Bournemouth 2 Swansea City 0: Afobe seals big step towards safety
Benik Afobe was key as Bournemouth recorded a 2-0 victory over Swansea City at the Vitality Stadium that opened up a nine-point gap on the relegation zone and kept their opponents in the thick of the Premier League survival battle.
Alfie Mawson scored a first-half own goal as he tried to block Afobe's shot.
And Afobe went on to score Bournemouth's second 18 minutes from time, his fourth league goal of the season settling a contest largely lacking goalmouth drama.
After a slow start to 2017, Bournemouth have now collected seven points from a possible nine, this win moving them up to 11th with a sizeable cushion over the bottom three.
Swansea, meanwhile, have lost four straight away games and stay 17th, just three points clear of third-bottom Hull City, who beat them last week.
Bournemouth have now recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time in over a year.
8 - Josh King has been directly involved in eight goals in his last six Premier League games (7 goals, 1 assist). Spearhead.-- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 18, 2017
Eddie Howe's side won the reverse fixture on New Year's Eve 3-0 and two of the scorers from the game came close early on, Marcus Fraser firing wide before Afobe's header just missed the target.
At the other end, Gylfi Sigurdsson volleyed over before Joshua King was inches away from scoring an own goal as he tried to head clear the Iceland international's free-kick.
Tom Carroll had a penalty claim denied when his cross struck the raised arm of Marc Pugh from close range, and Swansea's frustration increased when the hosts took a 31st-minute lead.
Federico Fernandez charged out of defence, leaving space for King and Pugh to combine with Afobe, whose low shot from outside the area took a huge deflection off Mawson to beat Lukasz Fabianski, the Swansea defender credited with an own goal.
After Swansea lost possession early in the second half, Dan Gosling tested Fabianski from 25 yards having been set up by King.
Fabianski was called upon again to deny Fraser as Bournemouth attempted to find a second goal.
Swansea were offering little going forward after the break, Sigurdsson striking a free-kick straight into the wall, prompting Paul Clement to bring on Luciano Narsingh and Wayne Routledge.
But Bournemouth soon made sure of the points, Afobe latching on to a throughball from strike partner King that took Mawson out of the game and beating Fabianski with an impressive low finish in off the far post.
It was almost three when Fabianski got down sharply to save a thumping header from King, but Bournemouth were unconcerned by that as they comfortably held on and took a huge step towards survival.
- Bournemouth are unbeaten in three Premier League games (W2 D1) for the first time since October (4 games).
- Swansea have kept just one clean sheet in their last 14 games and have shipped a league-high 63 goals overall this season.
- The Cherries have scored two or more goals in seven of their last eight games against Swansea.
- Swansea have netted 10 own-goals in the league over the course of the last two seasons, more than any other side in the Football League in that period.
- Josh King has been directly involved in eight goals in his last six Premier League games (7 goals, 1 assist).