Dominic Solanke helps fire Bournemouth into next round after beating Stoke

By Sports Desk September 27, 2023

Dominic Solanke came off the bench to send Bournemouth into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after beating Championship side Stoke 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.

Striker Solanke netted six minutes after coming on at half-time before Joe Rothwell’s free-kick burst through a crowded penalty area to settle the tie.

It sent the Cherries into the fourth round for the sixth time in 10 seasons, having only managed the feat twice in their first 54 attempts.

Bournemouth made eight changes from their 3-1 defeat to Brighton on Sunday in a week they play three games in seven days.

Stoke made six of their own, after losing to Hull, and all the alterations made for a first half full of misplaced passes, heavy touches and frustration from the stands.

Added to that, neither side had any kind of form to hold onto. The Potters are winless in five in the Championship while the Cherries have only beaten Swansea in the last round under Andoni Iraola.

It took until the 13th minute for either side to have a shot of note, when Milos Kerkez stung the palms of Stoke goalkeeper Jack Bonham with a fierce shot from inside the penalty box.

The crowd was finally sparked into life with eight minutes left in the first half as Bournemouth enjoyed some sustained pressure.

Dango Ouattara produced an outrageous flick to turn Ki-Jana Hoever and earn space in the box but his thrash towards goal was pushed behind.

At the other end, Stoke, who had pressed with good discipline, threatened as Jordan Thompson ended a fine move by curling over before Wesley failed to meet a low cross.

Iraola unsurprisingly wrung the changes at half-time with regulars Solanke and Ryan Christie brought on.

It only took six minutes for top scorer Solanke to find the net.

The former Liverpool forward controlled a low cross from Adam Smith before finishing with a neat swivel for his fourth goal of the season.

Three minutes later, the Cherries were in complete control when Rothwell’s free-kick from the left side of the box escaped everyone’s touch and bounced into the bottom corner.

It was the midfielder’s first goal since arriving from Blackburn before last season.

Christie forced Bonham into a good diving save with a dipping effort from outside the box while Nathan Lowe’s acrobatic effort and Sol Sidibe’s flash across goal in stoppage time couldn’t set up a grandstand finish for Stoke.

The only sour note of the second half for Bournemouth was Solanke’s withdrawal five minutes from time having picked up a knock.

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