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FULL-TIME: Bournemouth 1 Blackburn Rovers 3
A SCINTILLATING first-half display full of power, pace and precision sent Rovers on their way to their first away victory of the season.
Jordan Rhodes scored twice before the break and recalled strike-partner Leon Best once as Gary Bowyer’s side ran riot.
The shell-shocked Cherries were reduced to 10 men in the 51st minute after substitute Richard Hughes was sent off for two quick-fire cautions.
But Rovers were unable to profit from their one-man advantage and Ryan Fraser reduced the deficit 14 minutes from time.
Bournemouth’s record £2.5m signing Tokelo Rantie had a goal ruled out for offside in the second minute.
But from then Rovers totally dominated.
They opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Josh King spread the ball out wide to Best, who flashed a vicious left-footed cross across the box for Rhodes to divert a close-range diving header in off the post.
Rovers had a big penalty appeal turned down two minutes later when Elliott Ward appeared to handle a Scott Dann header in the box while four minutes after that Ryan Allsop made a superb reaction stop to prevent a well-struck Rhodes free kick from finding the top corner.
But Allsop was beaten for the second time in the 24th minute as Best rammed the ball home at the back post after Corry Evans raced on to a perfect Tom Cairney through pass and unselfishly squared across the box.
Best went close to doubling his tally before Rhodes did just that four minutes before half-time.
King – who was absolutely unplayable at times – was hauled down in the box by Tommy Elphick and, cool as you like, Rhodes sent Allsop the wrong way from the resulting penalty to make it eight goals for the season.
Matters went bad from bad to worse for the Cherries when Hughes was sent off after receiving two bookings inside the first six minutes of the second half.
But the red card galvanised Eddie Howe’s side and after Marc Pugh hit the post and Elphick brought a brilliant save from Jean Kean, Rantie played in Fraser for the half-time sub to cleverly poke the ball past the advancing Rovers goalkeeper.
Bournemouth: Allsop, Ward, Elphick, Cook, Francis, O'Kane, MacDonald (Hughes 32), Pugh (Coulibaly 81), Pitman (Fraser 46), Grabban, Rantie. Subs: Flahavan, Addison, Harte, Surman.
Booked: MacDonald, Elphick, Hughes.
Sent off: Hughes 51.
Goal: Fraser 74.
Rovers: Kean, Kane, Dann, Hanley, Spurr, King, Evans (Williamson 63), Lowe (Marrow 84), Cairney, Rhodes, Best (Olsson 63). Subs: Eastwood, Kilgallon, Morris, Taylor.
Booked: Evans, Best, Lowe.
Goals: Rhodes 10, 41 pen, Best 24.
Referee: Rob Lewis.
Attendance: 9,441 (997).
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