The Sky Blues were defeated 4-1 by Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, with goals from Arnaut Danjuma, David Brooks and Dominic Solanke cancelling out Matty James’ first-half equaliser.
In a helter-skelter opening to the match, Dutch international Danjuma grabbed the first of his brace within the first minute. A valiant Sky Blues rallied through James, two minutes later, with a deliciously inch-perfect free-kick on the edge of the area. However, Danjuma squeezed the ball in from an acute angle to restore Bournemouth’s lead; before Brooks and Solanke, deflecting Ben Pearson’s effort, put the game beyond City in the second-half.
Getting off to an electric start on the South Coast, two goals came inside the first three minutes. First, it was Arnaut Danjuma who put Bournemouth ahead with less than 30 seconds on the clock, meeting David Brooks’ elusive, outside-of-the-boot pass across the box to finish at the back post.
Despite the early disaster, however, the Sky Blues were quick to respond. Callum O’Hare was fouled 20 yards from goal after running at the Cherries defence and it was Matty James who stepped up to take the free-kick. The midfielder curled the ball up and over the imperious-looking Bournemouth wall, nestling the ball into the right corner and beyond Asmir Begovic.
In a frantic opening to the game, the chances continued to flow for both sides. Tyler Walker was next to go close for City, linking up with Josh Eccles on the right, who played an angled through ball to the striker, with his strike smothered by Begovic at the near post.
Though, Bournemouth continually looked to re-establish their lead. David Brooks threatened to loop the ball over Marko Marosi from a mishit cross, before curling a shot wide of the far post; whilst Danjuma looked to double his tally with a menacing drive that whistled wide of the woodwork, with less than 15 minutes played.
Almost mirroring the opening goal against Bristol on Monday, a Sam McCallum long throw appeared to temporarily leaden the Bournemouth backline, who allowed the ball to bounce towards the back post and find Tyler Walker. His improvised half-volley looked as if it may just have snuck in past Begovic on the near side but was instead deflected narrowly wide.
With the two sides seemingly trading chances between them, Danjuma scored his second of the afternoon on 28 minutes. Linking up with Phillip Billing on the left side of the box, the winger reached the byline and fired a low drive towards the far corner, beating Marosi from the tightest of angles.
The Sky Blues refused to let Bournemouth’s second dampen their spirits and Kyle McFadzean went closest to levelling the score, with just under ten minutes before the interval. Josh Eccles, after initially deploying another long throw from the right, received the ball once more and whipped in the perfect cross to find McFadzean, whose header bounced bitterly wide.
HALF-TIME: BOURNEMOUTH 2-1 SKY BLUES
City fashioned a couple of half chances as the match got back underway. Tyler Walker had a volley blocked as McFadzean played a second ball from a free-kick over the top of the Bournemouth defence and into the striker’s path. However, the game then took a lengthy pause as Josh Pask received treatment following a clash of heads and was replaced by Jordon Thompson.
After the game restarted, it was City, again, who came flying forward. Seizing on a high ball, Sam McCallum claimed possession inside the Bournemouth half and marched the Sky Blues upfield, before laying the ball off to Walker, whose swivelled snapshot darted wide of the target.
However, for all the pressure City had applied, they found themselves 3-1 down with 20 minutes to play, shortly afterwards. Working the ball down the left channel, Danjuma’s cross flashed across the Sky Blues’ box and landed at the feet of David Brooks, who extended the hosts’ lead from point-blank range.
The Sky Blues made changes to apply late pressure, with both Gus Hamer and Viktor Gyokeres being introduced, as the team tried to create late drama. Though, Bournemouth put the game beyond City on 90 minutes, with Dominic Solanke adding a deflected fourth. Playing a one-two with Adam Smith, Ben Pearson’s strike appeared to flick off the striker to secure the home side’s victory.
FULL-TIME: BOURNEMOUTH 4-1 SKY BLUES
Goals: Arnaut Danjuma (1’, 28’), Matty James (3’), David Brooks (70’), Dominic Solanke (90’)
Yellows: Leo Ostigard
Sky Blues XI: Marko Marosi (GK), Josh Eccles, Josh Pask (Thompson, 61’), Kyle McFadzean, Leo Ostigard, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C) (Hamer, 79’), Matty James, Callum O’Hare (Allen, 90’), Matty Godden (Gyokeres, 78’), Tyler Walker (Bakayoko, 90’).
Unused subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Julien Dacosta, Jordan Shipley, Max Biamou.
Bournemouth XI: Asmir Begovic (GK), Lloyd Kelly, Steve Cook (C), Cameron Carter-Vickers, Adam Smith, Phillip Billing (Stacey, 90’), Jefferson Lerma, Jack Wilshere (Pearson, 71’), Arnaut Danjuma (Anthony, 90’), David Brooks (Riquelme, 90’), Dominic Solanke (Surridge, 90’).
Unused subs: Mark Travers (GK), Chris Mepham, Diego Rico, Shane Long.