Bournemouth 4-2 Reading: Cherries come from behind to go top of Championship


Dominic Solanke scores his second and Bournemouth's fourth goal against Reading
Dominic Solanke completed Bournemouth’s impressive second-half comeback with his second goal

Bournemouth knocked Reading off the top of the Championship after beating them with a stunning second-half comeback.

Dominic Solanke scored twice alongside an Arnaut Danjuma equaliser and a superb solo strike from Lewis Cook to inflict a fourth successive defeat on the visitors.

The Royals looked set to return to winning ways after a Lucas Joao penalty and Sone Aluko had put them 2-0 ahead at the break.

But Bournemouth levelled with two goals in the space of three minutes before Cook’s right-foot drive off the underside of the crossbar and Solanke’s second on the break made sure of the win.

The second-half turnaround from the hosts ensured they preserved their unbeaten home record this season.

After winning seven of their first eight matches under Veljko Paunovic, Reading have now lost four in a row.

That four-game losing streak has seen them ship at least three goals on each occasion for the first time since March 1998 – and after conceding only once across their opening seven games, they have let in 15 during their past five.

Bournemouth’s victory owed as much to goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as it did Solanke in front of goal.

The Bosnia international atoned for conceding a penalty just three minutes in, when he tripped Alfa Semedo, as he produced a brilliant one-handed stop on his line from a powerful Joao header that would have made it 3-3.

Earlier on, Joao’s 10th goal in all competitions this season and Aluko’s first in Reading colours since January 2019 had seemingly set them on course to retain top spot.

Lucas Joao scores a penalty for Reading against Bournemouth
Lucas Joao netted his seventh Championship goal this season with a penalty for Reading’s opener

But, first, Solanke tapped home from six yards after a low searching cross by Lloyd Kelly, who had switched to left-back after the half-time introduction of Chris Mepham, and then Danjuma finished low at the near post from David Brooks’ slide-rule pass.

Cook produced without doubt the goal of the game as he fired Bournemouth ahead from 25 yards out and then, as stoppage time approached, Solanke bagged his second of the game and fourth in the league this season as Reading goalkeeper Rafael was caught out trying to clear his lines from outside his penalty area.

Bournemouth go a point clear at the top, but may only be there for a few hours depending on results elsewhere on Saturday afternoon.

Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall told BBC Radio Solent:

“We got ourselves in a difficult position at half-time and started slowly and I had to say one or two words and make a few tactical changes.

“We needed to come out and prove that this was a top of the table clash and, in the second half, we performed a lot better.

“We came out with a lot more intent and a lot more purpose and with our attacking options, we’re more than capable of scoring plenty of goals.

“That sort of result gives us confidence and the second half is our benchmark. We need to take it into the next run of games.”

On Lewis Cook’s goal to put them ahead: “What a strike that was from Lewis (his first goal for Bournemouth in four and a half years), he practices those in training and he’s waited a long time for that goal.

“Not only did he score, but I thought he was fantastic all over the pitch in the second half. “

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic told BBC Radio Berkshire:

“Two different halves definitely from us. It’s a big lesson and learning point, but we don’t have long to dwell on it with another game in midweek.

“The first half was perfect for how you have to play against this kind of team and in the second, we were ready for their reaction and to come back at us.

“We lacked intensity and maturity in those moments in the second half, we conceded two goals too easily and too soon and dropped our guard. That’s something which has to be fixed immediately.

“The third goal we have to give credit for a fantastic strike and then we were pushing forward to find a leveller, getting more on the ball after some attacking changes.

“We had enough opportunities to draw level again, but we need to give more when we have that many attacking options on the field.”

Line-ups

Bournemouth

  • 1BegovicBooked at 4mins
  • 17Stacey
  • 3S Cook
  • 5Kelly
  • 21RicoSubstituted forMephamat 45′minutes
  • 8LermaBooked at 79minsSubstituted forOfoborhat 90+4′minutes
  • 16L Cook
  • 19StanislasSubstituted forRiquelmeat 78′minutes
  • 7BrooksSubstituted forSimpsonat 84′minutes
  • 9Solanke
  • 10Danjuma GroeneveldBooked at 74mins

Substitutes

  • 4Gosling
  • 6Mepham
  • 14Surridge
  • 20Riquelme
  • 23Travers
  • 24Ofoborh
  • 25Simpson
  • 26Kilkenny
  • 32Anthony

Reading

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 2Pontes EstevesSubstituted forHolmesat 64′minutes
  • 6Moore
  • 4Morrison
  • 3Richards
  • 8RinomhotaBooked at 54mins
  • 28Laurent
  • 24AlukoSubstituted forOliseat 64′minutes
  • 30SemedoSubstituted forBaldockat 80′minutes
  • 14EjariaSubstituted forMeiteat 75′minutes
  • 18Lucas João

Substitutes

  • 7Olise
  • 9Baldock
  • 11Meite
  • 15Gibson
  • 22Southwood
  • 29Holmes
  • 34Tetek
  • 43Watson

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