Eddie Howe marked the four-year anniversary of his return to AFC Bournemouth with an emphatic 6-1 victory over Hull City.
The Cherries started bright and an early error from Hull’s Jake Livermore saw an opening for Jordan Ibe but the Tigers recovered well on this occasion. However, shortly after Ryan Mason committed a foul in a dangerous area for the in-form Junior Stanislas.
The Englishman stepped up and rattled the attempt into the top right corner of David Marshall’s upright only to fall into the path of the incoming Charlie Daniels. The left-back then rifled the ball down the middle to give Bournemouth a deserved early lead.
Hull City, who confirmed Mike Phelan as their permanent manager this week, never really got into the game as Ibe continued to run at the Tigers defence. In the 24th minute, goal scorer Daniels worked it down the left flank into the path of lively Ibe. He then crossed to Wilson, whose attempt hit the crossbar.
Hull looking more and more vulnerable at the back
The next ten minutes saw Howe’s men cement possession and get their hold the game. Ibe continued to run and dribble his way through the now vulnerable-looking back four, as Scottish keeper Marshall was called into more action. On the 40th minute, after being outplayed for vast periods of the first half, a seemingly harmless Ryan Mason attempt from long-range deflected in off of Steve Cook to bring the away side level.
Cook, playing in his 200th game for the club, immediately restored the south coast side’s advantage assisted expertly by the eventual man of the match Junior Stanislas. Aided by the latter, Bournemouth never seemed to look back on what turned out to be a historical afternoon at The Vitality.
When Snodgrass brought down Callum Wilson in Hull’s penalty area on the stroke of half time, the game was surely over if the resultant spot kick was converted. The goal maker turned goal scorer as Stanislas rifled one down the middle to add another to his season tally and give the Cherries a comfortable lead at the break.
The second half seemed almost a precession for Eddie Howe’s men apart from a penalty appeal from the away side on the hour mark. Lee Mason waved play on and shortly after Stanislas doubled his tally to give what Eddie Howe described as a “key two-goal cushion”.
Wilshere still misses out on the full ninety
Callum Wilson then got a deserved-goal ten minutes from time with a thumping header. Jack Wilshere impressed again in a more attack midfield role but still did not make the full ninety minutes. He was replaced by Dan Gosling who added the Cherries sixth with a delightful finish into the bottom left corner.
Howe flourishing, Phelan struggling
Since Howe’s return to the club from a short tenure at Burnley four years ago, he has seemed to have set milestones nearly every season for the club. Following on from two promotions, a remarkable first season in the Premier League was overshadowed by a list of season-long injuries. However, the 38-year-old manager found a way and with two remarkable wins against Manchester United and Chelsea he led his side to safety and a 16th place.
With the likes of Wilson back in the side and looking ever the more threatening, that is now three home wins in a row for AFC Bournemouth and a brief stint in the top half of the table. The atmosphere around the ground after the match was a sense of real achievement for the home side and perhaps a further milestone in Howe’s impressive tenure at the club.
As for Hull, Mike Phelan now has an uphill task to get his side back the form that won him Manager of the Month in August. They have faced a difficult run of fixtures and would have been looking for some points on their trip down to the coast. However, the newly appointed Tigers boss admitted that this is the “nature of the premier league”.
Bournemouth will be looking to make it four home wins on the bounce this Saturday in the lunchtime kick-off against Spurs. While Hull will be looking to bounce back at Vicarage Road against a difficult Watford side who have also started off the season solidly.
For further analysis of Bournemouth vs Hull and a preview of Saturday’s game, catch Cherry Chat on Nerve Radio this Friday at 5-6pm. To catch the action Live from The Vitality as Bournemouth face Spurs, follow @CherryChatAFCB on Twitter.