Three talking points from Bournemouth's last-gasp victory over Newcastle United
A stoppage-time header from Steve Cook helped Bournemouth climb out of the bottom three with a much-needed win away to Newcastle United.
The game had seemed destined to end in a goalless draw until the Cherries centre-back popped up to nod the ball past Rob Elliott, sending the travelling supporters into raptures.
This was only Bournemouth’s third Premier League victory of the season, but it is now back-to-back defeats for Newcastle, who have slipped to 11th in the table.
Here are three talking points from an engaging encounter at St James’ Park…
Steve Cook’s last-gasp goal brings massive relief to Eddie Howe
What a difference a goal makes. Bournemouth have largely toiled this season, but thanks to Cook’s late intervention they can head into the international break in high spirits. Both sides had enjoyed dominant spells in the North-East, but it was the visitors that ended the game in the ascendancy and they were rewarded in the dying seconds. Ironically, their goal came from a set-piece, a facet of play with which they have struggled.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe spoke of his relief after the final whistle and claimed these three points will have a huge psychological boost. Bournemouth have been on the wrong side of a couple of last-gasp goals this season, most notably at home to Manchester City, but this triumph was dedicated to the fans who had made the gruelling trip from the south coast.
Defeat acts as a reality check for Newcastle fans
After a bright start to life in the top-flight, following promotion as Championship champions last season, Newcastle’s form has tailed off somewhat. Rafa Benitez’s side were riding high in the standings but two successive defeats have halted their progress. On paper, Newcastle supporters would have hoped for at least four points from the fixtures against Burnley and Bournemouth, but they have taken none. This follows earlier defeats against Huddersfield Town and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Talk of qualifying for Europe always appeared to be fanciful and perhaps these past two results will act as a reality check. Newcastle’s priority must be survival and in order to do this, they will need to be better against teams such as Bournemouth.
Callum Wilson is back where he belongs
After a nine-month spell on the sidelines, Callum Wilson finally made his first Premier League start of the campaign. The Bournemouth striker’s injury woes have been well-documented, having suffered serious ligament damage to both his knees in separate incidents during the past two years.
It is hard to imagine the mental torment Wilson has endured and the doubts that must have surfaced about whether he would ever play professional football again. Although he missed a golden opportunity to score his first Premier League goal since January, the signs are promising that Wilson can rediscover the form that made him such a hot prospect. The former Coventry City man looks sharp and his running is unhampered.