Swansea City lost a three-goal lead for the second time in just over a week as they drew 3-3 with Bournemouth.
Joel Piroe scored twice in the opening 12 minutes before Cyrus Christie netted his third goal for the Swans to put the hosts in dreamland. But the Cherries used all the weapons in their arsenal and got back in the game thanks to goals from Kieffer Moore and Dominic Solanke.
And Wales star Moore struck from close range in the final minute to earn the visitors a share of the spoils as Swansea were once again unable to see a victory after being in a commanding position to do so.
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Academy product Joel Cotterill made a matchday squad for the first time as Jamie Paterson and Olivier Ntcham both missed out, meaning Swansea’s starting 11 remained unchanged by compared to Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough. The Bournemouth squad were littered with talent and included familiar faces in the form of Jamal Lowe and Ethan Laird who both started for the Cherries.
The Swans started on the front foot and quickly settled into their passing rhythm and controlled the tempo of the contest. And they struck gold after just six minutes when Mark Travers’ clearance from Christie’s drilled cross fell on Piroe who fumbled into the net.
It was a typically cool finish from the Dutchman who will no doubt attract a lot of transfer interest this summer. His striking certainly typified the confidence that ran through Swansea’s veins from the start.
Their intensity gave the Cherries plenty of trouble, and it led to the Swans doubling their lead in 12 minutes. After Hannes Wolf took possession of the ball in Bournemouth’s half, Michael Obafemi brought on Piroe who drilled past Travers from outside the box after cutting his left foot.
As Nottingham Forest hunted them down in the race for an automatic promotion spot, Scott Parker’s men looked in shock. To their credit, their quality ensured they carried a threat, and Swansea were put to the test defensively after a blistering start.
Lewis Cook, Solanke and Lowe all had efforts on goal as Jefferson Lerma headed away from a corner, but Swansea’s impressive playing patterns ensured they continued to pose a threat themselves. Obafemi drilled some more as the energetic Wolf regularly found himself in dangerous positions in what was an entertaining affair.
Flynn Downes and Matt Grimes were demons in the middle of the park, doing huge amounts of defensive work while showing the quality required to ensure the Swans were able to progress steadily on the pitch. The Cherries grew increasingly frustrated, and Parker no doubt spoke harshly to them at the break as Swansea led by two goals.
The Swans were dealt a blow shortly after the restart as Ben Cabango – on his 100th outing for the club – was sent off with an injury which allowed Ryan Manning to slot into the back three then that Korey Smith was playing in midfield. Bournemouth were rampant and they threw everything at Swansea in an attempt to get back into the game.
Shortly after substitute Philip Billing blocked a volley, Andy Fisher denied Jaidon Anthony from close range after the youngster was left unmarked at the back post from a cross.
Swansea desperately struggled to keep possession to relieve the pressure on Fisher’s goal, but when they showed composure it reaped all the rewards thanks in large part to the goalkeeper’s quick-wittedness. Piroe and Wolf combined on the left flank before Obafemi took possession of the ball in the final third. The former Southampton man twirled his marker before kicking in Christie who hit the roof of the net from a sharp angle to seemingly give Swansea complete control.
With half an hour remaining, Parker rolled the dice one last time, with Moore and Robbie Brady both coming off the bench, but Swansea showed plenty of us to keep the visitors at bay, running time if possible. Solanke drilled into the side netting after a corner, but just when the signs looked ominous for the opposing team, Moore gave them hope.
The Welshman headed home from Anthony’s corner to score his first goal for the Cherries in what was only his second outing for the club after a long spell on the sidelines with a foot injury. The closing stages were frantic and Parker’s side were lucky to put up a tense finish as referee Darren Bond awarded them a penalty following a handball from Manning.
Solanke coolly slotted into the bottom corner from 12 yards out to make it 3-2 with just nine minutes remaining. Moore was presented with a glorious opener to level the proceedings in the 83rd minute, although it was deftly denied by Fisher after he found himself in a one-on-one position with the Swansea goalkeeper.
But the Welshman had the last laugh with a 90th-minute conversion from close range as Swansea repeated their capitulation at Reading on Easter Monday, despite extending their unbeaten record to nine matches by claiming a point.
Who was Swansea’s star man against Bournemouth? Have your say in our comments section below.
City of Swansea: Sinner; Cabango (Smith 49), Naughton, Latibeaudière; Christie, Downes, Grimes (C), Manning; Piroe (Joseph 90+7), Wolf (Fulton 82); Obafemi.
Substitutes not used: Hamer, Ogbeta, Cotterill, Congreve.
Goals: Piroe 6 & 12, Christie 58
Yellow cards: Christie 45+3, Smith 53, Billing 75
Bournemouth: crosses; Laird, Phillips, Kelly (C), Smith (Billing 46); Cook, Lerma; Christie (Brady 65), Anthony, Lowe (Moore 62); Solanka.
Subs not used: Woodman, Mepham, Pearson, Dembele.
Goals: Moore 72 & 90, Solanke 81
Yellow cards: Lowe 29, Anthony 56, Phillips 67, Lerma 84, Solanke 90+6
Referee: Darren Bond