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Nottingham Forest 2-3 Bournemouth: Billing, Solanke and Anthony secure comeback win

Jaidon Anthony

Bournemouth brilliantly recovered from 2-0 behind at half-time to claim a stunning Premier League victory against free-spending Nottingham Forest.

Jaidon Anthony was the match-winner for the visitors in the 87th minute, stroking in from Dominic Solanke’s pass after the striker had dispossessed Scott McKenna deep in his own half.

Having looked out of the contest at the break, the managerless Cherries, led by caretaker Gary O’Neil, have now claimed a draw and a win since the 9-0 thrashing by Liverpool and the subsequent sacking of Scott Parker.

Their afternoon did not start well when the home side took the lead through Cheikhou Kouyate, who rose highest to power in a header from Morgan Gibbs-White’s cross.

Brennan Johnson doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot after a long VAR check, with Lloyd Kelly penalised for handball.

But Bournemouth showed their powers of recovery in the second period through Philip Billing’s thumping long-range strike and Solanke’s acrobatic effort, before Anthony sealed victory late on.

O’Neil giving a good audition

This meeting between two of last season’s promoted sides was a slow burner for half an hour, but ignited into a memorable contest, particularly for the travelling Bournemouth players and supporters.

The south coast side might have already been written off by some, and they looked to be heading for their fifth consecutive league game without victory.

But they turned the afternoon around in dramatic fashion to partly erase some painful memories from last weekend’s humiliation at Anfield by securing their second win of the campaign.

Parker was dismissed after he took aim at the owners for not backing him in the transfer window, but those comments may look misguided as the same crop of players are now performing under O’Neil.

The former Portsmouth midfielder has overseen a turnaround in form and may be eyeing up the job on a full-time basis after backing up the midweek goalless draw against Wolves with this comeback.

But O’Neil does not know if those results now changes the recruitment process.

“It’s still ‘until further notice’,” he said. “I haven’t spoken to anybody about it, I have been told to take the team today and until further notice. As far as I know that is still the situation.

“I honestly haven’t considered whether I want it permanently. I feel like my job at the minute is to get Bournemouth as many points as I can in this period that I am here. I am fully focused on that.

“The minute we came off the pitch, I just thought that we need to get ready for Brighton. Whether that is me or someone else, we just need to get some rest into them and go again.”

A tactical change at the break against Forest, from a 4-2-3-1 formation to 5-2-3, did the trick for Bournemouth as Billing’s thunderous 30-yard effort set them on the road to recovery, and Solanke’s overhead kick was his 50th goal for the club in all competitions.

The ex-Liverpool man played a huge part in the winner too, nicking the ball off McKenna before feeding Anthony to coolly convert.

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