Steve Cook shines, Lys Mousset struggles in Bournemouth's draw with Stoke
It was not only another thoroughly entertaining game of football at the Vitality Stadium, but the Cherries secured the point they needed to fully guarantee safety from relegation. The south coast side showed some real brilliance in some periods of the game, but some equally as poor defending at other times. The rest of the season is here to enjoy but there are definitely some areas of improvement for the next campaign.
The major positive from the afternoon besides 100 percent ensuring Premier League survival for next season was seeing both fringe players Lys Mousset and Lewis Cook given another chance in the starting XI. Both Junior Stanislas and Charlie Daniels operated well together down the right flank, which was also easy on the eye. Some of the attacking build-up play was impressive.
Central midfield is still a cause for concern with Andrew Surman and Dan Gosling still sidelined. Stoke had 14 shots at Artur Boruc's goal, which is a very high amount considering they are the away side. The Potters were frequently allowed to play their own style of football of which Harry Arter and Cook didn't manage to completely break down in the centre of the park.
Manager rating out of 10
10 -- Once again not much he could have done in terms of altering the team selection. It was pleasing to see Mousset given a start up front for once, but slightly odd to see Ryan Fraser benched.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Artur Boruc, 6 -- His shot-stopping ability was called upon multiple times and he was generally reliable despite conceding twice. Boruc couldn't have really done much more to prevent the own goal.
DF Adam Smith, 7 -- His spectacular 21st-minute left-footed shot from outside the area which very nearly hit the back of the net was the highlight of Smith's performance. It was another 90 minutes where he was better going forward than when required to defend.
DF Simon Francis, 5 -- Just as Francis looked to have turned the corner with regards to his defensive reliability, he makes a mess of an easily preventable goal. He could have definitely done better on Stoke's second.
DF Steve Cook, 7 -- Made some crucial interceptions to shut down some imposing Stoke City attacks and his 29th-minute block to deny a near-certain Xherdan Shaqiri goal was impressive.
DF Charlie Daniels, 6 -- A less notable performance than the previous two games, but it was still a good showing from Daniels with some useful attacking bursts down the flank.
MF Junior Stanislas, 7 -- He was involved in some nice interchanges with full-back Smith and the wide man also crossed in a couple of decent balls into the box. Scored the equalising goal in an all-round decent performance.
MF Harry Arter, 5 -- Very fortunate to have not been sent off for a horror tackle on Stoke midfielder Joe Allen in the first half. Other than that, Arter struggled to really grab hold of the game despite still installing his usual high-tempo pressing.
MF Lewis Cook, 6 -- A rather uninspiring performance from the midfielder. He made a couple of decent tackles and didn't lose the ball often but in terms of genuine influence on the game he was tame.
MF Marc Pugh, 6 -- The 30-year-old has superb crossing ability which he underused against the Potters. By his recent standards, it was a mediocre performance.
FW Josh King, 6 -- Stretched the Stoke back line well and offered an attacking outlet throughout. His presence in the box played a huge role in Bournemouth getting the second goal. However, King's finishing was off and not representative of his recent ruthless form.
FW Lys Mousset, 4 -- Substituted off early in the second half and rightly so. The striker failed to perform alongside King and while his own goal was unlucky, it was still a downer on his performance.
MF Ryan Fraser, 6 -- Replaced the misfiring Mousset in the second half and introduced some more energy into his side's attacking play. Linked up nicely with King on occasion.
MF Jordon Ibe, N/R -- An ineffective 15 minutes from Ibe. Tried to take on opponents with the ball at his feet but more often than not the ball left his feet accidentally rather than getting tackled.
MF Max Gradel, N/R -- His bullet header paved the way for Bournemouth's second goal which turned out to be vital in Bournemouth securing the point.
Will Kent is a freelance journalist who has worked for AFC Bournemouth, ESPN UK and ESPN FC, among others. Twitter: @WillKentSPORT