Scott Parker’s Bournemouth suffered a 0-2 loss against promotion rivals Blackburn Rovers in the Championship at the Vitality. The Rovers have blown the promotion race wide open as they close in on the automatic promotion spots.
An unfortunate own-goal by Ben Pearson in the first half and Jan Paul Van Heckle’s stunning header in the second half sealed the win for the in-form Blackburn Rovers side.
The Cherries have now gone winless in their last five games. Their last win came in a 4-0 win against Swansea last month. Scott Parker’s side has derailed mid-way through the season and is struggling to find any form.
Bournemouth still sits 2nd on the table thanks to their impeccable form up till game week 16. They were top of the table and 9 points clear of 3rd place, West Brom, after 15 games.
The gap has now come down to 3 points between them and the 3rd place. Moreover, they have slipped down to 2nd spot, 2 points behind Fulham.
Blackburn on the other hand has won four consecutive games on the bounce, keeping four clean sheets. They will be looking to pile on the pressure on the two leading teams.
The Rovers have been impressive since their 7-0 demolition at the hands of league leaders Fulham. With this win, they move within 4 points of the direct promotion spot.
Bournemouth off the pace against resurgent Blackburn Rovers
As predicted, Blackburn manager Mowbray named an unchanged team from their win against Preston.
The injury woes continued for Scott Parker as Marcondes, Billing, and Adam Smith were also sidelined from the team that started against Fulham.
Marcondes’ replacement, Pearson scored a calamity of an own-goal in the 21st minute, as Brereton Diaz’s shot from an acute angle, deflected off the underside of the crossbar to hit Pearson in the face on its way in. There was little the English midfielder could have done about it who was already on the goal line.
The first decent chance of the game fell to Brereton Diaz who tried to curl his first time shot into the top corner but could not keep it down.
At the half-hour mark, Bournemouth almost found an equalizer as Ryan Christie managed to skip past some of Rover’s tackles to create space for a shot. But Aynsley Pears managed to make a good save off his legs.
Solanke was slipped in behind the Rover’s backline by Christie from a through ball in the first-half stoppage time, but the Bournemouth marksman was denied yet again by Pears.
Scott Parker made one change at halftime bringing on Marcondes for Pearson. The Cherries started the second half well and managed to put some early crosses in. But failed to penetrate the Rover’s defense.
In the 64th minute, Brereton Diaz was through on goal and should have scored his 18th of the season but his shot was saved by Travers’s left leg. Rovers had to settle for a corner.
Bournemouth succumbed after Rovers scored again from the resulting corner. Joe Rothwell’s delivery from the corner found Van Hecke as he hit a bullet header past the Bournemouth keeper who could do nothing to keep it out. This was his first goal for the club.
Travers made another decent save to keep out Diaz late in the game. But his efforts meant little as Bournemouth lost 0-2 on the night.
Scott Parker (via SkySports) :
We are in a difficult situation at the moment. We are in the eye of a storm with injuries and decisions.
For the first goal, there were two players who were blatantly offside. I spoke to the official at half-time and he said that if he made a mistake, he was sorry. I could sense in his body language he was not sure.
“It was not even tight. You need to do your job at that moment.
Tony Mowbray (via SkySports):
I think this is a really difficult place to come and the stats show that.
Scott’s a top manager, top bloke and they’ve got some really good players in their team. We generally play on the transition rather than trying to dominate the ball these days and it was a really hard-fought victory.
I really think that they can give anybody a game. We are capable.
What next for Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers?
Bournemouth will want to bounce back and start winning again. They are on the verge of losing out the 2nd spot. Their next game will be a trip to 9th place Middlesbrough.
Blackburn is looking great. They are in impeccable form and will want to continue their winning ways in their next game against Birmingham. They have proved that they are more than capable of finishing in the top 2 spots.
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