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Bournemouth mount stunning comeback to beat Luton

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Dominic Solanke scores for Bournemouth against Luton
Dominic Solanke scored his 15th Premier League goal of the season to make it 3-1 as Bournemouth began their comeback

Bournemouth produced one of the greatest Premier League comebacks as they recovered from 3-0 down to beat Luton in a seven-goal thriller at Vitality Stadium.

The Hatters were irresistible in the first half and were three ahead at half-time through goals from Tahith Chong, Chiedozie Ogbene and Ross Barkley.

But Bournemouth were much improved after the break, Dominic Solanke’s brilliant goal sparking a stunning comeback which was completed by Illia Zabarnyi’s bundled finish and Antoine Semenyo’s blistering double as they became only the fifth team in Premier League history to overturn a 3-0 deficit.

Luton had seemed destined for a huge win on an emotional night, with this game having been rearranged following the December fixture being abandoned when captain Tom Lockyer suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch.

But instead they missed the chance to move out of the relegation zone and remain winless in their past seven games, staying three points behind 17th-placed Nottingham Forest who they host in the Premier League on Saturday.

Bournemouth remain 13th following their first home win in 2024.

Tahith Chong scores the opener
Tahith Chong scored his third goal of the season to put Luton Town in front at Bournemouth

Luton took the lead in the 10th minute when Jordan Clark dinked a perfectly weighted cross for the unmarked Chong to head home from six yards out.

Chong was at the centre of Luton’s second as well, playing a one-two with Alfie Doughty before the left wing-back’s low cross was finished at the far post by Ogbene, and a dream first half for Luton was capped when Barkley fired into the roof of Neto’s net from 12 yards shortly before half-time.

But Solanke’s sensational finish, his first goal in four matches, turned the tide. The forward trapped Chris Mepham’s looping header, deftly turned Daiki Hashioka and finished with a clip over Thomas Kaminski.

By the 65th minute the hosts were level, with their second goal coming through Ukrainian centre-back Zabarnyi heading home from close range amid a crowd of bodies following a corner.

Just three minutes later it was 3-3, Semenyo cutting inside from the right before powering a low left-footed drive inside Kaminski’s near post.

And the winger capped one of the most remarkable Premier League games of the season with six minutes remaining as he blasted home the winner after Luton lost possession in their own half.

Bournemouth blast back as Luton wilt

On a night when emotions could have overwhelmed Luton, Rob Edwards’ side at first appeared to rise to the task with a flowing first half.

Luton have now netted in a club-record 16 consecutive top-flight matches, and have scored more goals than Manchester United in the Premier League this season.

Yet for all their impressive attacking play and neutral goodwill, this instead goes down as another hard-luck story and points dropped as they failed to deal with a revitalised Bournemouth after the break.

The hosts were sent out early for the second half, no doubt with manager Andoni Iraiola’s wrath ringing in their ears.

Luis Sinisterra was particularly dangerous for the hosts, and was denied twice in the first half by Kaminski before Solanke’s moment of magic early in the second and Semenyo on the opposite wing took charge.

Luton, instead of celebrating a huge three points, must reflect on moments such as the chance to make it 3-4 when Barkley turned a shot over from close range.

Both clubs honour Lockyer

Saturday, 16 December is a date etched into the memories of those who witnessed Lockyer’s cardiac arrest at Vitality Stadium. This game was a chance to celebrate the life and health of the Luton captain.

Arriving with his team-mates on the Luton coach, Lockyer was given the biggest cheer by both sets of fans. On the pitch before kick-off, he met and thanked the medics who saved his life. There was applause from all four stands in the 59th minute, the point at which Lockyer collapsed in the original fixture.

Bournemouth took the unprecedented step of putting Lockyer, an opposition player, on their home programme cover, as they made admirable efforts to turn the dreadful events of last December into a positive.

Advice was offered to fans at the stadium about cardiac health, while Bournemouth supporters’ groups had raised money to help with travel costs for Luton fans for this rearranged fixture.

But while the night at first belonged to Lockyer, it was ultimately about his team-mates’ inability to see out what would have been a massive three points.

All eyes now turn to that weekend meeting with Forest, a game which could prove decisive in the Premier League relegation fight.

Tom Lockyer
Luton captain Tom Lockyer was applauded by both sets of fans as he was introduced to the crowd before kick-off

Line-ups

Bournemouth

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Neto
  • 15A SmithBooked at 69minsSubstituted forAdamsat 71′minutes
  • 6Mepham
  • 27Zabarnyi
  • 11Ouattara
  • 4L Cook
  • 10ChristieSubstituted forHillat 90+6′minutes
  • 24Semenyo
  • 14ScottSubstituted forÜnalat 45′minutes
  • 17SinisterraSubstituted forTavernierat 45′minutes
  • 9SolankeSubstituted forBillingat 90+1′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Kerkez
  • 8Faivre
  • 16Tavernier
  • 18Adams
  • 19Kluivert
  • 23Hill
  • 26Ünal
  • 29Billing
  • 42Travers

Luton

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 24Kaminski
  • 16Burke
  • 15Mengi
  • 27HashiokaSubstituted forMpanzuat 68′minutes
  • 12Kaboré
  • 18ClarkBooked at 30mins
  • 6BarkleySubstituted forBerryat 88′minutes
  • 45Doughty
  • 7OgbeneBooked at 66minsSubstituted forTownsendat 88′minutes
  • 14ChongSubstituted forWoodrowat 73′minutes
  • 9Morris

Substitutes

  • 1Shea
  • 8Berry
  • 10Woodrow
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 23Krul
  • 30Townsend
  • 43Nelson
  • 44Piesold
  • 48Dos Santos Martins

Referee:
Sam Allison

Attendance:
11,198

Live Text

Player of the match

ChristieRyan Christie

AFC Bournemouth

  1. Squad number10Player nameChristie

  2. Squad number9Player nameSolanke

  3. Squad number24Player nameSemenyo

  4. Squad number6Player nameMepham

  5. Squad number18Player nameAdams

  6. Squad number11Player nameOuattara

  7. Squad number14Player nameScott

  8. Squad number29Player nameBilling

  9. Squad number17Player nameSinisterra

  10. Squad number26Player nameÜnal

  11. Squad number4Player nameL Cook

  12. Squad number27Player nameZabarnyi

  13. Squad number23Player nameHill

  14. Squad number15Player nameA Smith

  15. Squad number16Player nameTavernier

  16. Squad number1Player nameNeto

Luton Town

  1. Squad number6Player nameBarkley

  2. Squad number45Player nameDoughty

  3. Squad number30Player nameTownsend

  4. Squad number24Player nameKaminski

  5. Squad number15Player nameMengi

  6. Squad number12Player nameKaboré

  7. Squad number7Player nameOgbene

  8. Squad number9Player nameMorris

  9. Squad number17Player nameMpanzu

  10. Squad number14Player nameChong

  11. Squad number18Player nameClark

  12. Squad number16Player nameBurke

  13. Squad number27Player nameHashioka

  14. Squad number10Player nameWoodrow

  15. Squad number8Player nameBerry



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