Callum Wilson made a goalscoring return in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate as Bournemouth saw off relegation-haunted Huddersfield Town 2-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Wilson spent the Cherries’ past six Premier League games on the sidelines with a knee problem but converted Ryan Fraser’s 20th-minute cross against a favoured opponent.
The 27-year-old England international now has seven goals in six league appearances against Huddersfield, who stuck to their task gamely but offered little in the way of an attacking threat.
It was roles reversed for Bournemouth’s second midway through the second half – Wilson leaving Fraser with a tap-in.
Jonas Lossl stood firm to deny Wilson when he was on the end of Fraser’s 14th-minute pass, but the returning Bournemouth striker did manage to break the deadlock.
Fraser was involved again, staying onside to receive David Brooks’ pass and fizzing in a flat cross that Wilson converted with his chest.
Josh King dragged a volley wide from Brooks’ floated pass and Bournemouth’s attacking quartet continued to set them apart from their opponents.
Adam Smith pulled up shortly before the break, forcing the visitors into a change at right-back as Nathaniel Clyne was introduced.
Town were more purposeful in their approach after the restart, although referee Anthony Taylor was right to wave away Alex Pritchard’s claims for a penalty after a challenge from Nathan Ake.
Brooks pulled up for the second time in as many weeks but any joy Huddersfield anticipated as a result of the Wales winger’s misfortune was snuffed out when King released Wilson down the right channel and Fraser did the rest.
King passed up two glorious chances to embellish the scoreline during the closing minutes – failing to turn in Ake’s header from close range before wasting an excellent Fraser cross.
67 | WHAT. A. GOAL.
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) March 9, 2019
What does it mean? Howe’s men back in attacking groove
Manchester City passed Bournemouth into an impotent stupor last weekend – Howe’s generally expansive side unable to register a shot or win a corner in the most one-sided of 1-0 defeats. Huddersfield obviously represented an entirely different proposition to the Premier League champions but Wilson, Fraser, Brooks and King operating together would be enough to trouble any opponent.
The class and cohesion on display from his attacking quartet was the most glaring difference between the sides and Howe will hope an apparent calf setback for Brooks is not too serious.
Fraser delivers again for Cherries
The cross for Wilson’s goal was Fraser’s 10th assist of the Premier League season, drawing him one behind Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who is the most prolific provider in the division. Bright and inventive throughout, the Scotland international’s link-up play with Brooks was delightful and he settled any nerves stemming from his fellow winger’s injury almost instantly.
Siewert has his Phil of Billing
A dominant midfield presence on his day, Philip Billing failed to impose himself on the contest and was wasteful in possession. The towering 22-year-old had given the ball away on eight occasions before being withdrawn by boss Jan Siewert at half-time.
Huddersfield – seemingly doomed to relegation as they sit 16 points from safety at the foot of the table – travel to West Ham next Saturday. Bournemouth remain 12th and entertain Newcastle United next time out.
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