AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was pleased with his side despite tasting defeat for the first time since his return to Dean Court.
The Cherries unbeaten run of 18 games in all competitions ended as Premier League side Wigan Athletic knocked the Cherries out of the FA Cup and earned a fourth round tie away to non league Macclesfield Town.
Eddie Howe made a number of changes, as expected Shwan Jalal came in for David James, whilst Wesley Thomas replaced Brett Pitman up front with Josh McQuoid initially out on the left wing instead of Marc Pugh and Lewis Grabban wide right.
There was no real pattern to the opening period of the game but a poor pass by Harry Arter was instantly punished as Mauro Boselli, a £6.5 million signing from Argentinian side Estudiantes who hammered the ball past Jalal from 20 yards.
Following the goal and Grabban going off with a knock to be replaced by Marc Pugh, the Cherries improved and Eunan O’Kane almost found the equaliser with his effort smacking the underside of the crossbar.
The second half continued in that pattern, Wigan restricted to just one real chance which was saved well by Jalal, the rest of the time it was all pressure from AFC Bournemouth with Marc Pugh again hitting the crossbar and first choice ‘keeper Al Habsi having to make numerous Premier League class saves.
Howe told BBC Radio Solent…
‘I thought it was a really good game and Wigan showed us a lot of respect with the team they picked. It was a strong team and we were slightly disappointed with our first-half performance.
‘I think in the second half that all changed and we had a right go at Wigan and threw everything at them and, apart from their goalkeeper making some good saves and the woodwork, I think we would have deservedly forced extra-time. I think it was a really good effort from the players, we did not necessarily lose it and I think Wigan won it – if a team was going to beat us they were going to have to earn it.
‘On another day we would have got away with that mistake (Arter’s poor pass) but we didn’t and we got punished. Fair play to the lads though because we stayed in the game when it would have been easy to go chasing the game too early.’
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