Bournemouth 2-2 West Brom: Thrilling Championship opener ends level


ancied promotion contenders Bournemouth and West Brom played out a lively 2-2 draw as the 2021/22 Championship season kicked off in entertaining fashion on Friday night.

The Cherries twice led in front of a full crowd in new manager Scott Parker’s first competitive game in charge at the Vitality Stadium thanks to goals in each half from new signing Emiliano Marcondes and fellow midfielder Philip Billing.

However, battling West Brom – playing their first League match under summer appointment Valerien Ismael, who left Barnsley to succeed Sam Allardyce following the Baggies’ relegation from the Premier League – levelled twice through Republic of Ireland internationals Dara O’Shea and Callum Robinson to claim a share of the spoils on opening night.

Bournemouth were without sought-after Netherlands winger Arnaut Danjuma while Junior Stanislas was forced to pull out of the squad after suffering an injury in the warm-up.

Meanwhile, new West Brom boss Ismael opted to start David Button in goal ahead of England international Sam Johnstone.

Bournemouth took the lead in the 12th minute as Marcondes immediately endeared himself to the Cherries faithful.

Billing released Jaidon Anthony down the left and the youngster pulled the cross back for the July signing from Brentford to fire past Button from 10 yards.

Moments later a long punt over the top of the Baggies defence threatened to release Dominic Solanke but defender O’Shea got back in the nick of time to prod the ball away from the Bournemouth frontman.

The visitors were back on level terms 13 minutes before half-time when O’Shea outjumped the Bournemouth defence to head in Conor Townsend’s cross and make it 1-1.

Robinson looked to have put the Baggies in front five minutes later, but his close-range effort was disallowed for a push on home goalkeeper Mark Travers.

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