Premier League

Late Defoe Magic Earns Bournemouth Vital Vitality Victory

A late winner from veteran Jermain Defoe sealed three points of unprecedented importance for The Cherries, as they got off the mark and eased the pressure on Eddie Howe against The Seagulls.

The tie was being dubbed as “The Southern Derby” and was the first time that Brighton and Bournemouth have met in The Premier League, on what turned out to be an excruciatingly frustrating night for Chris Hughton’s men.

The Seagulls came close on several occasions in the first period and were relieved to finally have taken the lead through youngster Solly March, but the home side roared back with goals from Andrew Surman and Defoe to quash their new-found Rivals.

Heading into the Game, the visitors were the favourites after a 3-1 home beating of West Bromwich Albion and made one change from that win, as injured Bruno was replaced by Liam Rosenior.

Whereas, the home side had changes to make and points to prove after being convincingly beaten at The Emirates last weekend, with Simon Francis, Andy Surman, and Marc Pugh replacing Steve Cook, Dan Gosling, and Tyrone Mings.

However, Brighton would be the Team to make the faster start in enemy territory as Frenchman Anthony Knockaert fired just wide in the opening exchanges.

It was to be the turn of The Cherries to come close at the other end, as Defoe swiveled on the edge of the box with his effort coming within inches of breaking the deadlock. But, that would be the closest it got for either Side before the Break.

On the matter of inches, if Dale Stephens’ flick from a Shane Duffy header had have been any lower it would have unsettled the net, just moments after Bournemouth cleared two efforts off the line.

There was no doubt that the hosts were living dangerously and their resistance finally let them down on 55 minutes, as Pascal Gross’ cross found the head of March to send the traveling fans into a frenzy.

Howe’s men needed a savior and he came in the form of the long-serving Andrew Surman.

The South African played a wonderful one-two with Jordon Ibe to be played through on goal as he took Duffy out of the equation with some trickery to finish calmly into the far corner.

Just six minutes later, The Cherries led with Jermain Defoe scoring against his 36th different Premier League opposition to raise the roof of The Vitality Stadium.

The goal, Defoe’s first for Bournemouth since 2001, could prove to be of unmatchable significance for a Side that always seems to manage to ween their way out of trouble under Eddie Howe.

Meanwhile, Chris Hughton, while being incredibly disappointed at last night’s result, will be relatively pleased with four points from his Team’s first ever five Premier League fixtures.

However, there will be an immediate chance for Hughton to get revenge against Howe when these two Sides meet at the same venue on Tuesday night in The Carabao Cup.

But for Bournemouth, the awful run of four consecutive League defeats should now be over, but Howe will need to keep consistency to avoid rumors of his sacking.

Victory for Bournemouth sees them climb to 19th and off the foot, whereas, The Albion maintain their place in 15th, just one point ahead of their Rivals. But, who will prevail in midweek?

Man of the Match: Jermain Defoe

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