Date: 11th November 2018 at 9:00am
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Written by Rodmorg

On the back of an unfortunate end to an exciting match against Manchester United last weekend, the Cherries had to endure on a lengthy 353-mile trip up to play Newcastle, of whom had enjoyed their first win of the season against Watford last weekend. Having won on both occasions up North, in addition to a valiant performance against the Red Devils, expectations were high for the South-Coast team.

Eddie made one change, with the omission of Stanislas due to injury, with Ibe replacing him on the right wing. Callum Wilson retained his place after being called up for England by Gareth Southgate. Marc Pugh made an appearance on the bench, while Newcastle were without captain Lascelles and Shelvey.

The game began with a lively start however it was Newcastle that took an early lead. An attack on the left flank started by US International Yedlin knocked past Smith for him to square it to target man Rondon, who unleashed a powerful effort for it to be saved excellently by Begovic… Only for it to be parried out for Rondon to tap in on the rebound. 1-0 Newcastle.

However, only a matter of minutes later, Fernandez clumsily kicked Brooks as both went towards the astray ball in the Newcastle box. Replays suggest Bournemouth should have had a penalty.

Things went from bad to worse as Adam Smith, on his 200th appearance for the Cherries, attempted to dummy the ball for a quick free-kick but collapsed onto the pitch. After 8 minutes of the medical staff attending to the Left-Back, Smith was stretchered off with an applause from the home and away fans from all corners of the stadium, as Daniels came on to replace him. We all wish Smith a speedy recovery.

Fuel was added to the fire as Rondon got a second, with a cross from Kenedy allowing Rondon to plant a bullet of a header into the top right of Begovic. It was poor defending by Ake who let the striker move away from him.

After Steve Cook had forced the Newcastle ‘keeper into a good reaction save, there was a glimmer of hope for Bournemouth as a left-wing cross from Fraser met Lerma, of who dived from 10 yards out for the ball to loop into the bottom right-hand corner. A well-placed header for Lerma, who grabbed his first goal since his £27 million move, either side of Begovic magnificently denying Newcastle a further lead before halftime.

Half Time: Newcastle 2-1 Bournemouth

Another unfortunate turn for Bournemouth meant that goal-scoring Lerma was forced off with a hamstring issue, with former Toon midfielder Gosling replacing him. Fans anticipated of him replicating his late equaliser against the same opposition last season – at the Vitality Stadium.

It was Attack vs Defence for most of the second half, as Bournemouth pushed for an equaliser and hopefully a winner. An eventual change in formation meant that Bournemouth played with three at the back with Ibe and Daniels occupying the wing back positions.

There was a golden opportunity for the under-performing Ibe to grab a point for the away side with 20 minutes remaining. Gosling threaded a through-ball to unleash Ibe one-on-one on the right, who blazed the ball over the bar from 12 yards out. And roughly ten minutes after, the ball was in the net for Bournemouth, however, it was adjudged as offside – from a corner, Brooks’ drive hit off Ake’s leg for the goalkeeper to make a great save, and Gosling’s rebound from an offside position did not go in his favour.

Time went slowly by as Defoe came on for Ibe to try and grab a winner – but to no avail as we left with a second consecutive loss while Newcastle grabbed their second consecutive win.

Full Time: Newcastle 2-1 Bournemouth

Team Ratings:

Asmir Begovic – 8 – MOTM: Made some glorious saves to deny Newcastle any further goals – most notably (ironically) from teammate Wilson. Couldn’t do much about the goals though, but a good performance by him, so he deserves MOTM.

Simon Francis – 5: Tracking back was okay but not his usual self with a lack of runs down the right.

Steve Cook – 6: Was unfortunate not to get a goal due to a good save, didn’t create anything with his long throws.

Nathan Ake – 4: Marking was bad for both Newcastle goals and it just wasn’t his day. Marker Rondon constantly got away from him at every opportunity.

Adam Smith – 5: Was average until his unfortunate injury.

Jordon Ibe – 2: Absolutely awful and frustrating today. Didn’t attack the ball when we defended (Brooks did more than him and he played higher up the pitch). Had a chance to perhaps rejuvenate himself but didn’t even get the shot on target which is appalling. Plus, he could’ve been the culprit of a Newcastle goal due to an error. Should have been off if it weren’t for Lerma’s injury.

Lewis Cook – 4: Off-point. Constantly bullied out of possession as soon as he wanted to dribble, and made some mistakes when passing.

Jefferson Lerma – 6: Did get the goal but didn’t do much other than that. Unfortunate to get the injury.

Ryan Fraser: – 6: Rather bright amongst a gloomy team performance and grabbed the assist from the corner. Made some good runs and linked well with Daniels.

David Brooks – 5: Seemed to have done more in defence than attack. Below-par performance overall.

Callum Wilson – 5: Again, was quiet and had no decent chances across the game. Caused a scare when he nearly scored an own-goal.

Substitutes:

Charlie Daniels (Adam Smith 30) – 6: Did liven up the spirit a little and was decent down the left flank. Did partner well with Fraser but average.

Dan Gosling (Jefferson Lerma 46) – 6: Made mistakes with simple passes but was once again average… However, he did have a chance to produce an assist and a goal.

Jermain Defoe (Jordon Ibe – 81) – N/A

Overall Team Rating – 5: Poor display in the first half and was the opposite in the second. Poor defending by us in both halves when Newcastle had few of the opportunities. Attacks focussed on the wings but overall outperformed by a well-oiled Newcastle team, despite it being Attack vs Defence in the second half.

Verdict:

Not one of the best displays this season. The halves were polarised across the match, meanwhile, it seemed we tried in the first half but were penned back for the majority. Then it was Newcastle attempting to hold on to that lead during the second half. Having watched most of the games this season and last season, it always seems that we tend to improve whenever we go behind, especially during last season. If we were to have the spirit to drive forward and win before we concede, then we could probably win a few more games, however, of course, the opposition could do the same. It is a very double-edged sword situation. The outcomes are impossible to predict in this funny old game.

Lerma’s goal could be considered as lucky in regard to the whole team performance but gave a glimmer of hope for a comeback which was usually a trigger to what we would see last season. Good to see him get a well-deserved goal and unfortunate with the hamstring issue; it is currently unknown how long he will be sidelined for.

In that regard, we will surely miss Smith for a good part of this season now. He’s been an essential part of our rise to 6th in the league having started every game. Looks rather serious so Howe will have to utilise the coming January Transfer Window carefully for a possible loan or permanent signing to cover the current defenders we have. Consequently, Francis is our only recognised Right-Back, however, both Steve Cook and Fraser have played in that position before.

On a final note, despite some stars being dim tonight; for example Lewis Cook and Ake, there is one that needs to be pointed out – Jordon Ibe. The debate regarding Ibe is very polarised and is somewhat similar to the midfielder issue over the last few seasons. However, it can be generally accepted that he has underperformed. To what extent is the issue. Personally, given the chances that he’s had in the cup and league, maybe it’s time to give the likes of Pugh a run-around, who actually deserve it and justified it in the Carabao Cup.

Overall, it was a below average performance given the position of the opposition and given the next few fixtures, it could be a long November and December. Next time is Arsenal on the 25th on the television after the International break – a fortnight to review and prepare for the dire run of fixtures.

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