Steve Cook

Bournemouth picks up first-ever win away to Southampton

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Bournemouth picked up its first-ever victory (16 visits – all competitions) away to Southampton in the Premier League‘s budding south coast rivalry, 3-1 at St. Mary’s Stadium on Friday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Nathan Ake and Harry Wilson got goals for Eddie Howe‘s side during a wonderfully dominant first-half performance before the roles were reversed in the second half. James Ward-Prowse pulled Southampton back to 2-1 not long after halftime and Saints pressed and pressed for an equalizer but ultimately came up empty. To make matters worse, Callum Wilson put the game away on a late Saints howler.


3 things we learned

  1. Slow starts for Saints — Through six games, Saints have conceded the first goal four times. For a team that’s built around the idea of defensive solidity and limiting chances, Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s side appears especially limited once forced to change its plan of attack and… well, attack. In the two games they didn’t concede first, two clean sheets and two wins.
  2. Halftime adjustments — Hasenhuttl certainly got his tactics wrong from the start, but whatever was said at halftime made a noticeable difference in the second half. Given loads more freedom to push forward in attack and to win back possession, Southampton made it a game from 45:01 onward.
  3. Making few chances count a lot — Bournemouth needed just six shots to get their two goals. On the other hand, they managed just six shots in 90 minutes. Highly efficient, or lacking in overall production? Both, perhaps?

Man of the Match: Oriol Romeu


Ake put the Cherries ahead in the 10th minute, rising high above the crowd to get his head to Diego Rico‘s corner kick. It was Bournemouth’s fifth goal (of nine scored) from a set piece this season.

It didn’t take long for Bournemouth to easily cut through Saints’ four-man backline — a tactical change from the three-man operation which secured a victory away to Sheffield United last weekend — and put the ball in the back of the net again. Joshua King finished a devastating counter-attack with a sublime finish, only to have the goal taken off the board for being narrowly offside, via video review.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Once again, Bournemouth met little resistance en route to doubling their lead, only this time the goal stood. Philip Billing got to the endline down the left side of Saints’ penalty area and cut the ball back to the penalty spot where Wilson was waiting to sweep it past a helpless Angus Gunn.

Saints were gifted their way back into the game in the 52nd minute, when Steve Cook went straight through Che Adams as Southampton broke down the left side of the box. Ward-Prowse stepped up to the spot and hammered the ball past Aaron Ramsdale to cut the deficit in half.

Saints’ best chance at drawing level came in the 82nd minute, but Ward-Prowse was denied Ramsdale from close range, and though he spilled the rebound in front of goal, Bournemouth were able to clear the ball away in just the nick of time.

Gunn and center back Jannik Vestergaard ran into one another outside the Saints penalty area in the 95th minute, allowing Wilson to pick the ball up and walk it over the end line for the late exclamation point on Bournemouth’s historic night.

Bournemouth’s defensive desperation was such that they attempted just the six shots in the game, including zero between the 38th and 85th minutes. Alas, Saints couldn’t find the equalizer and Bournemouth catapulted all the way up to third in the PL, for the time being.

Bournemouth punishes sloppy Everton

OLLY GREENWOOD/AFP/Getty Images
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Callum Wilson scored twice as Bournemouth stung sloppy Everton 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

Ryan Fraser also scored for the Cherries, who rise eighth on 7 points to move ahead of the visitors on goal differential.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored Everton’s only marker, as the Toffees fail in a bid to join the Top Four.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]


Three things we learned

1. Marco’s mercurial men: A lot has been made of Marco Silva‘s up-and-down tenure as Everton boss, especially given the club’s wealth of talent. That was again on display, as mistakes overrode Everton’s control of the match for most of the first hour. Keep in mind, though, that the inconsistency has plagued the Toffees since well before Silva came to town. That may not save him.

2. Ramsdale the difference: Eddie Howe trusted 21-year-old Aaron Ramsdale as his No. 1 goalkeeper despite a total of 44 senior appearances in his locker and none above the Championship level (aside from a pair of FA Cup dates). He was calm, decisive, and sturdy. He’s yet to keep a clean sheet, but that’s no matter on the day.

