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Cherries comfortably record first away league win of season against Sheffield United

Marcus Tavernier was at the double for Cherries <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Marcus Tavernier was at the double for Cherries (Image: PA)

CHERRIES picked up their first Premier League victory on the road this campaign in comfortable fashion away at Sheffield United, winning 3-1.

A first win at Bramall Lane since 1987 started with first-half strikes from Marcus Tavernier and Justin Kluivert, before Tavernier quickly made it three at the start of the second period.

Substitute Oli McBurnie restored some pride for the Blades deep into stoppage time.

Both managers resisted making sweeping changes after the international break, following strong performances in their most recent games.

Paul Heckingbottom was able to leave his Sheffield United side untouched from the team that picked up a point away at Brighton, whilst Cherries boss Andoni Iraola was forced into the one change, Adam Smith replacing the injured Max Aarons.

Straight from the off Cherries were in the ascendancy, allowed time on the ball. Iraola’s charges dominated the early possession without probing too much.

They quickly discovered how soft the underbelly of their hosts was when they drew first blood on 12 minutes.

Smith and Antoine Semenyo combined in and around the Blades’ box, allowing the later to stroll into the area and find Tavernier.

One on one with goalie Wes Foderingham, Tavernier cooly sent the keeper the wrong way to grab his first Premier League goal since victory at Southampton in April, coincidentally Cherries’ last top-flight win.

The rest of the first half fell into a pattern of heavy Cherries possession without truly testing Foderingham in the Blades’ goal.

At the other end, Neto could have been forgotten about, such was the ineffectiveness of the hosts’ attacks.

A notable moment saw Cherries swarm forward on the counter attack, the plethora of options to Kluivert becoming overwhelming.

Outnumbering the Sheffield United defence three to two, Kluivert had Dominic Solanke and Semenyo on either side – failing to find either with the eventual pass.

That wasted opportunity would be forgotten about in the final minutes of the half.

Blades goalkeeper Foderingham dithered on the ball, allowing Kluivert to pickpocket the custodian.

At a tight angle, Kluivert still had a challenge to loft the ball into an empty net, doing so with aplomb as he nestled his shot inside the far post.

Despite their control of the first period, it felt that Cherries still had further gears to operate at.

This was proven early on into the second half, when Tavernier doubled his tally.

Both Smith’s cross from the right and Tavernier’s finish at close range were accurate enough to make the goal look simple, with shellshocked home supporters beginning to exit Bramall Lane after just 50 minutes.

Cherries’ control of the remainder of the game was not as passive as the first 45, the away side constantly peppering Foderingham with dangerous shots.

The goalkeeper was equal to drives from Semenyo and Kluivert, with Solanke squandering a chance to bury the rebound after the former’s effort.

Just like the first half, Neto was a bystander, with the hosts unable to muster anything of note.

Both sides turned to their bench throughout the second period, although Milos Kerkez had come on at half-time to replace Lloyd Kelly.

The Hungarian international was involved in the closing stages' biggest flash point, Kerkez taking a kick to the back before having the ball booted into him by Blades’ George Baldock.

Kerkez did not take kindly to either incident, choosing to remonstrate with Baldock.

Quickly players of both teams piled in to a quickly-forming fracas. Substitute Philip Billing was heavily involved, grabbing the shoulder of Blades striker McBurnie.

A VAR check inquired whether the action was violent, but in the end the Dane was shown just a yellow card.

Substitute Will Osula produced the hosts’ first shot on target in the 88th minute, his arrowed effort palmed away by Neto at full stretch.

They would find some consolation, when sub McBurnie was allowed free roam at the back post to nod home Baldock's cross in stoppage time.

Cherries remain in 16th, now seven points clear of the bottom three.

Sheffield United: Foderingham; Baldock, Robinson, Trusty; Bogle (Ahemdhodzic, h-t), de Souza Costa (McBurnie, h-t), Norwood, Thomas (Osborn, 66); McAtee (Fleck, 81), Hamer (Osula, 81); Archer.

Unused subs: Davies (g/k), Lowe, Traore, Slimane.

Booked: Norwood, Thomas, Baldock, Robinson.

Cherries: Neto; Smith, Zabaryni, Senesi, Kelly (Kerkez, h-t); Christie, Cook; Semenyo (Sinisterra, 66), Kluivert (Billing, 66), Tavernier (Brooks, 81); Solanke.

Unused subs: Travers (g/k), Mepham, Rothwell, Ouattara, Moore.

Booked: Billing.

Referee: Andrew Madley.

VAR: Peter Bankes.

Attendance: 30,208.