Despite facing Premier League opposition, MK Dons could take pride from their performance in a 3-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth in Round Two of the Carabao Cup.
With over £70 million worth of talent taking to the field, Bournemouth's Premier League quality was displayed in the first half as goals from Lys Mousset and Ryan Fraser set them on the path to victory before Jordan Ibe secured the Cherries passage into Round Three of the Carabao Cup late on.
Paul Tisdale made four changes to his MK Dons side for the trip to the south coast. Rhys Healey made his full debut, less than a week after joining on loan from Cardiff City, while Oran Jackson made his first start in two years. The other two additions to the starting XI were Ousseynou Cisse and Ryan Watson. On the bench, there were places for David Kasumu and Finn Tapp as well as Osman Sow, who had been sidelined since March.
Eddie Howe made 10 changes to the starting eleven that earned a point against with Everton in their last outing but still boasted a number of Premier League regulars. Jermain Defoe, Lewis Cook, Tyrone Mings and Ryan Fraser featuring from the off - while £25 million man Jefferson Lerma made his Bournemouth debut.
The first chance of the game fell the way of the home side as five minutes into the clash, Jermain Defoe collected the ball inside the box from Lerma’s pass before his left-footed strike went wide of Lee Nicholls’ goal.
Seconds later, Nicholls produced a stunning one-handed save to tip over Ryan Fraser’s dipping effort behind for a corner. The set-piece, taken by debutant Diego Rico was cleared by the head of Alex Gilbey.
It was Gilbey who had the first chance of the game for Tisdale’s men, after some good possession in the final third, Gilbey was found by Houghton before his shot was deflected behind for a corner 14-minutes into the game.
Boruc claimed Lewington’s corner before sending his releasing Mousset on the counter-attack. The Bournemouth number 9 jinxed past two Dons defenders before slotting past Nicholls to put the Cherries ahead. 1-0.
Mousset almost doubled his tally for the evening minutes after the restart, Fraser, who created some space on the right, picked out the goalscorer – but the Frenchman with Nicholls producing an acrobatic one-handed save to deny the frontman.
After a good period of possession for the Dons, Nicholls was called into action as he got down quickly to deny Defoe’s snapshot.
With 36 minutes on the clock, the home side doubled their advantage. It was another breakaway attack with Ibe using his pace down the left, his deflected cross fell into the path of Fraser who hammered home from close range. 2-0.
Despite the deficit, the Dons continued to push for a way back into the game, with the first half coming to a close, Watson tried his luck 25-yards from goal – his shot, however, sailed over Boruc’s goal.
With both sides unchanged following the break, it was the Dons who had the first chance of the second half. Lewington found himself unmarked on the left, and after setting himself crossed towards the head of Rhys Healey, his header was cleared by Simon Francis.
The home side then rattled the woodwork on 56-minutes. Lewington was adjudged to have fouled Mousset on the edge of the box. Rico was the man trusted with free-kick duties with his powerful effort crashing off the crossbar and out for a corner.
It looked to be one from the training ground from Howe’s side as Fraser went short before finding Lerma unmarked on the edge of the box. The Colombian international forced Nicholls into a stunning save with his goal-bound effort pushed away by the Dons shot-stopper.
With Nombe replacing Cargill just after the hour mark, Tisdale shifted his formation to provide Healey more support in the final third – his change almost paid off immediately.
Gilbey’s delicate chip over the top found the advancing Nombe, the academy graduate looked the slide in Healey but his cross was blocked by Mings. From the resulting corner, Healey had two powerful shots on goal blocked.
Tisdale used the cup clash to give Osman Sow his first minutes of the season as the big Swede made featured for the first time since March.
He combined well with Nombe a number of times, with the duo looking bright together in their 20 minutes as a pair. Both Sow and Nombe had efforts on goal well saved by Boruc.
With the game drawing to a close, Ibe forced Nicholls into one final save - his curling strike was palmed away to safety by the keeper.
In the closing seconds, Ibe finally found a way past Nicholls. The winger jinxed his way onto his left foot before drilling past the Dons keeper right on full-time. 3-0.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams (Tapp, 62), Jackson, Moore-Taylor, Cargill (Nombe, 62), Lewington (c); Houghton; Watson, Gilbey; Cisse; Healey (Sow, 71).
Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Kasumu, Agard.
Attendance: 9,747 (437 away)
Referee: James Linington.