- Imbula nets 1st Stoke goal
- Potters secure first win in 5
- Cherries 4 points off bottom 3
Stoke City beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday with the Potters starting strong and pouncing three times within the opening hour to secure their first win in five games.
Giannlli Imbula lashed in a superb volley for his first Stoke goal, then two goals in quick succession at the start of the second half put them 3-0 up with Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu scoring but to their credit Bournemouth kept plugging away with Matt Ritchie pulling one back and the Cherries going close on multiple occasions to making it 3-2.
Stoke held on in the end and the win moves them onto 36 points for the season, while Bournemouth remain on 28 points and are now just four points above the drop zone.
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A tense start saw both teams cancel each other out and then the game exploded into life in the 9th minute when Imbula volleyed home.
Stoke’s record $26 million signing latched onto a loose ball and volleyed home first time past Artur Boruc and into the far corner. 1-0 to the Potters.
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Bournemouth responded well to going behind as Afobe was found in the box but he completely missed the ball. Stoke had another good chance but Jonathan Walters‘ effort went into the side-netting and Xherdan Shaqiri had another effort which struck Boruc and was cleared.
Stoke continued to push forward and Bournemouth struggled to contain them as Mame Diouf Walter and Shaqiri all went close to doubling the Potters’ lead. But Charlie Daniels did go close for Bournemouth as Jack Butland cleared away his effort which looked destined for the top corner, then Afobe went down on the edged of the box after contact from Marc Muniesa but no foul was given.
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At half time Bournemouth brought on Josh King and Matt Ritchie and came flying out of the traps but soon after Stoke were 2-0 up. Afellay doubled the Potters lead as Walters raced clear down the right and set up the Dutch attacker to stroke home.
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Stoke made it 3-0 before the hour mark as Shaqiri danced down the right and clipped in a perfect ball for Joselu to head home. 3-0. Game over.
Or maybe not. King crossed and Ritchie slammed home to make it 3-1. A fine finish and hopes of a comeback were rising among the home fans.
Afobe flashed a volley just wide from close range and Ritchie almost bundled home another at the back post from King’s cross with the Cherries well on top late on. Junior Stanislas then somehow missed the ball at the back post after another superb cross from King as it was all Bournemouth.