3. Wilson in form:  Callum Wilson’s second and third goals of the season showed his versatility, with a snapped header in a sea of bodies to open the scoring and a long run to beat Pickford on his second. He now has three goals in his last two performances after scoring against Leicester City.

Man of the Match: Ramsdale — Again, this could have easily been 3-1 in the other direction had Ramsdale not mopped up some silly, silly mistakes of his teammates.


Philip Billing fizzed a shot wide of the near post inside of the first 10 minutes, while at the other end Cherries keeper Aaron Ramsdale raced to beat Dominic Calvert-Lewin to a loose ball.

The 19th minute saw Richarlison smash a dipping effort off the top of the cross bar.

Ex-Toffees man Dominic Solanke ripped a shot that Jordan Pickford poked over the bar in the 22nd, and Bournemouth got on the board off the ensuing corner kick when Wilson snapped his neck to power the ball past Pickford.

Richarlison was at it again in the 37th, but couldn’t head Lucas Digne‘s cross inside the near post.

Everton leveled the score when Seamus Coleman spotted Richarlison’s run down the right side and the Brazilian crossed for a powerful Dominic Calvert-Lewin finish.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Ramsdale made a terrific save after Digne and Iwobi combined to cue up a Gylfi Sigurdsson rip in the 47th minute. And Steve Cook made a terrible back pass that helped Richarlison to a chance, but Ramsdale was up to the challenge.

Fraser’s goal came from a set piece, as he swept a free kick toward goal and Fabian Delph couldn’t get purchase on a chance to clear it. It changed direction a little, but Pickford may not have had a chance to save it either way.

It was 3-1 moments later, as Yerry Mina and/or Michael Keane switched off to allow Wilson to race toward a stunned Pickford, who could not react to the break.

Ramsdale then denied Alex Iwobi with a terrific save from 18 yards, and Richarlison couldn’t put the rebound on goal.

USL side Tulsa terminates player’s contract after racially abusing opponent

Tulsa Roughnecks
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USL club Tulsa Roughnecks have announced they terminated the contract of midfielder Fabian Bastidas after it was learned he racially abused an opposing player during a match against Oklahoma City Energy on Saturday.

After the 1-1 draw, current Oklahoma City player and former MLS defender Atiba Harris posted on social media that he was racially abused by an unnamed player during the match. When that player was identified as Bastidas, the club terminated his contract effective immediately.

“The Tulsa Roughnecks announced today the termination of Fabian Bastidas’ contract with the club following his use of foul and abusive language during last night’s match with OKC Energy FC,” the club said in a statement announcing the termination. “The player’s actions are a violation of the league’s zero-tolerance policy, and do not represent the beliefs and values of our club — nor the community we represent. As an organization, we sincerely apologize to Atiba Harris and OKC Energy FC, and will do what is necessary to prevent this type of behavior in the future.”

“What [Bastidas] said is a disgrace,” said Oklahoma City manager Steve Cooke. “In any other walk of life it’s wrong. In our walk of live, albeit on a soccer field, I think people at times can hide behind the veil of competition and say, ‘Well, I just lost my emotion.’ But that’s too easy. In our industry, our profession, we have to be better.”

Bastidas, a 25-year-old Brooklyn native who joined Tulsa in January, took to Instagram to defend his actions, attempting to explain that “nothing malicious or racist was or will ever be intended” by his words.

Fulham win second-straight, beat Bournemouth (video)

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  • Mitrovic’s penalty kick the winner
  • Second-straight win for Fulham
  • 3 defeats in 4 for Bournemouth 

Already-relegated Fulham beat Bournemouth 1-0 at a sunny Vitality Stadium on Saturday, as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the only goal of the game to secure Fulham’s first away win of the season.

Mitrovic’s penalty kick came in the second half, as an even game saw the Cottagers edge it and caretaker boss Scott Parker has done his chances of getting the full-time job no harm at all with back-to-back PL wins against Everton and Bournemouth.

With the three points Fulham remain in 19th and are on 23 points, while Bournemouth sit in 12th on 41 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Callum Wilson raced in on goal early on but lifted his effort over the bar, and Bournemouth did all the pressing as Fulham struggled to get out of their own half and Josh King then fired over when it looked easier to score.

