Bournemouth 0 – 2 Brighton. A superb Evan Ferguson goal set Brighton up to beat Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium and boost their hopes of Champions League football.
Teenager Ferguson turned home a low cross with his left heel as Brighton moved four points off fourth-placed Tottenham with two games in hand.
Julio Enciso slotted home in second-half stoppage time after Pascal Gross’ fine pass to seal the three points.
Bournemouth meanwhile fall back into the bottom three.
The Cherries are one of four sides on 27 points in the Premier League, but sit 18th below West Ham, Nottingham Forest and Everton on goal difference.
Brighton travel to Spurs on Saturday, knowing another victory on the road could be huge in their pursuit of Champions League football.
Roberto de Zerbi’s side have lost just one of their past 11 Premier League matches and are unbeaten away from home since October.
However they received a blow to their European hopes when midfielder Moises Caicedo was forced off injured in the second half after landing awkwardly on his ankle.
If there was buzz around 18-year-old Ferguson before, it will become more of a roar now after the Irish striker’s latest demonstration that he is the real deal.
After 28 minutes, Ferguson was found by a low cross from Kairo Mitoma after Pervis Estupinan’s initial ball was blocked.
The Brighton number 28, finding space 12 yards out, superbly flicked the ball just inside the far post with his left heel, beating Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto with guile and placement.
Having missed the 3-3 draw at home to Brentford on Saturday with an unspecified injury, Brighton manager De Zerbi can only hope to have Ferguson fully fit for the remainder of the season as the Seagulls continue their unlikely tilt at a Champions League spot.
Brighton cannot afford to do without Mitoma either – his assist means the Japanese winger has now been directly involved in 11 goals in his last 15 league appearances, scoring seven and creating four.
Were it not for a fine series of second-half saves from Neto, Brighton would have won this game more comfortably before Enciso turned Bournemouth debutant Ilya Zabarnyi and slotted home from six yards.
With now just one defeat in 15 games across all competitions in 2023, Brighton simply cannot be counted out of the top-four race.
source – BBC