Bournemouth 3-1 Middlesbrough: Callum Wilson scores on Cherries return
By Press Association
Last Updated: 24/10/17 11:34pm
Callum Wilson ended his nine-month injury nightmare with a match-winning display as Bournemouth booked a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough.
Striker Wilson, making his first appearance since suffering knee ligament damage in January, rolled home the Cherries' second goal from the penalty spot before teeing up substitute Benik Afobe for the clincher.
Debutant defender Jack Simpson had earlier volleyed the hosts into the lead at the Vitality Stadium, before they were pegged back by a first senior goal from Boro teenager Marcus Tavernier.
Bournemouth made eight changes to their starting lineup for the match, with Callum Wilson making his first start of the season, while defender Daniel Ayala was the only Middlesbrough player retained.
The hosts, on the back of Saturday's morale-boosting Premier League win at Stoke, dominated the ball in the opening 20 minutes and had numerous chances to edge in front. French forward Lys Mousset had the ball in the net with six minutes played, heading in Ryan Fraser's left-wing free-kick before rightly being denied his first Cherries goal by an offside flag.
Boro, relegated from the top-flight last season, were thrashed 4-0 when they visited the Vitality Stadium in April but they showed more resilience on this occasion. The 2004 League Cup winners tested Artur Boruc at the other end through Connor Roberts' powerful drive from distance before the lively Adama Traore almost broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time.
Traore dispossessed Dan Gosling in the centre of midfield, advanced forward and then unleashed a stinging drive which whistled narrowly wide of Boruc's goal.
After their performance tailed off in the opening period, Bournemouth again began brightly after the restart and went ahead in the 49th minute. Fraser swung over a corner from the left and 20-year-old Simpson held off the attentions of his marker to steer home from close range.
The midweek cup tie represented a 650-mile round trip for Boro's fans, with many leaving Teesside at 10.30am. They were rewarded for their efforts with an equalising goal seven minutes later. Eighteen-year-old winger Tavernier claimed it, calmly sliding into the bottom right corner following Traore's pacey run and precise through ball.
Boro's leveller was ultimately in vain, however, as Wilson turned on the style at the other end. The former Coventry man restored the home side's lead with 15 minutes remaining, coolly converting his spot-kick into the bottom right corner after Simpson was pulled back in the area by Dael Fry.
And, eight minutes later, he ensured Eddie Howe's men a place in the last eight for the second time in four seasons as he burst into the area and squared the ball for Afobe to tap home.
Eddie Howe: "The biggest compliment I can give Callum is that he's played 90 minutes and it didn't really look hard for him, physically. I think his overall performance gives me something to think about.
"We've got competition in that area, for sure. I'll have a few sleepless nights, if everyone's fit, trying to pick a team and pick a bench but that's what you want. I was very pleased with him, he's done his chances no harm."
Garry Monk: "It's very hard to fault a lot of that performance. I thought we were excellent. We've got to remember we're playing against a Premier League side at their ground and they've got a lot of quality but I think for long periods of that game we more than matched them and showed real quality in our performance.
"We're disappointed with the result, of course."
Bournemouth host Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, while Middlesbrough travel to Reading in the Sky Bet Championship.