English Premiership

Cherries on top against Norwich

Bournemouth celebrate (AP)
Bournemouth celebrate (AP)

Bournemouth - Bournemouth returned to winning ways as a 3-0 victory at home to fellow strugglers Norwich City on Saturday saw them move five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Dan Gosling's first-half header and a Charlie Daniels penalty after half time put the Cherries, who lost 3-1 at home to West Ham in midweek, 2-0 up before recent signing Benik Afobe sealed victory 15 minutes from time with his first top-flight goal.

What was just Bournemouth's sixth win in 22 league matches so far this season saw Eddie Howe's side move above Norwich and into 15th place in the table.

Meanwhile the Canaries' seventh defeat in eight away league matches left them four points above the bottom three.

Bournemouth were rewarded for their early dominance when Gosling gave the south coast club a 10th-minute lead in front of their own fans at Dean Court.

Marc Pugh, in for the injured Matt Ritchie, swung in a cross and Gosling headed into the bottom corner from close range.

Bournemouth then had appeals for a penalty rejected when Daniels went down inside the area.

Referee Bobby Madley angered the home support again with another contentious decision.

Afobe, chasing a through ball, was brought down on the edge of the area by Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd.

But with two Canaries defenders in close attendance, Madley showed Rudd a yellow rather than a red card.

Early in the second half, Pugh demonstrated good skill to weave his way through a retreating defence only to shoot straight at Rudd.

Pugh then played a key role as Bournemouth doubled their lead when, after he was pulled back inside the box. Madley awarded the Cherries a 54th-minute penalty.

Daniels's spot-kick then beat Rudd with the aid of a deflection off the right post to make it 2-0.

Afobe, 22, who joined Bournemouth last week for a reported club record fee of 10 million ($14.5 million, 13.3 million euros) from second-tier Wolves having proved himself a prolific scorer in lower league English football, put the result beyond doubt in the 75th minute.

Daniels's precise cross arrived at the feet of the striker and Afobe, a former Arsenal youngster, powered in a shot from close range in what was just his second Premier League appearance after he made his Bournemouth debut against West Ham.

Sun 12 Jul 20 13:00 PM (SAST)
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