Home Sports Bournemouth fightback sends West Brom closer to the drop
March 17 (Reuters) – BOURNEMOUTH 2 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1
Long-range goals from Jordon Ibe and Junior Stanislas helped Bournemouth grind out a comeback 2-1 home win over the Premier League’s bottom team West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
The result plunged West Brom closer to relegation as they remain rooted to the foot of the table with 20 points from 31 games, seven behind 19th-placed Stoke City — and 10 short of safety — with seven games remaining.
It also equalled their record of seven successive league defeats set between February and April 2003. Bournemouth climbed one place, to 11th on 36 points, eight clear of the relegation zone.
The home side lacked any spark or creativity for much of the contest but turned the match on its head in the closing stages after Jay Rodriguez had given West Brom a 49th-minute lead.
Although Bournemouth are well-placed to secure a fourth successive season in the top flight, Stanislas said they were not home and dry just yet.
“With the mentality of our players and manager there will be no relaxing in our mindset,” he told the BBC.
“We weren’t very good in the first half. They made it hard for us, defended deep.”
The visitors dominated the first half as Salomon Rondon twice came close before he headed a Kieran Gibbs cross into the path of strike partner Rodriguez, who turned sharply and blasted the ball past keeper Asmir Begovic.
The home side levelled out of the blue as Ibe’s tame-looking shot from 25 metres in the 77th minute bounced in front of goalkeeper Ben Foster and landed in the bottom corner.
But there was nothing Foster could do about the 89th-minute Bournemouth winner. He was left clutching thin air as Stanislas curled in a delightful free kick from 25 metres.
West Brom missed a chance to snatch a draw at the death when Charlie Daniels cleared a Matt Phillips header off the line, much to the frustration of their boss, Alan Pardew, who has won only one of 17 games in charge of the club.
“It is so hurtful for our fans and our players,” he said.
“We have almost done most things really well. That free kick really did hurt us, but we should have done better for the equaliser. This was an opportunity to just get a win and get our confidence up. Instead, we have had a really hurtful blow.”