Game Report: AFC Bournemouth 3-1 Birmingham City
An unsurprising loss
Wednesday evening Birmingham City made the cross-country trip to 3rd place Bournemouth and a battle not only with the standings but also with history, as the Cherries had beaten the Blues 8 straight games. That streak extended to 9 with a 3-1 result in favor of the home team.
The game started out frenetically with chances created at both ends, but the breakthrough came in the 17th minute when Ryan Christie scored for Bournemouth after Ivan Sunjic misplayed a pass in the defensive third. Bournemouth then took control and scored again on a hapless Blues defense with a Dominic Solanke strike. The Cherries were completely dominant for the rest of the first half, ending with 67% possession. They were also unlucky not to add a third when a Phillip Billing shot hit the post.
In the second half they came out rather cruising with the 2-goal lead. But 66 minutes in things got wild. Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Onel Hernandez. Just 2 minutes later Hernandez got his revenge as a shot was deflected in and the comeback looked to be on.
But the Blues’ defensive troubles continued and Bournemouth were able to put the game away when Jaidon Anthony restored the 2-goal lead in the 76th minute despite being a man down. Birmingham did create some more good chances but never managed to penetrate and the game ended 3-1.
The Blues at least managed to accumulate decent possession in the second half, finishing the game at 47%, although that was of course bolstered by the man advantage.
With the result Bournemouth’s promotion chances improved, pushing them up to 2nd place, 2 points ahead of 3rd place Blackburn Rovers and with 2 games in hand. Birmingham remains in 18th place, but only 1 point in front of Hull City and Cardiff City, both of whom have games in hand.