Bournemouth took a major step towards promotion to the Premier League with an impressive win at third-placed Huddersfield Town to open a six-point gap between them and the Terriers.
Scott Parker’s side knew defeat in West Yorkshire would have seen them level with Carlos Corberan’s side at the end of the game here. However, they navigated what looked like a tricky test on paper to create a significant buffer over Huddersfield and Luton Town, whose win at Hull lifted them above third-placed Town.
Goals from Jaidon Anthony and Jefferson Lerma gave the Cherries a 2-0 halftime lead, which their dominance was richly deserving of.
The opener came when Dominic Solanke’s exceptional ball found Anthony unmarked to break the deadlock. Bournemouth then doubled that lead when Lerma fired into an empty net after Lee Nicholls saved Solanke well, sending Parker and the visitors’ bench delighted.
Corberan responded at half-time by removing Tom Lees, a defensive unit stalwart who propelled Huddersfield into promotion contention this season.
But seconds after the restart they fell even further behind as Solanke claimed the goal his all-around performance deserved, the striker skillfully backtracking past Nicholls to make it 3-0. It was an accomplished finish from Solanke, who led the Bournemouth line with aplomb all afternoon.
Solanke’s strike effectively ended the game as a contest, with the quality gap between the two sides in the final third now underlined by the scoreline.
There was no shortage of effort and effort from the hosts, but their failure to create clean chances in the second half meant there was never much hope of a return for Bournemouth.