George Friend was fit to start, but Grant Leadbitter and Victor Valdes missed out through injury. Fabio was fit enough to take a place on the bench as Calum Chambers returned.
With Jack Wilshere out for the remainder of the season after suffering a leg fracture during the 4-0 defeat at Tottenham last week, manager Eddie Howe was forced into one change and chose to make another with Junior Stanislas dropping to the bench. Ryan Fraser and Dan Gosling were called up to start.
Loud applause rang round the ground just before kick-off as fans from both sides paid their respects to Ugo Ehiogu who passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham’s training ground on Thursday.
It took just 96 seconds for Boro to be undone down their right. Marc Pugh linked up with Charlie Daniels to square low and pick out Joshua King who tucked home from the edge of the six-yard box – his 10th goal in 11 games.
It took a while for Steve Agnew’s side to settle into the game. Gradually they got a foothold and shortly after a cross from deep on the right was just out of the reach of Alvaro Negredo, Boro broke through the middle. Gaston Ramirez picked out Negredo who couldn’t work his way into a shooting position, the ball ran to Ramirez who anticipated a tackle which didn’t come and he was booked for diving.
Not long after, Boro got themselves into all kinds of trouble as they tried to play their way out of defence, the ball ran free to Benik Afobe and a low shot tucked low past Brad Guzan made it two after 16 minutes.
Just over a minute later the ball sat up nicely for Negredo on the edge of the Bournemouth box, but he shot straight at Artur Boruc.
It didn’t take long for things to get worse as Ramirez was adjudged to have followed through when making a tackle, was shown a second yellow card and was sent-off.
Marten de Roon was within a whisker of reducing the arrears when unleashing a sweet volley from 20 yards. It was destined for the top corner until Boruc produced an excellent save.
It proved to be the last telling involvement for the Dutchman who was injured in a challenge a few minutes later and despite trying to stay on, limped off to be replaced by Fabio, the second change made by Agnew who had made Antonio Barragan the sacrificial lamb following Ramirez’s dismissal, replacing him with Adam Forshaw.
With 44 minutes showing on the scoreboard, both sets of fans burst into applause in a further show of appreciation of respect for Ehiogu, 44 when he died, and Boro fans sang his name loudly.
Half-time Bournemouth 2 Middlesbrough 0
Early possession belonged to Boro in the second half, but Bournemouth were soon on the offensive and Fraser sliced a shot just off target.
Not long after Negredo, fresh from being caught by a flaying arm in an aerial duel, sliced a volley well off target, Guzan was in full flight to deny Afobe.
The Boro goalkeeper produced another smart save to turn away a 20-yard shot from Fraser, but there was nothing he could do as the Cherries increased their lead on 65 minutes when Marc Pugh cut inside from the left to curl a low shot into the bottom corner.
Still Boro’s fans kept singing, even after Bournemouth added a fourth when individual excellence from Charlie Daniels took him past two challenges before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner.
In the final minute of normal time Afobe had a chance to add another, but, from close range, blazed over the bar.
Full-time Bournemouth 4 Middlesbrough 0
Scorers King 96 seconds, Afobe 16, Pugh 65, Daniels 70
Bournemouth Boruc; Smith, Francis (Capt.), S Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Stanislas 72), Arter, Gosling (L Cook 43), Pugh, Afobe, King (Mousset 83). Subs Allsop (gk); Gradel, Mings, Cargill.
Middlesbrough Guzan; Barragan (Forshaw 22), Chambers, Ayala, Gibson (Capt.), Friend, Downing, Clayton, De Roon (Fabio 37), Ramirez, Negredo (Gestede 79). Subs Konstantopoulos (gk); Bernardo, Stuani, Traore.
Referee Graham Scott. Oxfordshire
Red Card Ramirez. Yellow cards on 13 for diving and 20 for a foul.
Boro Friend 58, foul; Ayala 66, foul.
Conditions Warm and sunny with little wind
Attendance 10,890 (1,081 Boro)