Bournemouth stretch unbeaten start with victory over QPR

Dominic Solanke scored what proved to be the winner (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
21:53pm, Tue 14 Sep 2021
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Dominic Solanke proved to be the match winner as Bournemouth beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 to extend their unbeaten start to the Championship season.

First-half strikes from Jaidon Anthony and Solanke did the damage for the Cherries before Sam McCallum bagged a consolation goal mid-way through the second.

Bournemouth handed a full league debut to Scotland midfielder Ryan Christie following his transfer deadline day move from Celtic.

Rangers were without former Cherries trialist Charlie Austin due to injury to while Christie’s international team-mate Lyndon Dykes was restored to their attack.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start, with Ilias Chair curling a fourth-minute free-kick into the side netting.

Chair also drilled a shot over the crossbar from long range while defender Rob Dickie had a header blocked by Lloyd Kelly as Bournemouth were pinned back inside their own half early on.

The Cherries took the lead against the run of play in the 12th minute from their first meaningful attack.

Goalkeeper Seny Dieng played the ball out to Rob Dickie but the centre-back was caught napping by Anthony who slotted home from an acute angle on the corner of the six-yard box.

Chair came close to equalising in the 30th minute with another effort from range which sailed just past Mark Travers’ left-hand post.

It was 2-0 seven minutes later when Solanke side-footed past Dieng from seven yards after playing a neat one-two with Anthony to claim his sixth goal of the season.

Rangers had not lost in the league since being beaten 3-1 at home by Norwich on April 24 – their only defeat in 11 games either side of the summer break.

The visitors had a chance to get back in the game early in the second half when Dykes put a flying header into the arms of Travers from Osman Kakay’s teasing cross.

Bournemouth almost added a third in the 53rd minute when Philip Billing struck the post with a right-foot shot when he should have scored.

Billing was made to pay for that miss four minutes later as McCallum’s close-range shot was deflected beyond Travers by Gary Cahill.

Young left-back Jordan Zemura, fresh from scoring twice in the Cherries’ 3-0 win at home to Barnsley on Saturday, also slammed a shot into the side-netting at the end of a jinking run.

Rangers’ best chance of a leveller came when defender Jordy de Wijs’ 81st-minute header was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Travers.

Irishman Travers also had to react smartly to turn Kelly’s attempted clearance behind for a corner and prevent an own goal.

Travers then did superbly to keep out substitute Andre Gray’s header from point blank range in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

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