It was going to happen at some point, but not many would have thought that Bournemouth’s first loss of the campaign would come at home against an inconsistent Preston side.
The 2-1 defeat brought to an end the Cherries’ 16-game unbeaten run and also halted their five-match winning streak that had seen them pencilled in as promotion winners with just three months of the season gone.
It was also the first time they had conceded more than once in a game since August and at the other end of the pitch, Dominic Solanke failed to net for the first time in four matches.
Scott Parker emphasised that his team’s reaction to the defeat was the most important thing and Bournemouth’s promotion credentials will certainly be measured by their ability to bounce back.
The Cherries are unbeaten in their last nine matches against Swansea, with the Welsh side last tasting victory in this fixture in October 2007 when the two teams were in League One.
The two clubs were both beaten in the playoffs last season before changing managers in the summer, but while Bournemouth have excelled under Parker, Swansea have taken a little while to find their feet under new boss Russell Martin.
Things now appear to be clicking into place in South Wales though, with the Swans winning four of their last five matches to rise to within two points of the top six.
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Martin’s men became the first team to win away at Coventry City this season when early goals from Jamie Paterson and Joel Piroe helped secure a 2-1 victory in the West Midlands on Tuesday.
It was only the Swans’ second away win of the campaign and the first time they had picked up three points on the road since August.
Martin has said that his team are “heading in the right direction” and now they are on the hunt for three consecutive league victories for the first time since August 2019