CHERRIES will go into their Premier League campaign off the back of three straight pre-season defeats, after a 2-1 loss to Real Sociedad at Vitality Stadium.

Substitute Junior Stanislas’s late strike proved not enough for the hosts after Mikel Merino and Igor Zubeldia netted for Imanol Alguacil’s side.

Scott Parker’s side begin their top-flight campaign at home to Aston Villa next Saturday.

Cherries made two changes from the side which suffered a 1-0 defeat to Bristol City in their penultimate pre-season contest.

Lloyd Kelly was back from a hip-flexor injury to skipper the side at centre-half, while Jaidon Anthony returned to the starting XI.

Philip Billing dropped to the bench with Joe Rothwell out of the squad altogether. Young central defender Owen Bevan was among the substitutes.

Diego Rico, formerly of Cherries before leaving for Sociedad last summer, was on the bench for the away side.

And it was the visitors who opened the scoring on nine minutes.

A cross from the left from forward Carlos Fernandez was turned in from close range by Spain international Merino for the Europa League qualifiers.

Cherries looked for a response with 19 minutes on the clock. A classy one-two between Dominic Solanke and Anthony allowed the latter to work keeper Alejandro Remiro from inside the box.

The away side then almost doubled their advantage from a set-piece. Brais Mendez’s devilish outswinging delivery was met by defender Martin Zubimendi – but his effort was easily gathered by Cherries keeper Mark Travers.

The hosts still posed a threat at the other end. A neat through ball from Lewis Cook found the run of Solanke, who worked stopper Remiro at his near post.

Cherries’ high press then allowed them to win the ball back in the Sociedad half. Anthony fed Solanke, whose strike was beaten away.

But the La Liga outfit netted their second goal with a set-piece just after the break. A free-kick into the box was turned in past Travers by centre-back Igor Zubeldia.

Parker then switched Cook and Anthony with Billing and Kieffer Moore, meaning Solanke dropped deeper.

Rico was then brought on as one of nine substitutes for the Spanish outfit. Youngster Bevan came in for Cherries in place of James Hill.

With the visitors visibly fresh, Ander Barrenetxea found room inside the box to force Travers into a flying save diving to his right.

Sociedad continued to push forward. Takefusa Kubo’s left-footed drive was blocked just past the far post by substitute Jack Stacey.

Rico then tried to hit the headlines on his return to Dorset but his left-foot volley flew into the stand.

Cherries did manage a consolation goal nine minutes from time. After winning the ball in midfield, Jefferson Lerma’s pass to Moore allowed the Wales international to play in Stanislas. The Cherries winger kept his cool to make it 2-1.

Cherries: Travers, Mepham, Hill (Bevan, 67), Kelly, Smith (Stanislas, 75), Lerma, L Cook (Billing, 57), Zemura, Christie (Stacey, 74), Anthony (Moore, 57), Solanke.

Unused sub: Dennis (g/k).