BOURNEMOUTH, England: Luton Town squandered a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 at Bournemouth as they blew their chance to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone on Wednesday (Mar 13).

It looked so good for Luton on an emotional night on the south coast as first-half goals by Tahith Chong, Chiedozie Ogbene and Ross Barkley put them in complete control.

That scoreline would have lifted Luton above Nottingham Forest into 17th place but Bournemouth, who were booed off at halftime were transformed after the interval.

Dominic Solanke struck immediately after the break and the hosts were level by the 65th minute thanks to goals by Illia Zabarnyi and Antoine Semenyo.

Luton were reeling and there was a sense of inevitability about Semenyo netting the winner in the 83rd minute.

The game was rescheduled after the initial fixture was abandoned after 59 minutes in December when Luton captain Tom Lockyer suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.

Lockyer was present on Wednesday and received a standing ovation before kickoff as he met the medics who saved his life.

Luton remain in 18th place with 21 points from 28 games, three points behind Nottingham Forest.

The focus was all on Lockyer before kickoff as he returned to the stadium where he almost lost his life.

“I am quite numb to the whole thing but being back here, I came into the tunnel area and saw the paramedics that saved my life,” Lockyer said. “I recognised them straight away.

“What do you say in that situation other than thank you? They are heroes, they saved my life. I got a bit emotional.”

Lockyer, who had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) fitted, was up applauding when Chong headed in after eight minutes from Jordan Clark’s cross.

Chong was involved again in the 31st minute when his astute pass found Alfie Doughty who then teed up Ogbene to make it 2-0. And when Barkley finished superbly on the stroke of halftime Luton were in dreamland.

Bournemouth arrived out early for the second half after a tongue-lashing by boss Andoni Iraola and gave themselves a lifeline when Solanke spun away from Daiki Hashioka after some deft control and finished in style.

The crowd broke into applause in the 59th minute in respect of Lockyer but at almost the same moment Zabarnyi’s header was adjudged to have crossed the line.

A couple of minutes later Semenyo lashed a low shot past Luton keeper Thomas Kaminski and it was Semenyo who completed an incredible comeback with another powerful finish as Luton’s defence crumbled.

Bournemouth remain in 13th place with 35 points.


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