Bournemouth 3-0 Norwich: Benik Afobe scores first Cherries goal in win
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 16/01/16 7:51pm
Benik Afobe scored his first Premier League goal as Bournemouth eased past Norwich 3-0 at the Vitality Stadium.
Dan Gosling headed the Cherries in front on 10 minutes, before Charlie Daniels doubled their lead from the penalty spot after the break.
Afobe then finished from close range late on for his first goal following his club-record £10m transfer from Wolves last week.
It was Bournemouth's first win in five Premier League games, and the biggest of their short top-flight tenure lifts them above the Canaries into 15th.
Eddie Howe was forced into making one change from the side that lost 3-1 at home to West Ham in midweek, with the injured Matt Ritchie making way for Marc Pugh, and the replacement did brilliantly to create the first goal after 10 minutes.
Pugh picked up the ball on the left, before turning inside onto his right foot and curling a delightful cross onto the head of Gosling, who nodded home from six yards.
Bournemouth kept the pressure up as Norwich struggled to get into the game but, despite all the possession, rarely threatened Declan Rudd's goal again in the first half, both Gosling and Harry Arter going relatively close with efforts from outside the box.
The Norwich keeper would be involved as the opening 45 minutes came to a close, however, when he rushed out of his area and brought down Afobe. The home fans appealed for a red card, but referee Bobby Madley awarded Rudd a booking.
It took just nine minutes after the break for Bournemouth to score their second. Having had two penalty appeals turned down already, they were given a spot-kick after the excellent Pugh was brought down in the box by Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe. Rudd went the right way, but Daniels' effort was too precise as it clipped the inside of the post and went in.
Norwich reacted by making two substitutions straight away, throwing on striker Cameron Jerome and winger Nathan Redmond, but it made little difference as Bournemouth controlled proceedings until finding their third 15 minutes from time.
Afobe, whose work-rate was superb throughout, got onto the end of Daniels' excellent cross from the left and made no mistake as he side-footed it home from close range.
The striker then went off a few minutes later after receiving treatment, but it appeared to be just precautionary and he was given a standing ovation as he departed the pitch at a delighted Vitality Stadium.
Paul Merson's Soccer Saturday verdict
"Bournemouth were outstanding from start to finish. These two teams are miles apart. Pugh on the left was outstanding, and justified his manager's decision to play him over Iturrbe. Afobe is lively, gets everywhere. The goal he scored today will get him going now.
"If Swansea win on Monday night football, Sunderland have got some goals again - it isn't looking good for Norwich. I thought Norwich would be alright, but the manager will be sitting there now thinking things have to change. What they will do I don't know, as today that was probably his best team."
Bournemouth: Boruc (6), Daniels (8), Francis (7), Cook (7), Smith (7), Gosling (7), Surman (6), Pugh (8), Arter (7), Stanislas (6), Afobe (7)
Subs used: Kermorgant (n/a), Murray (n/a), O'Kane (n/a)
Norwich: Rudd (5), Martin (4), Bennett (4), Bassong (4), Brady (5), Odjidja (4), Howson (5), Tettey (4), Jarvis (4), Hoolahan (4), Mbokani (4)
Subs used: Redmond (5) Jerome (4), Dorrans (5)
Man of the match: Charlie Daniels