Ten-man AFC Bournemouth bounce back with 3-1 win over Birmingham City

CHERRIES worked hard to claim a 3-1 win over Birmingham City as they climbed back to second place in the Championship and put the weekend’s woes behind them.

Ryan Christie and Dominic Solanke struck early to put some distance between the two teams with their second and 20th goals of the season, respectively.

Jefferson Lerma received his second consecutive red card of the campaign in the second half, but Cherries won nine straight against the Blues, despite Onel Hernandez’s deflected effort to evade Mark Travers.

Jaidon Anthony’s persistence in the box after skipping three Birmingham tackles saw him seal the deal with 15 minutes to play.

Scott Parker has named nine changes, with only Nat Phillips and Anthony retaining their places following the dismal FA Cup loss to National League side Boreham Wood on Sunday.

It meant Championship Cherries debuts for loanees Phillips and Todd Cantwell, while Siriki Dembele, Kieffer Moore and Freddie Woodman started from the bench.

Meanwhile, former Cherry Lyle Taylor’s role was clear as he led the line for a Birmingham side who hadn’t won in threes or kept a clean sheet since beating Blackpool in November.

A good atmosphere inside Vitality Stadium was rewarded with a quick start as Solanke and Taylor came close to opening the scoring for their sides in the top 10.

Neil Etheridge found himself in hot water with a dubious back pass after blistering pressure from Lerma, but the Philippines international was just cleared.

It was only a brief reprieve before Teden Mengi lost his footing and let Solanke through. Christie hit the bar with the shot, which appeared to bounce for a goal kick.

Jaidon Anthony saved the ball for Jordan Zemura and Philip Billing to combine and fire Christie from close range within 17 minutes.

Cherries’ second was much simpler, requiring only a deft slide from Christie to Solanke down the right side where the forward struck low and through Etheridge for his 19th in league competition this campaign.

Failing to stop Solanke through football methods, near-last man Kristian Pedersen entered the book after taking down the striker as he ran for goal.

Billing then saw a superb header smack on the post, as Cherries put the visitors in trouble with the sword in an electric display in the first half.

Brum opted for a change shortly after the break, with Lukas Jutkiewicz replacing Scott Hogan up front – but Cherries was forced into his first.

Christie went down injured on the hour mark and Parker called on Lewis Cook, while handing Dembele his league debut in place of an impressive Cantwell.

But Parker’s charges were reduced to just ten with over 20 minutes to go, after a wild hack by Lerma on Hernandez – which then sparked a skirmish, led by the Colombian – saw red from referee James Linington.

Shortly after, Hernandez’s shot from outside the box after a corner kick deflected Phillips and gave the visitors a chance.

Anthony then kicked that as fast as he came, carrying the ball a half-time distance to put past Etheridge despite three Brum defenders in his way.

Plenty of time remained for Moore’s debut on the bench, as Parker’s side reached the conclusion without further stinging thanks to a superb foot save from Travers denying Taylor.

Cherries: crosses; Stacey, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura; Lerma, Billing (Moore, 85), Cantwell (Dembele, 60); Christie (cook, 60), Anthony, Solanke

Unused subtitles: Mepham, Cahill, Pearson, Moore, Woodman (g/k)

Sent: Lerma

Birmingham: Etheridge; Colin, Mengi (Hernandez, 63), Pedersen, Bela, Sunjic, Gardner, Bacuna, Graham (Woods, 88), Hogan (Jutkiewicz, 53), Taylor

Unused subtitles: Campbell, Walker, James, Trueman (g/k)

Reserve: Gardner, Pedersen, Graham, Hernandez, Sunjic

Arbitrator: James Linton

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