Bournemouth 2-0 Newcastle United. Dominic Solanke scored twice to give Bournemouth a richly deserved victory over Newcastle United as injuries continue to mount for visiting manager Eddie Howe.
Bournemouth failed to capitalise on numerous chances in the first half before Solanke eventually broke the deadlock after an hour, taking advantage of a fortunate ricochet off Joe Willock to slot in from close range.
He doubled Bournemouth’s lead 13 minutes later, flicking in a rebound after Luis Sinisterra’s header came back off the post.
It was a disappointing result for Newcastle, who were without midfielder Bruno Guimaraes through suspension and injured striker Callum Wilson, before Miguel Almiron was forced off in the first half.
Sean Longstaff had the best of their chances late in the second half, curling over the bar from an unmarked position, but only after goalkeeper Nick Pope made several smart saves to prevent Bournemouth’s tally rising.
Defeat leaves Howe’s side seventh in the Premier League table, four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, and the Reds can extend their advantage against Brentford at Anfield on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth have opened up a three-point gap on the bottom three with just their second victory from 12 Premier League matches this season.
Newcastle came into this match with several first-team players missing, including forwards Alexander Isak and Wilson, while there was a first Premier League start for 17-year-old midfielder Lewis Miley.
Howe was seen puffing out his cheeks and holding his head in his hands as Newcastle players received treatment on the pitch – Fabian Schar and Longstaff recovering, but Almiron unable to carry on.
But there were more than injury concerns at half-time with Bournemouth having the better of the chances, keeping Newcastle goalkeeper Pope busy between the sticks.
Antoine Semenyo could have had a hat-trick were it not for Pope’s parry, before the Bournemouth striker struck inches wide and later mis-controlled a pass with the goal at his mercy.
Pope later pushed away Ryan Christie’s half-volley, before Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles’ excellent sliding block prevented Solanke from scoring in the first half.
Still feeling the effects of their Champions League defeat at Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle lacked intensity and made too many individual errors, as Bournemouth eventually took their chances in the second half.
Solanke’s double did little to spark Newcastle into action and it was the hosts who finished the game in search of goals, missing a host of chances late on.
Pope remained Newcastle’s standout performer until the final whistle, producing a superb save to tip Sinisterra’s effort inches over the bar.
It was a well-rounded performance from Bournemouth and a much-deserved three points which lifts them out of the relegation zone.