Bournemouth 2 – 1 Fulham
Bournemouth 2 – 1 Fulham. Bournemouth leapt out of the Premier League relegation zone with a second-half turnaround as goals from Marcus Tavernier and Dominic Solanke helped them beat Fulham at Vitality Stadium.
Solanke bundled home the hosts’ winner in the 79th minute, scoring his first league goal since November.
Earlier, substitute Tavernier had struck a stunning, curling equaliser into the top corner.
Fulham had taken the lead through Andreas Pereira’s side-footed effort in the 16th minute.
Goalscorer Tavernier said he believes his Bournemouth side “are here to stay in the division” after victory moved them up to 15th place.
Bournemouth are one point clear of the relegation zone, having started the day in 19th.
“We’re full of belief at the moment, in the past two games you can see that,” Tavernier told BBC Match of the Day. “If we carry on playing like that we have a good chance.”
“I think the team’s performance showed that in the second half that we are here to stay in the division.”
This was only Bournemouth’s third win since November and only the second time since the Premier League returned after the World Cup that they have scored more than once in a match.
When Fulham took an early lead, it seemed Gary O’Neil’s side were destined for an 11th loss in 15 games across all competitions.
But they were inspired by midfielder Tavernier, who had not made an appearance for the Cherries since scoring and then aggravating a hamstring injury in a 1-0 win over Wolves on 18 February.
“It’s been a tough couple of months for me getting injured and then coming back and getting injured again,” Tavernier added.
The Englishman came on for Jaidon Anthony at half-time and made an immediate impact, curling in from range for his fourth goal in five appearances.
It was the lift the hosts needed, with Dango Ouattara having struck the crossbar while standing in an offside position during the first half, and Marcos Senesi seeing a shot blocked on the line by Tim Ream early in the second.
Tavernier continued to haunt Fulham’s defenders with two more driven shots that were well saved by Bernd Leno, before Bournemouth’s deserved winner finally came, with Solanke tapping home a rebound after the visitors’ goalkeeper had kept out Ryan Christie’s initial strike.
“It’s a game that you need to win,” O’Neil told BBC Match of the Day. “They produced one hell of a display.
“We injected some energy with some fresh faces and one of those fresh faces smashed the ball into the top corner from 20 yards out. That helps.
“[Tavernier] is a huge player for us. Let’s keep him with us for the rest of the season and he’ll play a part.”
Fulham head coach Marco Silva said his side lacked a “killer instinct” as defeat saw his side lose three consecutive league matches for the first time this season.
They remain ninth in the Premier League table as their European qualification hopes suffered a blow.
They were without key forward Aleksandar Mitrovic and winger Willian, who were both sent off in their FA Cup defeat by Manchester United last time out.
Silva, also dismissed during that tie, was in the dugout after requesting a personal hearing over his Football Association charge, delaying any suspension.
His side raced out of the blocks, Pereira opening the scoring after good play from Manor Solomon and Harrison Reed.
But the visitors were unable to double their lead, with defender Antonee Robinson hitting the bar in the first period, and the Cottagers looked flat in the second half.
“We were so clearly the better team in the first half,” Silva told BBC Match of the Day.
“I think we had a little bit [of a] lack of a killer instinct in the second half because we were so much the better team.”
The Cottagers are four points behind west London rivals Brentford, who currently sit in a Europa Conference League qualification spot in seventh.
“It was a strong reaction from them and of course, we lost control of the game,” added Silva.
“We switched off completely, we were punished by that, it was sloppy.”
Silva’s side face West Ham at home in their next match next Saturday, with Bournemouth at home to Brighton on Tuesday in their next game.
source – BBC