West Bromwich Albion twice came from behind on the opening night of the Championship season as Valerien Ismael’s Baggies drew with Scott Parker’s Bournemouth.
A share of the spoils for both bosses in their first game in charge of their respective new clubs was a fair outcome to a fast-paced, entertaining encounter.
Bournemouth led early on through summer signing Emiliano Marcondes before Baggies defender Dara O’Shea headed in a first-half leveller.
Philip Billing restored the Cherries’ lead after the break, only for Callum Robinson, who had earlier had a first-half goal ruled out, to come up with a second Albion equaliser.
On the day when Albion finally parted company with their star player for the past two seasons, Matheus Pereira, an away point meant a particularly satisfactory conclusion for Ismael.
Bournemouth were hampered by the loss of Junior Stanislas with a hamstring niggle in the pre-match warm-up – but it still took only 12 minutes for them to serve up the season’s first Championship goal.
Jaidon Anthony linked down the left with Billing before squaring to the penalty spot where the unmarked Marcondes found the corner with a half-hit low left-foot shot.
But the Baggies levelled on 33 minutes when Conor Townsend’s long throw was headed out by Billing, before the wing-back curled a cross back in and O’Shea’s downward header flew past home keeper Mark Travers.
Four minutes later, Robinson had the ball in the net but the goal was chalked off by referee Dean Whitestone.
That appeared to prove costly when, on 52 minutes, youngsters Anthony and Jordan Zemura carved Albion open down the left, Baggies keeper David Button could only palm clear at his near post and Billing kept his cool to drill home a low right side-foot shot.
But Albion equalised for a second time when, just three minutes after coming on in the 64th minute, substitute Matt Phillips slid a pass down the inside-left channel to Alex Mowatt, whose low cross was neatly met by Robinson on the half-volley.
Button, deputising for England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone who is back in training but was only ready for the bench, made sharp second-half saves from David Brooks and Dominic Solanke.
There was no further drama to leave the Cherries now concentrating on next Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest, when Albion host Luton Town.
Bournemouth boss Scott Parker told BBC Radio Solent Sport:
“Overall I’m pleased. We were playing a very good side and our youngsters did well and really stepped up.
“I hope the fans think they’ve seen a team they should be immensely proud of, who left everything out on that pitch.
“I’m hoping to get some players back and get some players in to make the squad stronger in depth. We’ll have to take a look at Junior Stanislas. He just felt a little bit on his hamstring and I didn’t want to take any risks.”
West Bromwich Albion head coach Valerien Ismael told BBC WM:
“Welcome to the Championship. We’re on the way. So many positives. And it was great seeing the fans celebrating, especially after our second goal.
“Bournemouth are a top team in the Championship with a top manager. They were clinical. They scored with the first shot they had on target.
“But we showed our quality, and our intensity – and Matt Phillips made a massive impact when he came on.”
- 15A Smith
- 6MephamBooked at 20mins
- 7BrooksSubstituted forSaydeeat 90+1′minutes
- 5BartleyBooked at 60mins
- 8LivermoreBooked at 86mins
- 27MowattBooked at 80mins
- 11DianganaSubstituted forPhillipsat 64′minutes
- 18GrantSubstituted forZohoreat 87′minutes
Match ends, Bournemouth 2, West Bromwich Albion 2.
Second Half ends, Bournemouth 2, West Bromwich Albion 2.
Foul by Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth).
Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Christian Saydee replaces David Brooks.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jordan Zemura.
Foul by Jaidon Anthony (Bournemouth).
Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Kenneth Zohore replaces Karlan Grant.
Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Chris Mepham.
Attempt missed. Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.
Foul by Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth).
Alex Mowatt (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Alex Mowatt (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Alex Mowatt (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Philip Billing (Bournemouth).