Harry Wilson and Callum Wilson were on target as the Cherries’ sent a clear message to doubters who have them tipped for relegation.
The saying, “You wait ages for a bus, and then three turn up at once”, could never be more prevalent when describing the Cherries’ performance this evening.
Their first premier league goals of 2020 came against their south coast rivals, as AFC Bournemouth fans will hope this will open the floodgates for their team.
The win sees the Cherries’ rise to 18th in the table, as Watford lose 2-1 away to Aston Villa.
How it happened
The game started as a drab affair, with many fearing that another goalless performance from the home side was at play. Brighton were moving the ball around well and the Cherries’ lacked quality in the final third, meaning very few chances went their way.
But this feeling did not last long.
The game springed to life on the 30th minute when Harry Wilson fired a dangerous shot at Maty Ryan who did well to palm it away.
This did not come long before the Welshman got his reward. Dominic Solanke collected the ball after a headed clearance from the Brighton defence, who then sents the ball into the path of Wilson, who buried the ball past Maty Ryan.
The second goal then followed in quick succession when Brighton failed to clear a lofted corner into the six-yard box. Callum Wilson was alert to the ball and pressured Pascal Gross into scoring an own goal.
This set the tone for the dominant Cherries’ performance that commanded the game. They settled well into the second half, before adopting the counter-attacking style seen when they are at their very best.
Midfield duo Jefferson Lerma and Phillip Billing broke up the play fantastically, preventing the visitors from getting any tempo in the game, and provided the groundwork for Howe’s men to push on and grab their third goal.
This came in classic Bournemouth fashion. The ball is played on the counterattack to Dominic Solanke who draws in the retreating defenders, slots in Callum Wilson, who took the ball around the keeper to score.
Despite this impressive performance, man of the match Aaron Ramsdale did not get the clean sheet he deserved. Some sloppy play from captain Simon Francis saw the ball drop towards the feet of Aaron Mooy, who in turn thumped the ball off the left post and in.
AFC Bournemouth return to winning ways as Brighton’s curse of never winning a Premier League game in January continues.
Eddie Howe will be happy with his side’s performance, but knows they still have a long way to go to ensure Premier League survival.
Glimpses of the Cherries’ at their best were on show today, and if they can muster together this fighting spirit, they would keep Premier League football at the Vitality Stadium for another year at least.
AFC Bournemouth XI: Ramsdale, Rico, Francis, Ake, Smith, Lerma, Billing, Wilson, Fraser, Solanke, Wilson
Brighton & Hove Albion XI: Ryan, Alzate, Webster, Dunk, Bernardo, Propper, Stephens, Mooy, Gross, Maupay, Jahanbakhsh