Sasa Kalajdzic secured a late victory for Wolves, leading them to a 2-1 comeback win against a 10-man Bournemouth team at Vitality Stadium. Dominic Solanke had given hope to the home supporters by putting Bournemouth in the lead in the first half, which was significant as it marked Gary O’Neil’s return to his former club.
The match was level just two minutes into the second half when Matheus Cunha equalized, and things took a turn for the worse for Bournemouth when Lewis Cook was shown a red card for a headbutt on Hwang Hee-chan.
Despite some opportunities for Bournemouth and their efforts to maintain a level score, late drama left the Cherries struggling in the early stages of their campaign.
Gary O’Neil, on his first return to Bournemouth, emphasized that it was a business trip. However, he might have experienced a sense of déjà vu standing on the opposite side, now managing the team he faced as a first-time Premier League manager last season.
This time, a Bournemouth player, Andoni Iraola, marked his Premier League debut as he gave a start to Alex Scott, who had recently recovered from injury.
Both goalkeepers were tested early, with David Brooks forcing Wolves’ Jose Sa into a straightforward save. Pedro Neto, making his 100th Premier League appearance, hit the crossbar, Cunha was denied by Bournemouth’s Neto, and Hwang, in search of his seventh goal in nine games, missed a headed opportunity.
Given the back-and-forth nature of the game, it seemed a goal was imminent. It eventually came from a well-linked sequence that began with Brooks finding Philip Billing. The Denmark international passed to Solanke, who cleverly backheeled the ball into the net from six yards out, giving Bournemouth a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Wolves quickly equalized less than two minutes into the second half when Cunha scored past Bournemouth’s Neto. The game took a turn for the worse for Bournemouth when Cook was shown a red card for a headbutt on Hwang after a VAR review.
The atmosphere in the stadium, initially filled with hope after Solanke’s goal, soured as officials intervened in the ensuing fracas. However, spirits were somewhat lifted when substitute Ryan Christie had a chance that forced Sa into a low save.
Bournemouth’s hopes were raised when Neto missed a late opportunity by shooting over the crossbar. The Cherries made a late effort to equalize, with chances from Joe Rothwell and Billing. However, their potential point slipped away when Hwang played through Kalajdzic, who calmly side-footed in the winning goal.