Bournemouth sealed all three points with a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion to see them sit in 8th place for Christmas.
A brace from youngster David Brooks was enough to secure the Cherries the points as the Welshman shone.
The Seagulls found themselves reduced to 10 men after Lewis Dunk was shown two yellow cards.
Story of the game
The Cherries took the lead in the 21st minute after some early pressure from the Seagulls, who created the majority of chances in the early openings of the game through Jurgen Locadia. 21-year-old David Brooks let fly from 25 yards and fired into the far corner past Brighton ‘keeper Maty Ryan.
Despite Bournemouth taking the lead, the away side continued to grow in confidence with Locadia, in his second start of the season, being denied by Asmir Begovic. Brighton weren’t able to convert half chances into significant goal-scoring chances and were to pay the price by going behind to Brooks’ early strike. Arguably, the Seagulls had the better of the first half but went into halftime 1-0 down.
However, the second half was a different story as Chris Hughton’s men lacked intensity and created minimal chances to get themselves back into the game.
Brighton captain Dunk was dismissed for his second yellow of the game in the 73rd minute.
There were questions over his first yellow as it appeared to be Yves Bissouma who had made contact with the Bournemouth player but there were no excuses with the second yellow card.
Brooks’ second goal of the game sent Brighton to their third defeat in a row and the Cherries’ first win for four games leading up to Christmas.
Bournemouth now face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, whereas Brighton entertain Unai Emery’s Arsenal at the Amex Stadium.
Bernardo shines for Albion once again
The 23-year-old left back once again proved why he is ahead of the experienced Gaetan Bong for the sixth game in a row with another solid performance packed with tackles, grit and determination. He has continued to grow in confidence since his recall to the side at home to Leicester City.
Since coming into the side, the Brazilian has won man of the match on numerous occasions at home and his £9m fee from RB Leipzig in the summer seems to be a great coup for the Albion.
Man-of-the-match Brooks the bright spark Bournemouth needed
Young David Brooks topped off his performance with two goals to take his tally for the season stand at five goals in 16 appearances. Brooks was always wanting the ball and looking to push Bournemouth up the field and create chances.
He certainly looks like he could be a vital player for Eddie Howe’s men this season.
Improvement needed from the Seagulls to end poor run
Albion’s poor run of form has coincided with injuries to winger duo Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Jose Izquierdo, who play a vital part in the Seagulls’ 4-4-1-1 formation. In particular, Colombian Izquierdo was pivotal in the second half of last season, finishing with five goals from his 32 appearances. Solly March and Jurgen Locadia occupied the two wide spots and caused problems in the first half, but faded in the second period, as the whole team did.
There has been questions over Hughton’s tactical approach to games away from home, and maybe something more experimental is needed to try to change their fortunes away from their fortress, the Amex.
Bournemouth will be very happy with the victory, ending their run of defeats and will certainly give them a lot of confidence going into a hectic Christmas schedule.