Junior Stanislas, Steve Cook off the pace for Bournemouth vs. Stoke

Manager Eddie Howe's initial tactic of playing with a lone forward failed to pay off for Bournemouth against Stoke City, who eased home 3-1 to end a three-game losing streak.

The Potteries side had not scored for six hours and 21 minutes when record buy Giannelli Imbula stunned the home crowd by rifling home from outside the box after nine minutes.

The home side lacked a cutting edge with just Benik Afobe up front in the first half and the only meaningful attempt came after 42 minutes from full back Charlie Daniels.

A change to two forwards in the final 45 minutes quickly brought more threat. Howe brought on Matt Ritchie and Josh King at half-time and switched to 4-4-2, but the visitors went further ahead through Ibrahim Afellay and Mato Joselu.

Despite having 65% of the possession and forcing nine corners, the South Coast team offered no threat at set pieces and once again found defending set pieces difficult. With Joselu scoring for Stoke, Bournemouth have now conceded eight goals from corners -- the joint-highest in the top flight.

Ritchie kept the game alive with a goal on 57 minutes and Bournemouth pressed hard, but have now only picked up 13 points at home this season. That needs to change that to ensure Premier League survival.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Artur Boruc, 6 -- No chance with Stoke's opener. Could maybe have got closer to Affellay's strike, but two good saves from Jon Walters kept the game alive.

DF Adam Smith, 6 -- Bournemouth's strategy of the full-backs overlapping suits Smith, but allowed Stoke too much space on the counterattack on Saturday.

DF Simon Francis, 6 -- Two poor back-passes in the first 15 minutes provoked the normally placid Boruc into a rage. Francis recovered to make vital interception on Mame Diouf but struggled with Walters all afternoon and was given a yellow card after the pair faced off late on.

DF Steve Cook, 5 -- His slip let Walters get in a cross for Stoke's second. Also marking no-one when Joselu headed home the third as a weakness at set-pieces resurfaced.

DF Charlie Daniels, 6 -- Lost Walters completely for the visitor's second goal and unable to cut out Xherdan Shaqiri's cross for the third, but Daniels' excellent cross created Ritchie's goal. Pushed on well in the second half.

MF Dan Gosling, 6 -- Gave away the possession that led to Imbula's goal and not as effective as usual being partnered with regular sweeper Andrew Surman in front of defence. Subbed at half-time.

MF Andrew Surman, 6 -- His frustrating afternoon was typified by earning a yellow card for a rash challenge after 75 minutes.

MF Harry Arter, 7 -- Even in a poor first half for his team, Arter tried to take the game to Stoke. Had numerous run-ins with Shaqiri and earned a yellow card for cynical late foul on the Swiss international.

MF Junior Stanislas, 5 -- Fine ball through to Afobe on 42 minutes. With better control, could have scored in the second half but gave the ball away twice either side of Stoke's second goal.

MF Marc Pugh, 6 -- Less of a threat than usual on left of three-man midfield. Silly yellow card for tackle from behind on the endlessly lively Shaqiri.

FW Benik Afobe, 6 -- Playing alone up front does not suit the former Wolves striker, who had two touches in the box in the first 45 minutes. Works hard and drops deep looking for the ball, but this leaves the home side too light up front.


MF Matt Ritchie, 7 -- Immediate impact, scoring on 57 minutes and unlucky not to get a second as the hosts pressed. Should have been on at the start.

FW Josh King, 7 -- Like Ritchie, caused problems for the visitors straight away. Nearly scored at the start of the second half. Good running and put in a number of good crosses, particularly for Stanislas and Ritchie.

MF Juan Iturbe NR -- Came on for Stanislas for the final 15 minutes. After a couple of clumsy early touches, improved significantly.