Bournemouth tear Wat­ford apart in land­mark vic­tory

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Premier League - By Tom Pren­tki at Vicarage Road

What a time to be a Bournemouth sup­porter. The Cher­ries are not quite on the top of the cake, but only by three points.

The club’s record Premier League away win brought them to 16 points af­ter eight games. It took them twice that num­ber to reach the same tally last sea­son. “A great re­sult for us,” said man­ager Ed­die Howe. “We’re ab­so­lutely de­lighted with that. We have played bet­ter than that, but we’re cer­tainly very pleased with the re­sult and our league po­si­tion on the back of it.”

This game was ef­fec­tively fin­ished af­ter 33 min­utes, when Josh King slot­ted home a penalty to put his team two up and Wat­ford’s Chris­tian Kabasele had been sent off.

Af­ter their own im­pres­sive start to the cam­paign, the Wat­ford have not won for four league games and were dread­ful amid the au­tumn gloom at Vicarage Road.

“A bad day to­day,” said man­ager Javi Gra­cia. “It has been the first game where we haven’t com­peted at the same level as other games. It was very strange. We made more mis­takes than in all the other games put to­gether.”

Kabasele’s red card is the 13th for a Wat­ford player since their re­turn to the top flight in 2015 – more than any other Premier League side.

Af­ter a bright open­ing, Gra­cia’s men fell be­hind to a clin­i­cal Bournemouth counter-at­tack.

Bournemouth broke from their own penalty area and Ryan Fraser and King com­bined down the left.

King crossed for Cal­lum Wil­son, whose shot was bril­liantly saved by Ben Foster, be­fore David Brooks swept in the re­bound for his sec­ond goal since join­ing the club in the sum­mer.

Kabasele had been booked when jump­ing into As­mir Be­govic in the 11th minute. He re­ceived his sec­ond af­ter be­ing out­mus­cled and out­paced by King be­fore even­tu­ally bring­ing him down for the penalty.

With the Hor­nets still dazed and con­fused, King struck again. This time Wil­son pro­vided the cross for the Nor­way in­ter­na­tional to nod in at the far post on the stroke of half time.

Two min­utes af­ter the restart, the fourth, and sur­pris­ingly last goal came as Wil­son ex­ploited more calami­tous de­fend­ing. Ben Foster and Eti­enne Capoue, who was deputis­ing as a makeshift cen­tre back, failed to clear Ryan Fraser’s cross and Wil­son strolled around them to tuck into an empty net. That was the cue for many of the Wat­ford sup­port­ers to exit into the re­lent­less Oc­to­ber rain.

The at­ten­dance read 20,139 but there was barely quar­ter of that num­ber left in­side Vicarage Road at full-time. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the away sup­port were keen to stay un­til the end to ser­e­nade their team and their her­alded man­ager.

Howe, at 40 both the youngest man­ager in the Premier League and the long­est serv­ing, seems to have the Mi­das touch and his re­mark­able jour­ney shows no sign of end­ing.

Sure, key sign­ings like Jef­fer­son Lerma, Brooks and in par­tic­u­lar Nathan Ake were im­pres­sive but Howe is un­doubt­edly Bournemouth’s most prized as­set.

“We just try and win ev­ery game and see where that takes us at the end of the sea­son,” said the Bournemouth man­ager, play­ing down talk of Europe. “I thought it was an in­ci­sive per­for­mance, an ef­fi­cient per­for­mance with­out nec­es­sar­ily be­ing a to­tally dom­i­nant one.”

Si­lent as­sas­sin: Josh King hushes Vicarage Road af­ter his penalty de­liv­ered a 2-0 lead

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