Howe rues ‘bizarre’ Ritchie strike as Cherries held to a draw

Howe presser

Written by Frankie Rudland (@RudlandFrankie)

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe bemoaned a ‘bizarre’ Matt Ritchie strike after his side were held to a 2-2 draw against Newcastle.

The Cherries found themselves a goal down at the break after Salomon Rondon curled a beautiful free-kick past Artur Boruc, but a fine second-half double from Joshua King looked to have secured a second consecutive Premier League win for Bournemouth.

However, as is so often the case in football, a familiar face returned to haunt Bournemouth as former winger Matt Ritchie smashed the Magpies level – ensuring a last-gasp share of the spoils.

And it was a moment that Howe felt typifies football. He said: “It’s bizarre how football can find these stories, the ball’s fallen to him (Ritchie) and it’s probably the one player we didn’t want the ball to fall to because we know he can strike the ball from distance.

“He’s struck it well and it’s gone into the top corner, and I suppose it’s what makes the game so special.”

Howe has often critiqued his side’s inability to show consistency in their levels of performance throughout games, and the manager felt that this was again evident in their first half display.

He added: “It’s a difficult one to take, it wasn’t the perfect game for us. We found the first half quite difficult but the second half we were much improved and up until we scored our second goal, I thought we were the dominant side.

“It’s a horrible feeling as a manager when you concede so late in a game just as you think the ref is going to blow to final whistle but it’s never over until it’s over.”

Questioned about the effect the stalemate had on the league standings, Howe said: “We were just trying to win the game, regardless of where it puts us in the league. We weren’t really thinking about that.”

Despite the late drama Bournemouth move up to 11th place, leapfrogging Everton who are set to play Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea tomorrow afternoon.