PREM: Bournemouth 4-0 Middlesbrough


Benik Afobe celebrates after giving Bournemouth a 2-0 lead

Bournemouth beat 10-man Middlesbrough 4-0 on Saturday to strengthen their Premier League place while sending their opponents closer to the drop.


The home side took the lead after just 90 seconds as Josh King swept home from seven yards, before Benik Afobe made it 2-0 following a mishap in the Boro defence.

Boro's task was made harder when Gaston Ramirez was sent off for two unnecessary yellow cards in the space of seven minutes, leaving the visitors down to 10 men for the remaining three quarters of the game.

The hosts wrapped up the points in the second half through Marc Pugh's fine finish from 20 yards and Charlie Daniels' strike from a well-worked free-kick.

The result means Middlesbrough are now nine points off safety with five games to play, though they do have a game in hand. Bournemouth are now up to 12th, seven points clear of the drop with 12 points to play for. Before the game, both sets of fans and players took part in a minute's applause in memory of Ugo Ehiogu, who died on Friday at the age of 44. Ehiogu played at Boro between 2001 and 2007.

It took Bournemouth only a minute-and-a-half to take the lead through King's 12th goal in 16 Premier League games, finishing off a good move inside the box after Pugh's centre from the byline.

It was 2-0 after 16 minutes when Adam Clayton was dispossessed on the edge of the box by Harry Arter, handing Afobe the simple task of sticking the ball home from 10 yards unmarked.
 
King should have made it 3-0 moments later, hitting the side-netting when through on goal, before Boro were reduced to 10 men. Having received a booking for a blatant dive minutes before, Ramirez was dismissed for a late tackle on Pugh, although contact with the Bournemouth man was minimal.

Boro almost halved the deficit through Marten de Roon on the half-hour mark, but his superb half volley from long range was tipped wide brilliantly by Artur Boruc.

Guzan made two fine saves to keep the score at 2-0 after the break, first from Afobe's diving header at the far post and then Ryan Fraser's long-range effort. But he could do nothing about Bournemouth's third, as Pugh (65) found the far corner after cutting in from the left and producing a scorching effort from 20 yards out.

Daniels made it 4-0 after 70 minutes, receiving Fraser's clever free-kick and finishing into the bottom corner from 20 yards after Boro failed to close him down. Substitute Lys Mousset should have made it five with a minute remaining, but he volleyed over the bar from eight yards after Boro again failed to clear the ball from a cross.

The result continues Boro's woeful run of form, leaving Steve Agnew's men without a top flight win since mid-December, 16 games ago.


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