Football: Imbula cracker sets up Stoke win at Bournemouth

BOURNEMOUTH, United Kingdom (AFP) - Club record signing Giannelli Imbula scored his first goal for Stoke City to set his new side on their way to a 3-1 Premier League win at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Imbula's superb volley nine minutes in at the Vitality Stadium put Stoke ahead and two goals early in the second half by Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu put them out of sight before Matt Ritchie pulled one back.

The win ended a run of three straight defeats for Stoke and four games without even scoring a goal, with Mark Hughes's side climbing back up to ninth.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, are four points clear of the relegation zone after suffering a second consecutive defeat at home.

Eddie Howe's men never recovered from the loss of the early goal to Imbula, the Belgian-born midfielder not breaking his stride as he latched onto a Simon Francis clearance to volley low into the far corner from just outside the area.

It was Imbula's first goal since signing from FC Porto for a club record £18.3 million (S$37 million) just before the transfer window shut.

Jonathan Walters was back in the Stoke side in place of the ill Marko Arnautovic and both he and Xherdan Shaqiri had chances to increase the lead before the break.

Bournemouth had enjoyed most of the possession but Stoke were creating the chances and Howe responded by sending on Ritchie and Josh King at half-time for Dan Gosling and Marc Pugh.

But Stoke doubled their lead on the break seven minutes into the second half, Walters teeing up Afellay, who beat Artur Boruc with a first-time finish.

The visitors then lost Glen Johnson to injury and, with no obvious replacement on the bench, Spanish forward Joselu came on as Mame Biram Diouf filled in at full-back.

And Joselu, the former Real Madrid striker, wasted little time in adding another goal for Stoke as he headed home from six yards from a Shaqiri cross.

Bournemouth got one back in the 57th minute thanks to a crisp left-foot volley from the edge of the box by Ritchie but Stoke saw out the win.