Bournemouth 1-2 Wolves: Gary O’Neil sinks old club as Sasa Kalajdzic nets winner against 10-man Cherries to leave Andoni Iraola still looking for his first win
- Sasa Kalajdzic nets winner for Wolves as they beat 10-man Bournemouth
- Andoni Iraola is still looking for his first league win as Cherries boss
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Bournemouth are still without a Premier League win this season as substitute Sasa Kalajdzic secured a 2-1 comeback victory for Wolves against 10-men at the Vitality Stadium after Lewis Cook was sent off for headbutting Hwang Hee-Chan.
For all of Gary O’Neil’s pre-match insistence that he had ‘zero consideration’ about this game marking his return to the Vitality Stadium, his Wolves team certainly had the bit between their teeth as they secured a valuable three points at their manager’s old stomping ground that he was unfairly ejected from.
It was reset mode after the international break, Bournemouth have been in that mode after every game so far this season with Andoni Iraola’s reign on the south coast still miserably without a win as early-season struggles spill over into becoming a concurrent theme of defeats. Wolves in contrast extended their unbeaten run to three matches.
There was barely a mention of O’Neil returning to Bournemouth in the pre-match programme, no nod to his extraordinary efforts that kept the club in the division against the odds last season, no thank you from the board who would be pushing funds into a Championship team if not for him, in fact the only comments on the Wolves boss came from Iraola.
Oh how the Cherries wish they could rewind time before they pulled the trigger to sack the 40-year-old in the summer.
Sasa Kalajdzic celebrates netting the winner for Wolves as they inflict defeat on Bournemouth
Matheus Cunha celebrates getting Wolves back into the game as they beat Bournemouth 2-1
Gary O’Neil celebrates getting the victory over the team that sacked him in the summer
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The visitors went inches within taking an early lead after Pedro Neto cut in from the wing, rode two challenges and smashed an effort against the crossbar.
Wolves were fluid in attack but shaky in defence as the likes of Boubacar Traore took too long on the ball against a Bournemouth team who rank above Manchester City and Liverpool for high turnovers this season.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Neto 4 (C), Aarons 6, Zabarnyi 6, Kelly 6, Kerkez 6 (Senesi 85′ 5) , Scott 5 (Rothwell 57′ 5), Cook 3, Tavernier 5 (Ouattara 75′ 5), Billing 7, Brooks 5 (Christie 57′ 6), Solanke 7 (Moore 85′ 5)
Unused subs: Radu, Smith, Kluivert, Semenyo
Scorers: Solanke 17′
Booked: Zabarnyi, Scott
Red card: Cook 54′
Manager: Andoni Iraola 6
Wolves: (3-4-3): Sa 6, Kilman 6 (C), Dawson 6, T Gomes 5 (Sarabia 57′ 6), Doherty 6, J Gomes 4 (Doyle 45′ 7), Traore 6, Ait-Nouri 6, Neto 7, Cunha 7 (Kalajdzic 82′ 6), Hwang 7
Unused subs: Bentley, Bueno, Silva, Otto, Hodge, Fraser
Scorers: Cunha 47′ Kalajdzic 88′
Booked: Cunha, Traore, Sarabia, Neto, Hwang, Kilman
Manager: Gary O’Neil 7
Referee: Paul Tierney 7
Eventually their creaky defence cracked under the weight of Bournemouth as Philip Billing was given time and space to find Dominic Solanke who finished his chance excellently with an instinctive backheel in the 17th-minute.
The driven close-range cross was played just behind Solanke, but he somehow managed to dig the ball out with a backheel chop in a reminder of the finishing capability the former Liverpool forward still possesses.
If his goal was an example of how to score, his next effort was a showing of what not to do when he tried to pull a bouncing ball towards goal but instead sliced it off his tiptoes.
Suddenly, Wolves’ defence decided to wake-up. Solanke was no longer allowed to roam free with Craig Dawson now sticking too him like glue and Traore was tasked with following Billing around the pitch as their former gung-ho approach was slightly reigned in.
Wolves controlled possession before half time but they were playing keep-ball for the sake of it, slowly passing around defence, launching the odd high-ball forward and constantly searching for the counter-attack that was rarely there as Bournemouth locked out in a bid to maintain their lead before the break.
All of Bournemouth’s hard work in the first half was undone within 10 minutes of the second period getting started. Cunha led Wolves’ revitalised charge with a brilliant curling first-time effort from just inside the box to pull his side level.
Neto charged through Bournemouth’s half before clipping a perfectly-weighed ball into the path of the former Atletico Madrid man who left Sa stretching helplessly between the posts.
Things got even worse moments later when Cook completely lost any sense of discipline after first swiping the legs out from underneath Hwang before headbutting the South Korean following a brief coming together as the Wolves forward fumed at the original challenge.
Lewis Cook’s headbutt proved on Hwang proved to be a turning point in the game
The Cherries midfielder was shown a straight red card and piled on the problems
Things had started so well for Bournemouth when Dominic Solanke opened the scoring
There was minimal contact, Hwang played his part in pushing Cook, but as soon as the Bournemouth defender made contact with his head there was only one possible measure the referee could take. A straight red card was quickly shown, VAR looked but didn’t overturn the decision and suddenly the hosts were a man-down and hanging on.
You had to feel sympathetic for Iraola. Let down by a moment of madness that gave Wolves the keys to victory and the Spaniard could do little to stop the tide of attacks that followed.
Hwang was public enemy number one for the remainder of the game and the home crowd made their feelings clear when he tried to turn in Cunha’s parried shot in the 57th-minute but skied his shot into the stands. Neto skewed an even better opportunity with less than 10 minute remaining.
The Cherries needed to see out just two minutes of regular time and they would have clinched a remarkable draw, but were their own worst enemy when captain Neto put Billing under incredible pressure on the edge of his own box, the forward stumbled and Hwang rolled the ball into Kalajdzic who finished coolly.
Redemption for O’Neil, disaster for Iraola with his position at Bournemouth now looking under serious threat.
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