Brighton & Hove Albion succumbed to their third defeat of the season after losing 2-1 to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, despite a battling performance against their south coast rivals.
Chris Hughton made one change to the side that beat West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, as Liam Rosenior replaced Bruno. Anthony Knockaert had Albion’s first opportunity of the game after he showed some neat skill to cut in from the right-hand side, but saw his subsequent strike go wide of Asmir Begovic’s near post. Bournemouth had a chance to break the deadlock when Joshua King capitalised on a sloppy clearance, but Lewis Dunk was on hand to make a fine defensive block. Marc Pugh then cut inside the Albion defence, but his left-footed strike drifted harmlessly over the bar. Davy Propper surged forward and showed some brilliant skill on the edge of the box, but his delicate chip just went over the bar. Then Jermaine Defoe showed his quality and after getting a brief sight of goal on the edge of the area, his low driven shot sailed inches wide of Mathew Ryan’s left-hand post. Albion had two chances in quick succession to score just after the re-start, as Andrew Surman cleared Shane Duffy’s header off the line, before doing the same with Propper’s shot. Duffy continued to be a threat to the Cherries defence, and his header from another set-piece was glanced on by Dale Stephens and hit the underside of the bar. But the goal which Albion deserved for their attacking endeavour came courtesy of Solly March, after some brilliant play from Knockaert and Pascal Gross. Knockaert set up the German down the right, and his pin-point cross was nodded home by the winger with 55 minutes on the clock. The lead didn’t last long though and it was Surman who brought the Cherries level after he latched onto Jordan Ibe’s back-heel before coolly slotting the ball past Ryan from close range. Ibe could have given the Cherries with lead when he took aim from inside the box, but Dunk made another superb block to deny the former Liverpool man. It was Bournemouth that struck next though, and it was Defoe who showed why he’s part of the Premier League 100 Club with a clinical driven finish beyond Ryan from Ibe’s through ball. Hughton freshened up his attacking ranks with the introduction of Glenn Murray and Jose Izquierdo, and the latter went through on goal, only to be thwarted by Begovic. Liam Rosenior tried to bring Albion back on level terms with a strike from the edge of the box, but it sailed harmlessly over the target. Albion head back to the Dorset coast next Tuesday night, when the two clubs do battle again in the Carabao Cup, before turning their attentions back to the league on Sunday week for the visit of Newcastle United to the Amex.