Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Bournemouth
Out of form Bournemouth showed no lack of confidence at Hillsborough, as they beat relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday by the odd goal in three in South Yorkshire.
The Owls, under the temporary stewardship of Stuart Gray, were completely outplayed in the first half by a dynamic Cherries side, who broke the deadlock before the ten minute mark. Eunan O’Kane’s superb lobbed through ball was well brought down by Andrew Surman down the right flank, before he teed up Matt Ritchie, who cut inside to drive a left-footed effort into the bottom corner, from twenty yards.
The visitors continued to dominate possession and territory, and they earned themselves a two-goal cushion not long after. Harry Arter’s scrumptious pass released Grabban who flew down the right channel and lost his marker Miguel Llera. As the home side continued to foolishly play a high-line, Grabban advanced goalwards, and somehow squeezed the ball beyond Damian Martinez at the Argentine’s near post from a tight angle, to give the travelling Cherries more breathing space going into the interval.
The hosts improved slightly in the second period, and Bournemouth appeared willing to just keep it tight. This resulted in a scrappy forty-five minutes, which allowed Wednesday back into the contest with under ten minutes remaining; a gift from Bournemouth keeper Lee Camp, who came for and missed the ball when Joe Mattock delivered a deep cross, allowing Jacques Maghoma to tap in from close range.
Maghoma’s first strike since leaving Burton turned out to be too little, too late for Gray’s men, who succumbed to their second defeat under the interim bosses’ management. I can honestly not remember a worse home performance from Wednesday than that horror show.
|Damian Martinez – Should have saved Ritchie’s strike and was beaten at his near post by Grabban for goal number two. Although he wasn’t the only man at fault for the goals, he’ll be disappointed for the part he played in them.||5.0|
|Liam Palmer – Composed on the ball, but struggled with the pace of Fraser, and his link up play with Arter.||6.0|
|Roger Johnson – Aimlessly HOOFED the hot potato on numerous occasions. The Wolves loanee was partly at fault for the high line The Owls played, allowing the lightning quick Grabban space to run in behind.||5.5|
|Miguel Llera – The lofty Spaniard was a shambles at the back, no positional sense, no pace and no composure. Caught out of position for Grabban’s goal.||4.0|
|Reda Johnson – In no-man’s land when O’Kane clipped the ball to Surman in the build-up to the first goal. Made a few reckless tackles and got booked, as well as showing poor distribution throughout.||5.0|
|Kieran Lee – Worked tirelessly as always, but showed little quality going forward.||6.0|
|Jose Semedo – Broke up a few attacks but lacked technical ability and a willingness to get on the ball and dictate play.||6.0|
|Giles Coke – Quiet game on his return from injury. Nothing like the Giles Coke we saw against Leicester. Overrun at times, especially in the first half.||6.0|
|Jacques Maghoma – Wednesday’s only good performer showed flashes of creativity, along with endeavour. Chipped in with his first Championship goal near the end.||7.0|
|Jermaine Johnson – Gave the home side a little bit of a spark, but the Jamaican international’s shooting was poor and he lost possession on numerous occasions.||6.5|
|Adthe Nuhiu – Ineffective, much like the service he got in fairness.||6.0|
|Joe Mattock – His cross set up Maghoma’s goal. Didn’t have long to make an impact.||6.5|
|Jeremy Helan – Came on at the same time as Mattock, and again, didn’t have a long time to change things.||6.0|
|Andelko Savic – Didn’t add anything extra, replacing the injured Nuhiu.||6.0|
|Lee Camp – Untroubled for the majority of the game, aside from not commanding his area, which cost his team a goal.||5.5|
|Simon Francis – Struggled to cope with Maghoma at times.||6.0|
|Tommy Elphick – Untroubled, not a bad thing when you’re a centre-half. He and Ward kept Nuhiu quiet.||7.0|
|Elliot Ward – Won his aerial duels (there were a lot) which gave Bournemouth a solid foundation and a platform to build upon.||7.5|
|Charlie Daniels – His height came in handy, as it does at Hillsborough when you get long balls tossed in your direction. Had Lee in his back pocket.||7.5|
|Eunan O’Kane – Protected the back four well, and played some very good passes.||7.5|
|Harry Arter – Workmanlike with touches of class. Helped win the midfield battle comfortably, and his outside-foot pass to set up Grabban was outstanding.||8.0|
|Andrew Surman – Showed ability on the ball, but didn’t get into the game very much.||7.0|
|Matt Ritchie – Scored an exceptional goal, and caused Palmer problems with his pace and trickery. Linked up well with the midfield.||8.0|
|Ryan Fraser – His direct running caused problems for Palmer, and he linked up well with Arter in particular.||7.5|
|Lewis Grabban – Played on the soldier of a lethargic, substandard back-four, and Llera and co couldn’t live with his pace. The ex-Rotherham forward made intelligent runs in behind them, and he capped off his performance with a goal.||8.5|
|Marc Pugh – Made very little impact.||6.0|
|Brett Pitman – Brought on in stoppage time.||N/A|
Man of the Match
|Lewis Grabban – A livewire, gave the visiting midfielders an outlet, with his non-stop running in behind. Never stopped running the channels, and kept his composure when in front of goal.||8.5|