame cross and then deflected Jefferson Lerma's shot past his keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

Bournemouth resumed control and Solanke marked his return from injury with a decisive third, scoring at the second attempt after Bettinelli had parried his initial shot following a run.

Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate told BBC Radio Solent:

"We wanted to get that result at the start of the day to get us in the top six, but there's a long way to go still. We huffed and puffed at times, but got the result in the end.

"The first-half performance we have given away a lot of sloppy balls so that will need to improve, but we improved the level of performance in the second half and tried to get in behind them a lot more.

"I'm disappointed we didn't keep a clean sheet, but the victory is the important thing and I'm pleased. We've just got to win all our games now, it's in our hands."

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock told BBC Tees:

"There were a lot of plusses. The goals were disappointing, but I felt sorry for Sam Morsy with the second goal because he has been absolutely fantastic today.

"After Duncan's equaliser I thought there was only going to be one team that went on and won it really - I thought we played some good stuff in the first half and they scored with their first opportunity.

"Of the two clubs and the two sides, I'm quite excited. I think if they (Bournemouth) don't go up I can't see anything next season if I'm honest, whereas I think we've got quite a lot to look forward to."



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Begovic
  • 15A SmithBooked at 79mins
  • 18Carter-Vickers
  • 3S Cook
  • 21Rico
  • 11WilshereSubstituted forPearsonat 67'minutes
  • 8Lerma
  • 19StanislasSubstituted forStaceyat 60'minutes
  • 29BillingBooked at 59mins
  • 10Danjuma Groeneveld
  • 9SolankeSubstituted forLongat 86'minutes


  • 5Kelly
  • 6Mepham
  • 12Long
  • 14Surridge
  • 17Stacey
  • 20Riquelme
  • 22Pearson
  • 23Travers
  • 32Anthony


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 20Fisher
  • 4Hall
  • 17McNairBooked at 69mins
  • 27BolaBooked at 90mins
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forCoulsonat 69'minutes
  • 5Morsy
  • 16Howson
  • 14BolasieSubstituted forFletcherat 74'minutes
  • 21KebanoSubstituted forAkpomat 86'minutes
  • 18WatmoreSubstituted forJohnsonat 86'minutes


  • 3Johnson
  • 10Akpom
  • 11Fletcher
  • 13Archer
  • 22Saville
  • 29Spence
  • 33Coulson
  • 45Coburn
Simon Hooper

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bournemouth 3, Middlesbrough 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bournemouth 3, Middlesbrough 1.

  3. Post update

    Shane Long (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough).

  5. Booking

    Marc Bola (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Jack Stacey (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Marc Bola (Middlesbrough).

  8. Post update

    Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Sam Morsy (Middlesbrough).

  10. Post update

    Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Marcus Bettinelli.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jack Stacey (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Philip Billing.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Marvin Johnson replaces Duncan Watmore.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Chuba Akpom replaces Neeskens Kebano.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Shane Long replaces Dominic Solanke.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth).

  16. Post update

    Sam Morsy (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Bournemouth 3, Middlesbrough 1. Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jack Stacey.

  19. Post update

    Cameron Carter-Vickers (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

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