Cherries draw Sevilla opener
- Jaime Latre
Jordon Ibe cancels out Wissam Ben Yedder's goal in the Cherries' opening pre-season fixture.
AFC Bournemouth kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Sevilla on Saturday.
Jordon Ibe’s fine individual goal cancelled out a Wissam Ben Yedder effort as the Cherries impressed against their La Liga opponents at La Manga Club Football Centre.
Sevilla had the better of the opening exchanges, and only a fantastic last-ditch tackle from Nathan Ake prevented Pejino from getting a shot on target, shortly before Steve Cook hooked away Daniel Carrico’s effort as it looked to be heading towards the bottom corner.
But Los Rojiblancos finally broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, hitting Bournemouth on the break, with Nolito’s threaded pass being collected by Ben Yedder, who held off the attentions of Ake and Jack Simpson to slot home.
The Cherries responded well and threatened an equaliser before half-time. Callum Wilson twice saw goals ruled by offside flags as well as hitting the side netting from close-range when Adam Smith’s low cross found its way through to him.
Boss Eddie Howe made 11 changes to his side at the break and they levelled midway through the second period.
Lys Mousset cleverly released Ibe down the right, and the wide man raced into the penalty area completely unchallenged before slotting home.
And that goal was to prove enough for Bournemouth to secure a draw in a competitive encounter and a tough first test of the summer.
David Brooks had his first run-out for the Cherries since joining the club from Sheffield United earlier this month, and the 21-year-old showed plenty of promise.
Brooks looked every bit a Premier League player in his 45-minute display, with a handful of eye-catching moments including one mazy, early run down the right flank.
The Wales international almost had a goalscoring opportunity, too, but having been picked out inside the six-yard box by Joshua King, was denied by a great challenge.
However, on first glance, Brooks’ technical skill and intelligence on the ball look a great fit for Eddie Howe’s side.
Three the magic number
A 3-4-3 formation was regularly used by Eddie Howe during the 2017/18 season, and the boss continued where he left off by opting for a back three in both halves against Sevilla.
With ball-playing centre-halves like Nathan Ake, Steve Cook, Simon Francis and Tyrone Mings in their ranks, it’s a system which suits the Cherries.
And while Jordon Ibe was utilised in an unfamiliar wing-back role during the second half, the ex-Liverpool man played to great effect, being diligent in his defensive duties and using his pace to exploit plenty of space down the right as Bournemouth drew level.