Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton: Jermain Defoe strikes to earn Cherries first win
By Jack Wilkinson at Vitality Stadium
Last Updated: 16/09/17 8:45am
Jermain Defoe's first Bournemouth goal in 16 years sealed the Cherries' first Premier League win of the season as they came from behind to beat south-coast rivals Brighton 2-1 on Friday Night Football.
The Cherries were staring a fifth-straight league defeat in the face when Solly March headed Brighton into the lead on 55 minutes at the Vitality Stadium.
But substitute Jordon Ibe changed the game with two assists as Andrew Surman and Defoe struck in the space of six minutes to clinch a morale-boosting victory which eased the pressure on manager Eddie Howe.
Bournemouth remain second from bottom despite claiming their first three points, but move to within a point of the Seagulls, who remain in 14th position.
Bournemouth made three changes following their defeat at Arsenal, with Steve Cook, Tyrone Mings and Dan Gosling dropping to the bench in place of Simon Francis, Andrew Surman and Marc Pugh. After claiming their first win of the season against West Brom, Chris Hughton was just one changed as Liam Rosenior replaced injured Brighton captain Bruno.
Bournemouth started brightly but it was the visitors who had the first shot in anger as Anthony Knockaert flashed an effort wide on 11 minutes, before Marc Pugh followed suit with an effort of his own nine minutes later.
Both sides saw plenty of the ball in midfield but chances were at a premium. They exchanged blows in a pulsating 30th minute as Davy Propper's audacious lob on the half-hour nestled on the roof of the net before Defoe's shot on the swivel whistled past Mathew Ryan's post.
Brighton came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on 51 minutes but Surman was in the right place to clear headers from Shane Duffy and Propper off the line from successive corners.
Dale Stephens then turned Duffy's knock-down against the crossbar, and into the thankful arms of Asmir Begovic, as the Seagulls laid siege on the Cherries goal.
Bournemouth: Beogvic (6), Francis (6), Ake (6), Surman (8), Pugh (7), Arter (6), Daniels (7), Smith (6), King (7), Defoe (8), Fraser (5).
Subs: Afobe (5), Ibe (9), Gosling (5).
Brighton: Ryan (6), Dunk (7), Stephens (6), Hemed (8), Knockaert (6), Gross (6), March (8), Duffy (7), Rosenior (7), Propper (7), Suttner (6).
Subs: Murray (5), Izquierdo (5).
Man of the Match: Jordon Ibe.
And the visitors made the breakthrough four minutes later as Pascal Gross picked out March at the back post, and he directed a looping heading back into the far corner.
Keen not to stretch their winless run to five games, Howe turned to his bench for a response - and substitute Ibe delivered, back-heeling for Surman who showed great composure to cut inside Lewis Dunk before slotting the equaliser, before deftly playing in Defoe for Bournemouth's second six minutes later.
- Jermain Defoe scored his first goal for Bournemouth since May 2001 (5977 days ago), when he was playing alongside Eddie Howe for the Cherries away at Reading.
- Defoe has scored in 17 different Premier League seasons, with only three players scoring in more - Frank Lampard (18), Paul Scholes (19) and Ryan Giggs (21).
- Jordon Ibe provided assists for both of Bournemouth's goals - before tonight, he hadn't been involved in a single goal in his previous 28 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth.
- Ibe is the first Bournemouth player to provide two assists in a single Premier League game.
Eddie Howe: "Although we've been in the Premier League for two years, I feel like we're not used to losing. We want to win and we need to win. I want to see us play at our full level, we haven't done that yet, maybe we did in parts today but there's a lot more to come from the team."
Chris Hughton: "It was hard to take because up until the goals we'd done everything right. We knew we were up against a Bournemouth side that would be pushing to get their first win. They are very good on the ball with good movement but I thought we matched them."
Gary Neville: "Jordon Ibe injected something completely different into the game and took the game away from Brighton. It was that little bit of inventiveness and creativity that unlocked them and pulled them out of position."
Man of the Match - Jordon Ibe
Things haven't quite clicked for Eddie Howe's men this term but the introduction of Ibe soon changed their fortunes. The winger's sublime back-heel provided the equaliser and an equally cute assist for Defoe proved decisive, with Ibe becoming the first Bournemouth player to provide two assists in a single Premier League game.
Bournemouth and Brighton meet again at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday in the third round of the Carabao Cup, before the Cherries look for back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they travel to Everton on Saturday. The Seagulls, meanwhile, host Newcastle on Nissan Super Sunday.