AFC Bournemouth came from a goal behind against West Bromwich Albion to win 2-1 and take all three points at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
Jay Rodriguez opened the scoring for the visitors shortly after half time, before superb goals from Jordon Ibe and Junior Stanislas moved the Cherries up into the top half of the Premier League table, and leave the Baggies ten points from safety at the bottom with just seven games to play.
Alan Pardew admitted after the match that based on his side’s form, it was difficult to see Albion staying up, and also fended off rumours about his own future: “When you’re losing it makes it more and more difficult.
“I’ve got a contract here for three years, and we’ve got to keep fighting – that’s what I’m going to do.”
West Brom came into the game knowing that another loss would make it seven defeats in a row, and incredibly difficult to stay up.
They would have gone in at half time the happier of the two sides, limiting Bournemouth to just one dangerous chance, a free kick from Stanislas forcing a good save from Ben Foster down to his right-hand side, and breaking dangerously when they could.
They went ahead in the 49th minute, Kieran Gibbs running down the left-hand side of the pitch, crossing to Salomon Rondon who headed back across goal towards Jay Rodriguez.
The England international controlled the ball well before turning and volleying it into the back of the net to give West Brom a shock lead.
It appeared that this was the motivation Eddie Howe’s side needed as the Vitality crowd got increasingly frustrated.
Soon after West Brom manager Alan Pardew took off defender Jonny Evans and brought on midfielder Matt Phillips in a change of formation, the latter showed Ibe inside, who shot from 25 yards out and it bounded into the net in the 77th minute.
It may have taken a slight deflection, but former England ‘keeper Foster was rightly disappointed that he didn’t do better.
The momentum was now with the Cherries, who brought on summer signing Jermain Defoe, and he immediately had an impact.
Defoe chased down Ahmed Hegazi on the halfway line, intercepted and played it to Josh King, who was brought down by Craig Dawson on the edge of the box.
Stanislas stepped up, having had two free kicks saved from similar positions, and made no mistake with this one, nestling it in the net to Foster’s right hand side in the 89th minute.
However, the drama was far from over: a Gibbs cross in the 8th minute of stoppage time found Phillips, who headed at goal, only for it to be cleared off the line by Charlie Daniels.
That late win puts the Cherries on 36 points, meaning that realistically one more win out of seven games will be enough to guarantee Bournemouth’s Premier League status for a third successive season.
It also gives them an excellent opportunity to finish in the top half for the second season running, although Brighton could overtake them if they win their game in hand.