Bournemouth 4-0 Middlesbrough: 10-man Boro look relegation-bound

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  • Boro goes down two goals
  • Then goes down a man
  • Pugh shines for Cherries

Gaston Ramirez took a pair of yellows — one for diving — and Middlesbrough conceded twice. That was just the first 20 minutes of what could prove to be the decisive match of Boro’s relegation fate.

Joshua King and Benik Afobe scored for the Cherries in the first 20 minutes, and Man of the Match candidate Marc Pugh added a goal and an assist. Charlie Daniels also netted for Bournemouth, which is seven points clear of the drop.

Boro is nine points back of Hull City with five to play.

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It took Bournemouth less than 90 seconds to breach the Boro goal, as Marc Pugh took the final bit of good-looking passing on the left flank and cut the ball to the middle of the six for his 14th goal of the season.

Gaston Ramirez was shown a yellow card for diving in the box, a clear-cut and terrible embellishment made somewhat amusing by his demands for a trainer and a few minutes of delay in the game.

It was 2-0 just before the clock hit 16:00, as Boro’s Adam Clayton elected to take a touch of a back pass just outside the 18. Harry Arter poked that touch to Afobe, who beat Brad Guzan.

Pugh then dove after Ramirez’s foolish sliding challenge, and Boro was down to 10 men after 20 minutes.

Boro was hamstrung, but not out. Alvaro Negredo had stung a volley at Artur Boruc, and Marten De Roon forced the game’s first corner with a torrid shot near the half-hour mark.

Tricky work from Afobe cued Ryan Fraser up for a shot that missed the frame in the 52nd minute as Bournemouth buzzed toward a third goal.

Pugh then punished Boro with a 65th minute rip from the left that had Guzan flailing at air. Charlie Daniels added a fourth five minutes later.

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