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 By Will Kent

King proves decisive as rare away win all but ensures Bournemouth's survival

Fans on the south coast can finally feel relieved as Bournemouth's three points have pushed the side up to 10th in the division. While it is still mathematically possible for the club to be relegated, the chances of that happening are now extremely slim. The rest of the season from here on is just about enjoying the football and seeing how high the club can finish while building some momentum for the next campaign.

AFC BournemouthAFC Bournemouth
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A rare away win for the Cherries and another three points that has surely ensured survival. The back four are finally starting to settle down and bed in well as a unit this season as well. It may have taken until the end of April but the defence, including Artur Boruc, look like a solid unit now.


Sunderland were allowed to have nine shots in the first half, which says a lot about Bournemouth's lack of ability and composure to control the game despite still having 61 percent possession. Benik Afobe coming off with injury doesn't bode well for the rest of the campaign either as Josh King, albeit in very good form, is the club's only fit striker alongside Lys Mousset.

Manager rating out of 10

10 -- It was the right team selection and great to see Eddie Howe continue his faith in Lewis Cook by handing him a start. No complaints.

Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Artur Boruc, 8 -- It was a very solid performance from Bournemouth's shot stopper and his save in the 66th minute to deny a goal at his near post was sublime.

DF Adam Smith, 7 -- One of his better performances of the season defensively. He made a crucial interception to shut down a Sunderland attack the 49th minute and posed a threat going forward through the match. Smith is one of the most technically sound full-backs in the Premier League. If he could work on his positioning and awareness he would definitely be on the radar of clubs further up the table.

DF Simon Francis, 8 -- Jermain Defoe's movement did cause the Bournemouth skipper problems but he put up a good fight against the Sunderland striker. He out-muscled him in 52nd minute to stop a looming counter-attack that subdued the rest of Defoe's performance. It was a fascinating battle between the pair of which Francis eventually won.

DF Steve Cook, 7 -- The former Brighton defender played well and made some vital blocks and interceptions that helped earn Bournemouth a clean sheet. In the past two games he's started to display some more long-range passing, which is unusual for him but suggests his confidence is as high as ever.

DF Charlie Daniels, 7 -- Another reliable performance from Daniels. He worked very hard in trying to stifle any Sunderland attacks and whenever he was called upon in attack he was there as well.

Josh King, right, scored the lone goal as Bournemouth doomed Sunderland to relegation on Saturday.

MF Ryan Fraser, 8 -- The Scotland international caused mayhem with his movement and posed a consistent attacking threat throughout the entire game. He assisted the winning goal in what was a well-deserved reward for his consistent running and pressuring of the Sunderland midfield.

MF Harry Arter, 6 -- Tackled well but in similar fashion to Lewis Cook, he didn't really get going. He had flashes of decent play but failed to properly influence proceedings.

MF Lewis Cook, 6 -- Didn't really impress in the centre of midfield and lost possession a couple of times. He also received yellow card for an avoidable late tackle. However, he needs a few more matches before he can be properly assessed.

MF Marc Pugh, 7 -- For the second consecutive week Pugh was one of the standout players. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and could have easily bagged himself a goal.

FW Josh King, 8 -- The Norway international threatened all match. He hit the crossbar and the post in one shot in the first half before eventually finding the back of the net with a well-taken goal in the second half. King was the decisive factor in claiming three points.

FW Benik Afobe, 7 -- The striker used his strength to great effect in the first half and some of his hold-up play really helped the team build their attacks. However, he was unfortunately subbed off in the second half due to injury.


MF Junior Stanislas, 6 -- Replaced Afobe and apart from whipping a couple of decent crosses into the box, Stanislas didn't do much of note.

FW Lys Mousset, NR -- Came on too late to influence proceedings but it was more game time under his belt yet again, which suggests he's not far off starting a game before the end of the season.

Will Kent is a freelance journalist who has worked for AFC Bournemouth, ESPN UK and ESPN FC, among others. Twitter: @WillKentSPORT


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