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Match Reports

Bournemouth v Norwich City

16 January 2016


CITY fell to a second Premier League defeat in four days as they were beaten 3-0 by Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

With just two points separating the two promoted teams before kick-off, the game was billed as important in the battle to stay in the top flight.

The Canaries were second best on the afternoon, however, never recovering from Dan Gosling's 10th minute header.

After resisting further Bournemouth advances in the first half, Charlie Daniels' penalty extended the hosts' lead after the break.

Benik Afobe's close-range strike made it a miserable afternoon for the Canaries not long after they went down 3-1 to Stoke City on Wednesday, and the result lifted the Cherries above Alex Neil's team in the table.

With Gary O'Neil suspended following his dismissal against the Potters in midweek, Neil made one enforced change to his starting eleven.

Matt Jarvis came in for his first start since October, when he suffered the knee injury against Manchester City that kept him out of action until Wednesday's return. Jonny Howson moved into central midfield.

Lewis Grabban, who left City to join Bournemouth on Monday, missed out on the Cherries' matchday squad through illness. Ex-Canary Andrew Surman started in their midfield.

Afobe, another January recruit for the home team, lashed a shot over the bar inside three minutes after shrugging off Ryan Bennett before Eddie Howe's side took the lead ten minutes in.

Marc Pugh cut inside onto his right foot and curled a cross into the box, where Gosling had sneaked in between Sebastien Bassong and Robbie Brady to head beyond Declan Rudd.

The momentum stayed with Bournemouth after their goal - Gosling guided an effort wide from the edge of the area just prior to them having a penalty appeal turned down when Daniels fell in the box under challenge from Russell Martin.

City's attacking ventures were sparse, and it took until the 32nd minute for Artur Boruc to make a save as he got behind Jarvis' effort moments before keeping out Robbie Brady's long-range free-kick.

They finished the half stronger, but Bournemouth went close again a minute before the break - after Rudd was booked for tripping Afobe, Junior Stanislas whipped the free-kick over the bar.

HALF-TIME: Bournemouth 1-0 Norwich City

Before a full minute had elapsed in the second half, Rudd was forced into action when Pugh fashioned himself some space in the area and shot low at goal, with City's keeper blocking it with his legs.

Harry Arter was booked for protesting after he had another penalty appeal rejected by Robert Madley, but just after Martin had cleared the ball off the line from a Pugh header, the tricky winger won his team a penalty.

Vadis Odjidja was adjudged to have pulled Pugh back, and Daniels scored off the post to open up a two-goal cushion for his team.

Neil responded by making a double change: Nathan Redmond replaced Odjidja, and Cameron Jerome came on for Jarvis.

Rudd made a smart save at his near post to deny Steve Cook from a corner, and time was running out for City - who made a final switch, bringing on Graham Dorrans for Wes Hoolahan.

Three minutes later, Dieumerci Mbokani jumped on a loose ball and was in, but his attempted lob floated wide of Boruc's post.

Bournemouth's stopper then denied the DR Congo striker when he broke into the box and shot from a narrow angle, and Norwich were punished by the home side with 15 minutes left.

Daniels strode confidently down the left, surpassing Martin and whipping a low cross into the area, where Afobe was waiting to rifle home his first goal for the Cherries.

Howe was able to make substitutions to see the game out, and Norwich were left with a lot to ponder before their next game against Liverpool after a week made up of three defeats.

FULL-TIME: Bournemouth 3-0 Norwich City

GOALS: Cherries: Dan Gosling (10), Charlie Daniels (pen 54), Benik Afobe (75)

BOURNEMOUTH: Boruc; Smith, Francis (c), Cook, Daniels; Stanislas, Gosling (Kermorgant 90), Surman, Pugh; Arter (O'Kane 80); Afobe (Murray 84). Subs not used: Federici (GK), Iturbe, MacDonald, Distin.

NORWICH CITY: Rudd; Martin (c), Bennett, Bassong, Brady; Odjidja (Redmond 56), Howson, Tettey, Jarvis (Jerome 56); Hoolahan (Dorrans 69); Mbokani. Subs not used: Ruddy (GK), Wisdom, Mulumbu, Olsson.

REFEREE: Robert Madley


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