Sports

Solanke hat-trick denies Espírito Santo winning start

Dominic Solanke netted a 94th-minute winner to seal a 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest, denying the 10-man Reds a point as the Cherries win four consecutive Premier League (PL) away matches for the first time ever.

Espírito Santo would have been pleased to see a solid opening showing from his new Forest side in front of a buoyant City Ground. The Reds gave little away against a Bournemouth side unbeaten in five and even looked dangerous going forward with Wood and Anthony Elanga seeing early shots saved by Neto. As Bournemouth started to see more of the ball though, they began to threaten and top scorer Solanke went close after he broke free from Willy Boly inside the area and curled his resulting shot just past the post.

Despite plenty of positives from the opening 23 minutes, Forest were stunned when Boly received a second yellow card for a strong tackle on Adam Smith, which led to the defender’s early dismissal.

The Cherries quickly started to play with greater urgency and almost took the lead in fortuitous circumstances as Antoine Semenyo’s cross-shot was tipped over by Matt Turner. Espírito Santo’s side certainly found themselves under increased pressure but were almost provided an opportunity to take a shock lead when Smith appeared to handle the ball inside the area only for VAR to deny a spot-kick.

Forest were clearly unbothered by their one-man deficit in the second period and broke the deadlock after Wood regained possession 30 yards out and played in Elanga, who finished underneath the onrushing Neto.

However, the demands of playing with one less player eventually took its toll and Bournemouth hit back, with Solanke striking twice in quick succession. The forward first rose highest to glance a header into the top corner from Marcos Senesi’s cross before poking a first-time finish under Turner following Phillip Billing’s flick-on for his fourth goal in as many PL games. As Bournemouth looked in complete control and on track for a fourth successive away win, Wood clawed Forest back with a fierce header from Morgan Gibbs-White’s corner.

Just as Forest thought they’d earned a point, Solanke leaped to powerfully head in Smith’s cross in the dying stages. The Forest players showed plenty of determination to perform for Espírito Santo, although three moments of quality from Solanke handed the Reds a fourth successive loss at the City Ground. Bournemouth were pegged back late on, yet they continued to show urgency and willingness to push on at the death and were ultimately rewarded with a third straight Premier League victory.

Idris Abdullahi

As a seasoned journalist with over 2 years of experience, Idris Abdullahi expertly crafts engaging and informative content, showcasing a deep passion for writing that captivates readers and brings stories to life.

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