Youngster put Seagulls ahead at the Vitality Stadium before Cherries struck back to earn their first points of campaign
JERMAIN DEFOE and Bournemouth are up and running – thanks to super sub Jordon Ibe.
The Cherries were on course to become only the fourth Premier League team to lose their first five games of the season when Solly March gave Brighton the lead early in the second half.
But within minutes of coming on, Ibe conjured a lovely backheel to tee up Andrew Surman for the equaliser.
And the former Liverpool man then jabbed a pass through to Defoe, who duly fired home the first goal of his second spell on the South Coast.
You could almost touch the relief around the Vitality Stadium after four defeats and one goal in the opening fixtures – and a lacklustre performance until Ibe’s interventions.
Bournemouth made almost all the running in the first half, but it was mostly foreplay without much penetration.
Left back Charlie Daniels was their man most likely and was involved in creating decent openings for Marc Pugh and Defoe, which were both spurned.
Unambitious Brighton seemed happy to leave with a point but almost scored three times early in the second period before finally taking the lead.
From a Knockaert corner, Duffy saw Surman nod his header off the line and then do the same to Propper’s follow-up effort.
Moments later, Duffy headed the ball across goal and Propper hit the underside of the bar with his own header.
The goal soon arrived. Pascal Gross turned Daniels far too easily and March had time and space to head the ball past Asmir Begovic.
But Ibe came to the rescue within two minutes of coming on for Ryan Fraser.
His cute backheel returned the ball to Surman, who kept his cool as challenges flew in and then passed the ball into the corner of the net.
And then Ibe found Defoe, who finally did what he has always done best. The right-foot shot he buried in the bottom corner was his first Bournemouth goal since the final game of his loan spell in May 2001.
Worth the wait? Time will tell.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS– CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
- Tonight was the first-ever top flight meeting between the pair
- It becomes the 1420th different game in the highest division between two teams
- Bournemouth have won just five of their 24 Premier League games in 2017
- Brighton became the 39th different club that Jermain Defoe has played against in the top flight
- Bournemouth avoided becoming the fifth team in Premier League history to start the season with five consecutive defeats
- Bournemouth are now unbeaten in their last seven games against Brighton, with the Seagulls winning just one of their last nine visits to their south coast rivals
- Pascal Gross has now been involved in all four of Brighton’s goals this season
WHAT THEY SAID
Bournemouth match winner Jermain Defoe: “It was a slow start but we dug in. The tempo changed completely. We showed great spirit, credit to the lads.
“On a personal note I’m delighted to score and get the winner and three points. We kept going and got the reward in the end.
Man of the match Jordan Ibe: “It was great from the whole team. Even if you’re not starting you need to be ready on the bench.
“I’m happy we got the three points.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Bournemouth: Begovic 6, Smith 6, Francis 7, Ake 7, Daniels 6, Fraser 6 (Ibe 6), Arter 6, Surman 8, Pugh 6, King 6 (Gosling 6), Defoe 7 (Afobe)
Subs not used: Boruc, Cook, Mings, Mousset
Goals: Surman 66’, Defoe 73’
Brighton: Ryan 5, Rosenior 6, Duffy 7, Dunk 6, Suttner 5, Knockaert 5 (Izquierdo 5), Stephens 7, Propper 6, March 7, Gross 7 (Murray 6), Hemed 6
Subs not used: Hunemeier, Manepaa, Murphy, Goldson, Schelotto
Goal: March 55’
Star Man: Andrew Surman