Bournemouth 3-0 Brighton: Andoni Iraola’s Cherries set club-record Premier League points total with dominant win | Football News

Report and free match highlights from the Barclays Premier League match between Bournemouth and Brighton at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday; goals from Marcos Senesi, Enes Unal and Justin Kluivert help Andoni Iraola’s Cherries to a dominant win on the south coast

By Dan Long, Digital football journalist @DanLong__

Bournemouth produced a dominant display to beat Brighton 3-0 and set a club-record Premier League points total.

Victory at the Vitality Stadium saw Andoni Iraola’s men reach 48 points – two clear of their previous record of 46 set in the 2016/17 season – with three games remaining.

Marcos Senesi’s header put the Cherries in front inside 15 minutes, with Enes Unal doubling the lead with a header of his own in the second half, atoning for his glaring miss earlier on.

Enes Unal celebrates after scoring Bournemouth’s second goal against Brighton

A magnificent solo effort from Justin Kluivert added the gloss for the Cherries with 87 minutes gone.

Brighton, who have now won once in their last nine league games, managed just one shot on target throughout the entirety of the game.

Bournemouth move up into 10th after following up the midweek win over Wolves with three more points, while Brighton stay in 12th, albeit with one game in hand.

Player ratings:

Bournemouth: Travers (7), Smith, Senesi (7), Kelly (7), Outtara (8), Semenyo (7), Scott (8), Cook (8), Kluivert (8), Unal (8), Solanke (7).

Subs: Christie (7), Aarons (6), Sadi (n/a), Hill (n/a)

Brighton: Verbruggen, Offiah, Dunk, Igor, Barco, Gross, Gilmour, Buonanotte, Joao Pedro, Adingra, O’Mahony.

Subs: Welbeck (6), Enciso (6), Webster (6), Veltman (6).

Player of the Match: Enes Unal.

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How Bournemouth continued climb to top half

Brighton tried to slow the game and control the tempo straight away on the south coast, but Bournemouth quickly showed why they are one of the frontrunners to finish inside the top half at the end of next month.

Justin Kluivert celebrates after scoring Bournemouth’s third goal against Brighton

Unal pulled away down the right – when the advantage was played after a block on Antoine Semenyo – and slid in for Dominic Solanke, who was denied by a well-timed tackle from Lewis Dunk.

Within two minutes, the hosts were in front. Cook’s corner from the right caused problems and appeared to hit Unal, before Senesi arrived to head home from a yard or two out.

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Brighton – who looked disjointed after seven changes – had a couple of half-chances to level around the half-hour through Mark O’Mahony and Facundo Buonanotte, but it should have been 2-0, when Unal dragged a shot past the post after Alex Scott had unselfishly squared for him.

Kluivert rippled the side netting after a drive down the left early in the second half as Bournemouth looked to put the game to bed – and they did add a deserved second when Unal leapt to head in a glorious cross from Dango Outtara soon after.

Team news:

  • Andoni Iraola made three changes from the midweek win over Wolves, with Lloyd Kelly, Dango Outtara and Enes Unal replacing Illia Zabarnyi, Ryan Christie and the suspended Milos Kerkez.
  • Roberto De Zerbi rung the changes for Brighton, with only Lewis Dunk, Joao Pedro, Valentin Barco, and Pascal Gross keeping their places following the 4-0 defeat to Man City.
  • In came Bart Verbruggen, Igor Julio, Billy Gilmour, Simon Adingra, Facundo Buonanotte, Odeluga Offiah and teenage striker Mark O’Mahony.

The Cherries had two penalty appeals turned down as the game drew to a close. Solanke’s shot on the turn appeared to hit Dunk’s hand, before the pair grappled in the box, leading to incensed shouts from the crowd.

But it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, as Kluivert added one of his own by way of a superb solo effort after he was picked out by Ryan Christie to round off a thoroughly positive afternoon.

Iraola keen to finish strong after breaking points record

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola was delighted after their win over Brighton saw the club register their highest top-flight points total

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola told Sky Sports:

“We played really well. It’s difficult to play against Brighton, they have a lot of the ball and you have to keep your composure and wait for your chances. It was a complete game.”

On Unal: “I’m happy because he really deserved the goal. He had a very clear chance on the first half and continued pushing. He was also involved in the first goal… I’m happy for him.”

On transitions: “It’s one of our strengths. We knew that we would suffer without the ball because they are very good mechanisms. But when we were able to recover the ball, our transition game is usually quite good.

“Our forwards are making the difference and they had good chances to score today.”

On record points tally: “I’m very happy with the 48 points and we have to continue pushing. There are even more difficult games ahead, but we want as many points as we can, we want to finish the season strongly.

“The worst news of the afternoon has probably been Antoine’s [Semenyo] injury at the end. Everything was going very good and I hope it’s not too bad. It was an ugly one, but until we do an MRI, we will not know [how bad it is].”

De Zerbi: Our best is not enough at the moment

Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi questioned his side’s motivation following their comprehensive defeat at Bournemouth

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi told Sky Sports:

“We conceded the first goal and it changed the game because until the goal, we were playing in the same way as Bournemouth.

“Then we are spending a tough moment, we want to play better and make points, but our best in this moment is not enough.

“We have to find the energy, the mentality to finish the season. It has been a very tough season, but we are playing in the Premier League for Brighton and for our fans to give more and to play much better.

“In my time [at Brighton], we’ve played with a lot of motivation until one month ago. We felt a lot of motivation to reach the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Europa League, the Europa League position in another season in a row.

“Maybe the distance from the European position in the table has been tough to accept. It’s normal but we have to understand that we have to fight better, we have to play better, we have to give our best, but not this best because it’s not enough.

“It’s part of our job. We have to work seriously, we have to work for ourselves, our club and our fans. It’s not easy, it’s not simple for them because we dream to reach Europe for another season.

“But if you have been not able, we have to fight and we have to play with different energy.”

Record-breaking Cherries on the march

  • Since Bournemouth’s first home win of the season (28th October 2023), only Manchester City (0) and Liverpool (1) have lost fewer home Premier League matches than Bournemouth, with the Cherries unbeaten in each of their last six at the Vitality Stadium (W4 D2) – their longest unbeaten run at home in the Premier League since October 2018.
  • Only Arsenal (16) and Everton (12) have scored more goals from corners than Bournemouth this season (11) in the Premier League. It’s the most goals the Cherries have ever scored from corner situations in a single Premier League season.
  • Justin Kluivert’s goal for Bournemouth was his seventh in the Premier League, overtaking his father Patrick Kluviert’s tally of six goals in the competition in the process.
  • Bournemouth have now kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League for only the second time since they gained promotion back into the competition in 2022, with both instances coming this season (also doing so in December 2023).

What’s next?

Bournemouth travel to title-chasing Arsenal on May 4, kick-off 12.30pm, while Brighton host Aston Villa on May 5, kick-off 2pm.

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