Bournemouth and Wolves share spoils in game with three penalties


Bournemouth 1-1 Wolves

Three penalties were awarded as Bournemouth and Wolves shared the spoils at the Vitality Stadium this afternoon. A monumental performance in defence by Nathan Ake will be overshadowed by the decisions of referee Roger East that are sure to flare up talk of VAR again.

Bournemouth sought to make it three home wins on the bounce. Eddie Howe’s side defeated West Ham 2-0 prior to putting four past Chelsea in a 4-0 drubbing of Sarri’s side before two consecutive away defeats, leaving the Cherries 11th in the Premier League.

Wolves arrived on the south coast as one of the form teams in the league. Nuno Esprito Santo has guided his side to the latter stages of the FA Cup and eighth in the league and three wins from the last five Premier League games have propelled Wolves to being dubbed the ‘best of the rest’, battling it out with Watford for that coveted seventh placed finish in what would be an outstanding achievement for a team that only gained promotion from the Championship last season.

The pitch drowned in south coast sunlight as the sides lined up, primed and ready for kick off. Chris Mepham and Dominic Solanke, both January purchases, were handed their full debuts by Howe whilst Santo lined up an all too familiar starting XI. A minutes applause in tribute to the late Gordan Banks got the fans on all sides of the pitch on their feet.

Adam Smith earned an early yellow card after getting caught out down the left hand side, but the free kick was dealt with by the Bournemouth back line. The home side’s defence was tested early as Wolves piled forward, a succession of set pieces were aptly dealt with by Ake.

The home side grew into the game but were let off when Mepham was caught on the ball and Raul Jimenez slotted home. But the referee saw an infringement and awarded a free kick to the Cherries.

Almost immediately after, good work down the right by Jordan Ibe resulted in a low cross which Josh King touched round the corner to be clipped and sent tumbling by Joao Moutinho. Referee Mr East had no hesitation in blowing for a penalty, which King himself dispatched confidently into the bottom right corner.

Wolves had a penalty shout of their own with 20 minutes played. Mepham putting the ball out for a corner with his arm. The officials saw nothing wrong, but Diogo Jota saw himself put in the book for gesticulating over zealously to the referee.

Wolves came close to equalising on the 38 minute mark. Jota powering his way past Mepham and his shot across goal went narrowly wide, avoiding the studs of the incoming Raul Jimenez by a matter of millimeters. Leander Dendoncker soon after found himself in the book for hauling down Ibe on left hand touchline. Wolves pushed for an equaliser before half time, but the threat of Bournemouth on the counter attack looked more likely to result in a second goal.

Both sides remained unchanged as the second half kicked off. Wolves, in their all white strip, were attacking the end the fervent away support was based. The opening exchanges offered very little in terms of goalmouth action. Bournemouth came out in the second half ready to nullify any Wolves advances.

Wolves did fashion the first chance 10 minutes into the half, Dendoncker rose highest to meet a Moutinho corner but Artur Boruc was equal to it. Willy Boly came close from the resulting corner, but his header snuck over the crossbar. Solanke then sent a header goalward after great work by King.

Bournemouth then fostered a fantastic opportunity to equalise, King with a shot from inside the box that had snuck through the hands of Rui Patricio . But Ryan Bennett found himself in the right place to stop the ball crossing the line. The home side continued to mount pressure on Wolves, Bennett went into the book for a rash challenge on Ryan Fraser and Ake went close from the resulting free kick.

A quick free kick by Dan Gosling saw Ryan Fraser released down the left hand side, his effort was cleared off the line by Boly. Ivan Cavaleiro was introduced in place of Diogo Jota, who failed to get into the game with any effect after the break.

Jefferson Lerma ran risk of seeing red after an aerial challenge with Moutinho which left the Portuguese international in need of lengthy treatment. Upon the restart Jordan Ibe rattled the crossbar with a powerful effort as Bournemouth sought to kill the game.

Dendoncker left the field to be replaced by Adama Traore as Nuno Santo looked to inject some pace and urgency into his side. Jimenez then joined his teammates in the book after clashing with Nathan Ake, making the Mexican striker Wolves fifth booking of the day.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, a penalty was awarded to Wolves after Adam Smith was penalised for a tackle on Matt Doherty. Raul Jimenez calmly slotted the ball home after his run bamboozled Boruc in the net. Minutes later, Bournemouth earned yet another penalty, Cavaleiro clipped Fraser outside the box, but referee Roger East gave a penalty despite the protests. Josh King clipped the outside of the post as the ball rolled wide and the scores stayed level.

A frantic final few minutes saw Jimenez come close before Frasers cross was sent whistling past the framework of the goal Conor Coady. Bournemouth fired a flurry of corners into the box but failed to find the back of the net. Solace came closest glancing a header towards the front post that forced a good save from Patricio.

Tempers flared on the pitch and the touchline as both sides looked for a late winner. But the tension was broken when the sprinklers were turned on whilst the game was still being played.

Both sides will come away feeling they could and should have taken all three points, but the refereeing performance took some shine away from what could have been a celebration of the Premier League.


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