Bournemouth 0 Crystal Palace 2: Michael B Jordan watches Cherries edge towards relegation zone after Ayew and Eze goals | The Sun
Bournemouth gave a Hollywood horror show in front of US film star Michael B Jordan.
The “Creed” actor and new co-owner was seen shivering in the main stand alongside Cherries chairman Bill Foley who has so far paid $100 million for the club.
But both US gentlemen soon realised that swapping the Las Vegas desert for a tiny south coastal resort in the UK can have its downside.
And it certainly wasn’t in the script that the Cherries would suffer first-half stage fright against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
Palace didn’t have to be at their best as their hosts gifted Jordan Ayew and Eberechi Eze soft set-piece goals.
Foley, 78, left his seat straight after the second calamity, no doubt pondering what he had let himself in for.
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He arrived in pouring rain an hour before the action commenced and was clapped by supporters as he entered the Vitality Stadium.
And Jordan also had to brave the elements as he walked on to the pitch alongside the new owner 15 minutes before kick-off.
Foley is crystal clear in his ambitions for the Cherries and relegation is not the agenda he told the media on Thursday.
But after this dismal performance, he may have to have a big re-think and show the colour of his money on new signings.
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To make the new American owners feel at home the club played “Viva Las Vegas” and the soundtrack of “Rocky” over the tannoy.
The Londoners arrived at soggy Dorset without banned Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins who were sent off in the Boxing Day defeat to Fulham.
But Vieira’s boys knew that they couldn’t feel sorry for themselves either having lost three of their last five Premier League games.
And Palace defender Marc Guehi had to be on high alert on seven minutes to dispossess Solanke when he raced clear.
Bournemouth, with just one win in seven behind them, looked the far more nervous side.
They struggled to clear their lines and make any forays into the visitors' area.
Cheick Doucoure sounded a warning to the home side when he had space to side-foot his effort straight at goalkeeper Mark Travers.
But Travers was beaten on 19 minutes when the Cherries once again showed their vulnerability at set-pieces.
Ayew was given all the space and time he needed to leap up unchallenged to Michael Olise’s corner and head it down and high into the net.
That was the 16th set-piece goal (including five penalties) the Cherries have conceded this season – more than any other top-flight club.
The lack of intensity and forward play by Bournemouth made uncomfortable viewing for the Americans who are bred on all-action-packed sports.
It was also painful to watch for head coach Gary O’Neil who was in charge of his first home game since being given the job full-time.
Bournemouth however were unlucky not have been awarded a penalty when Doucoure appeared to trip Kieffer Moore in the box.
But referee Andre Marriner infuriated the home faithful even more by waving play on.
And the groans in the crowd grew even louder on 36 minutes when the Cherries lost their heads from yet another set-piece.
A clever Palace corner routine saw Olise drive the ball to the unmarked Eze on the edge of the box.
Eze simply curled the ball into the far corner of the net giving exposed Travers no chance.
O’Neil immediately replaced Danish international Philip Billing with the more attacking Siriki Dembele.
And there was more attacking intent after the break when Solanke forced a save out of Palace goalkeeper Vincente Guaita.
The ball sat up nicely for Wales striker Moore but his header lacked power.
Bournemouth were forced to throw men forward which left them open to Palace counter-attacks.
Jeffrey Schlupp picked out substitute Jean-Phillips Mateta who drove wide of Travers' goal.
And Bournemouth fans made their frustrations known four minutes from time by singing “We’ve had a shot” when Dembele’s effort was caught by Guaita.
Bournemouth were desperate to put on a show for their new Knight in shining armour.
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But big-dollar Bill, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights ice hockey franchise, would have been left stone cold by this non-show.
And to think he’s off too Old Trafford next on Tuesday before he flies home… welcome to the Premier League.
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