At the other end Nathan Ake cleared a header from a corner off the line, then Mitrovic flashed a shot over the bar but was offside.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Ryan Fraser forced Sergio Rico into a smart stop across his goal after a trademark surging run forward, as Bournemouth turned the screw. Bournemouth were forced into an early change as Junior Stanislas (who only replaced Adam Smith in the team just before kick off) went off with a knee injury and youngster Jack Simpson replaced him.

Mitrovic was then denied by a great last-ditch tackle by Steve Cook as Fulham improved, and from the resulting corner Denis Odoi‘s flicked header was saved well by Artur Boruc.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Fulham went ahead, as Simpson clattered into Mitrovic to give away a clear penalty kick. Mitrovic stepped up and sent Boruc the wrong way to end his drought of nine games without a goal and put Fulham 1-0 up.

Ryan Sessegnon weaved his way into the box and forced Boruc into a save at his near post as the visitors dominated the play in the second half.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Fraser flashed a shot just wide and Bournemouth threw everything at Fulham late on, with Rico denying Wilson and then Maxime Le Marchand coming up with a huge block.

David Brooks‘ cross hit the top of the crossbar and then Lys Mousset sent a late header straight at Rico, and that was as close as Bournemouth came to an equalizer as boos rang out from the home fans at the final whistle.

Bournemouth, Watford draw in six-goal thriller

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  • 5 goals scored in 13 first half minutes
  • Bournemouth fight back from 2-0 down
  • No win in three for Watford, Bournemouth

Bournemouth and Watford drew 3-3 at the Vitality Stadium Wednesday, as the Cherries and Hornets shared six goals in an incredible first half.

Watford went 2-0 up as Troy Deeney scored twice, but Bournemouth then scored twice through Nathan Ake and Callum Wilson to make it 2-2. Soon after Ken Sema put Watford 3-2 up, but then Ryan Fraser made it 3-3 with five goals scored in just 12 first half minutes.

The second half saw both teams have chances to win it, but a draw was a fair result in an entertaining encounter. With the point Bournemouth are in 12th on 27 points, while Watford climb to eighth on 29 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Jefferson Lerma lashed a shot over from the edge of the box as Bournemouth started well, but Watford were soon ahead. Abdoulaye Doucoure surged forward from midfield and found Sema on the right. His cross was attacked by Deeney who sent a header into the net.

David Brooks then went close to an equalizer as Junior Stanislas and Callum Wilson combined to set him up, but Ben Foster kept out Brooks.

Watford then went 2-0 up as Dan Gosling gave it away to Gerard Deulofeu and the Spaniard then went on a rampaging 40-yard run. Eventually the ball found its way to Deeney who slotted home his and Watford’s second of the game.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Doucoure then curled a shot inches over as the Hornets dominated, but Bournemouth pulled two goals back quickly. Steve Cook‘s header across goal was headed on target by Gosling and despite Foster saving, Ake was on hand to make it 2-1. Game on.

Then Wilson nodded home another set piece to make it 2-2. But there was time for another few goals before half time, as Sema drilled in a low shot for his first PL goal to make it 3-2. But moments later Stanislas squared for Fraser to slot home and make it 3-3.

Josh King almost made it 4-3 right on half time but headed wide, as both teams looked like scoring every time they went forward. Amongst all of that Doucoure should have been sent off for lunging in on Fraser as Watford were lucky to keep 10 men on the pitch.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half the scoring inevitably slowed down, but Wilson almost scored from another set piece.

A long free kick into the box found the Bournemouth striker and his powerful head was right at Foster who acrobatically pushed the ball over.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Foster then denied King brilliantly as Bournemouth pushed hard for the winner, and at the other end Cook lunged in for a wonderful last-ditch tackle as Roberto Pereyra was in on goal.

Deulofeu then curled just wide as Watford cranked up the pressure late on, as Tom Cleverely wanted a penalty kick after his the ball was handled by Ake in the box but nothing was given.

The game ended 3-3 after a thrilling first half blitz.