Birmingham City 1-3 AFC Bournemouth: Cherries show their class
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AFC Bournemouth bounced back from their midweek slip-up against Sheffield Wednesday by comfortably beating Birmingham City.

A brace from David Brooks and an Arnaut Danjuma strike were enough for the Cherries to edge themselves closer to the top of the SkyBet Championship table. Scott Hogan was on the scoresheet for the hosts.

  • Story of the game

Jason Tindall's side started the game brightly, eager to put their previous game behind them as they looked dangerous from the off. 

Dominc Solanke was denied a clear goalscoring opportunity in the early minutes as the forward was narrowly beaten to the ball by Mikel San Jose to clear for a corner.

Birmingham did have a bright opening period but it only encouraged Bournemouth to get a foothold in the game.

The opening goal came just before the ten-minute mark. Danjuma firing past Neil Etheridge after being picked out by Junior Stanislas, finishing off a great move from the Cherries.

Solanke nearly added a second for the visitors only minutes later. He did really well to turn his defender but then his effort on goal was fired straight into the palms of Etheridge.

Bournemouth were in control for the first 20 minutes until Aitor Karanka tinkered with his side and changed their set-up from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2 to match the visitors. This brought the Blues more into the game and started to cause some problems themselves.

Gary Gardner had their best chance of the half after Riley McGree floated a ball toward the back post and Gardner's header went wide.

The visitors managed to extend their lead just before half-time after Brooks made a darting run inwards from the right and his shot took a deflection off Marc Roberts, wrong-footing Etheridge.

Brooks's second came quickly after the restart after he fired in a rebound into the roof, following in on Solanke's effort hitting the post.

The game appeared to be won for the visitors until Hogan nodded home Jeremie Bela's free-kick to give Karanka's side a chance.

Birmingham did become more-threatening as the half went on but they were lacking the quality that Bournemouth were able to produce with their chances. Jonathan Leko looked bright again when he came on but it was too late to spark a comeback.

Bela and Lukas Jutkiewicz had chances late on but neither were clinical enough to pull the hosts back into the game.

  • Man of the Match

David Brooks

The two goals were part of a fine display by the young Welshman. He constantly caused problems down Birmingham's left side. His movement was excellent which allowed him to get into great positions as well as his ability on the ball. His first goal may have been rather fortunate, but you cannot takeaway anything from the second - poacher's finish.

  • Takeaways

Bournemouth do look like a side that should go all the way this season. Once they got into a rhythm of moving the ball quickly from side to side, Birmingham could not get near them. They have undoubted quality all over the pitch and look like a side that will be challenging for automatic promotion. If they can get some momentum after the international break, there is no reason why they cannot.

As for Birmingham, that is their second home loss on the bounce with two disappointing performances. They seem to be missing the leadership and composure of George Friend, who has missed their last three games. The Blues do have some good players in the squad, Karanka just needs to unleash that. He needs to start sticking with a formation to allow his side to achieve some consistency. The international may help in that respect.