Belfast Telegraph

Bournemouth v Swansea - story of the match

Bournemouth moved nine points clear of the Premier League bottom three with victory over fellow relegation candidates Swansea on Saturday night.

Eddie Howe's side had addressed a slide in form with a vital win over West Ham last weekend and this 2-0 success - courtesy of an Alfie Mawson own goal and a Benik Afobe strike - will go a long way to securing the Cherries' top-flight status for another season.

The much-needed win over the Hammers was full of drama but, after the likes of Leicester and Crystal Palace racked up three points earlier in the day, this scrappy victory was just as important for Bournemouth.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"So Eddie Howe is surprised Jack Wilshere isn't picked for England, whilst not picking him for Bournemouth..." - presenter Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) questions Eddie Howe's pre-match support of the England midfielder.

STAR MAN

Benik Afobe. This was just Afobe's eighth Premier League start of the season but, for the man who arrived over a year ago in a blaze of goals and glory, it was one he had quite the impact on. The 24-year-old has not quite hit the heights many expected him to reach after joining from Wolves in January 2016 but he refused to let Swansea's defence settle all afternoon. He not only took his goal well but it was his miscued strike which led to the Bournemouth opener as he outshone in-form strike partner Joshua King.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Benik Afobe has been short of goals this season but is enjoying a rare run in the Cherries side - and he secured another vital three points for Bournemouth with his second-half goal. Having been denied the opener as his deflected strike was instead awarded as an Alfie Mawson own goal, Afobe kept plugging away and got his rewards as he latched onto Josh King's pass to finish well and wrap up the win for Howe's men.

DATA POINT

This was Bournemouth's first clean sheet in 11 games and their first of 2017. Their last came in a 3-0 win at Swansea on New Year's eve and since then Howe's side had shipped 26 goals. But the Cherries' defence and goalkeeper Artur Boruc went largely untested on this occasion and stood up to what little attacking threat their visitors could muster.

RATINGS

Bournemouth:

Artur Boruc 7 (out of 10)

Adam Smith 7

Simon Francis 7

Steve Cook 7

Charlie Daniels 7

Andrew Surman 6

Dan Gosling 7

Ryan Fraser 7

Joshua King 7

Marc Pugh 6

Benik Afobe 8

Subs

Jack Wilshere (for Fraser, 74) 6

Max Gradel (for King, 90) 5

Jordon Ibe (for Pugh, 90) 5

Swansea

Lukasz Fabianski 5

Leroy Fer 5

Federico Fernandez 5

Alfie Mawson 5

Stephen Kingsley 5

Jack Cork 6

Ki Sung-yueng 5

Tom Carroll 6

Jordan Ayew 5

Gylfi Sigurdsson 6

Fernando Llorente 5

Substitutes:

Luciano Narsingh (for Ayew, 55) 5

Wayne Routledge (for Ki, 66) 5

Borja Baston (for Llorente, 82) 5

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Southampton v Bournemouth (Premier League, April 1)

Swansea v Middlesbrough (Premier League, April 2)

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