by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
AFC Bournemouth came from behind to beat Stoke City 2-1, with substitutes Josh King and Lys Mousset completing the comeback at the Vitality Stadium.
Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri had guided home a wicked delivery in the fifth minute to send Paul Lambert’s side in front, but second-half goals from King and Mousset sent the Cherries seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Eddie Howe’s side have also extended their unbeaten streak to seven games – their best in the Premier League so far.
The Cherries boss named an unchanged line-up from the side that recorded a superb 3-0 victory at last season’s champions Chelsea, with Junior Stanislas and Jordon Ibe supporting Callum Wilson up front.
Paul Lambert made three changes to his rejuvenated Stoke starting XI with Peter Crouch and Geoff Cameron coming back in, alongside debutant Badou Ndiaye.
After a patient start from both teams in the opening stages, it was the visitors who started to carve out opportunities.
Erik Choupo-Moting’s effort from outside the penalty area deflected off Nathan Ake and fell kindly to Shaqiri, whose drilled cross was hacked clear off the line.
But a minute later, the Potters did make the breakthrough.
Ndiaye lofted in a cross towards the back post, which the unmarked Shaqiri expertly steered home with his head past Asmir Begovic.
The Cherries looked to hit back instantly through Jordon Ibe. The ex-Liverpool winger created a yard of space inside the penalty area with some clever footwork, but could only drive an effort into the side netting.
The poor start to the game for the home side continued when Steve Cook limped off with a hamstring injury, with Howe introducing Josh King in a tactical reshuffle.
Lewis Cook, starting on his 21st birthday, then lofted a delightful ball over the top of the Stoke defence for Wilson to latch onto. But with Jack Butland rushing out to narrow the angle, the former Coventry frontman could only stab a weak effort into the arms of the England international.
Then the aerial threat of Crouch almost led to a second for the visitors after 20 minutes, with the veteran striker capitalising on a defensive mix-up from Cherries skipper Simon Francis to thread through Ndiaye. But the debutant could only drag his effort wide of goal, despite appearing to be clean through on his target.
Choupo-Moting steered a shot comfortably over Begovic’s crossbar moments later, as Stoke threatened to find the back of the net again.
But ten minutes before half-time, the Cherries should have equalised.
Junior Stanislas, fresh off the back of his clinical finish at Stamford Bridge, played through King who in turn drilled a low ball across the face of goal for Ibe. The winger’s shot looked set to squirm in, but full-back Erik Pieters slid in expertly to clear off the line.
Stoke then repelled two dangerous set-pieces from the home side, with the first striking the Potters’ wall and the second effort forcing Butland into a low, plunging save at his near post.
On the stroke of half-time, Wilson was then presented with a sight of goal, but found himself well marshalled away by both Kurt Zouma and Ryan Shawcross to ensure Stoke entered the break in front.
At the start of the second half, Bournemouth almost found the equaliser straight from the kick-off.
King raced towards the Stoke backline, before cutting inside and letting loose a swerving shot that Butland was forced to palm away.
But the Potters’ goal threat still remained, and Ndiaye nearly fired home an acrobatic effort. Bauer delivered a long, arching throw-in into the penalty area, which bounced kindly for the Senegalese international, whose bicycle kick dropped narrowly wide of the far upright.
Crouch then expertly controlled a raking cross-field pass on his chest, before seeing his volley smothered at the near post by Begovic. The visitors’ towering forward nearly found himself on the score sheet again, but his looping header from a corner clipped the top of the crossbar.
Moments later, the Cherries came close to scoring once again.
Dan Gosling teed up Wilson on the right-hand side of the penalty area, but the striker dragged his shot across the face of goal and wide.
Two minutes later, Bournemouth finally dragged themselves level. Zouma and Allen collided with each other inside the penalty area, and King was on hand to steer his shot past the wrong-footed Butland.
Fraser, playing in a full-back position since Steve Cook’s injury, delivered two inviting crosses in quick succession, but a Cherries player was narrowly unable to touch home both times.
The pressure from the home side continued, and finally paid off after 81 minutes as Bournemouth edged in front.
Ibe swung in a free-kick from the right of the penalty area which dropped towards the back post, where substitute Mousset was on hand to head home his first Premier League goal.
Paul Lambert then made two offensive changes, with Mame Biram Diouf and Saido Berahino introduced in place of Choupo-Moting and Crouch as Stoke pressed for a point.
But the Cherries came closest to scoring again deep into stoppage time, when Wilson’s low drive was pushed away by Butland, and the home side rode out the final stages for another crucial three points.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Lys Mousset (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis, S. Cook, Ake, Daniels, Ibe, L. Cook, Gosling, Fraser, Stanislas, Wilson
Subs: Boruc, Simpson, Surman, Arter, Pugh, Mousset, King
Stoke: Butland, Bauer, Shawcross, Zouma, Pieters, Cameron, Shaqiri, Allen, Ndiaye, Choupo-Moting, Crouch
Subs: Grant, Johnson, Berahino, Adam, Diouf, Stafylidis, Ramadan
Referee: Paul Tierney