MARK HUGHES’ was left cursing Stoke’s soft-centred defence AGAIN as his Potters slid into the drop zone.
First half strikes from Andrew Surman and a Junior Stanislas penalty had Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth in dreamland as they stormed into a two-goal lead inside 20 minutes.
It was the last thing Hughes needed after his side’s seven-goal capitulation at Manchester City last week.
The under-fire Welshman had tried to shore up his defence with the return of long-term absentee, skipper Ryan Shawcross.
However despite adopting a five-man defence when Bournemouth had possession The Cherries swiftly exposed Stoke’s defensive frailties with two goals in a blistering 90 second burst.
Andrew Surman cashed in with the Cherries’ opener with their first effort on goal after 16 minutes, steering a low left-footer beyond Jack Butland from 22 yards.
Stoke were rattled and committed suicide straight from the restart as they took kick off and somehow managed to concede a throw-in without any pressure from Bournemouth.
They paid a heavy price when the ball was worked to Stanislas who produced a brilliant backheel into Benik Afobe’s path and a rusty Shawcross sent him crashing to concede a penalty.
Stanislas then rolled the ball into the centre of Butland’s net to give Bournemouth a 2-0 lead at half-time and it could have been worse if Butland hadn’t denied Jordan Ibe with a fingertip save following another Cherries raid.
However the Potters, with Peter Crouch on for Glenn Johnson gave themselves a fighting chance when Mame Diouf pulled one back after 63 minutes.
The striker crashed the ball in off the underside of Asmir Begovic’s bar from close range after Maxim Choupo-Moting had knocked back Erik Pieters long ball.
Stoke were convinced they should have had a penalty when Jese went down in the penalty area following a challenge from Adam Smith. However TV replays showed the Cherries defender played the ball at full-stretch.
Hughes is now under pressure after winning just one of his last eight matches in all competitions, as Bournemouth piled on the misery with only their second away Premier win in 14 attempts.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS– CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
- There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goal.
- Bournemouth’s win at Stoke last term ended a run of six straight league defeats away against the Potters.
- Since the 2015-16 season, only Tottenham (60.6%) have had a higher share of their goals scored by Englishmen than Bournemouth.
- This season no Premier League club have conceded more goals from inside the six-yard box than Bournemouth.
- No Premier League side have conceded more goals this season than the Potters.
- Jermain Defoe has scored a top-flight goal against Stoke with each of the three previous clubs he’s faced them with (Portsmouth, Tottenham and Sunderland).