Jermain Defoe earns first win for Bournemouth in Premier League
By Associated Press | Published: 16th September 2017 08:26 AM |
BOURNEMOUTH: Jermain Defoe scored the first goal of his second spell at Bournemouth to clinch a 2-1 win over Brighton in the Premier League on Friday, ending his team's four-match losing run to open the season.
The 34-year-old England striker showcased his enduring prowess in front of goal by finding space in the penalty area from Jordon Ibe's deft pass and lashing a low finish into the corner in the 73rd minute.
Ibe made as significant a contribution as Defoe on a wet evening on the south coast, the winger coming off the bench to also set up Bournemouth's 67th-minute equalizer — scored by midfielder Andrew Surman — with an impudent back-heel.
Ibe has struggled to make an impact at Bournemouth since joining from Liverpool in July 2016 for 15 million pounds (now $20.4 million), which was then a club-record fee.
"We see it with him every day in training, beating players in tight spaces," Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said of Ibe. "I hope that's the confidence-booster, the kick-start, he needs."
Bournemouth was on course to become only the fourth team to start a Premier League season with five straight losses when winger Solly March headed in the opening goal for Brighton in the 55th minute.
Defoe spent the 2000-01 season on loan at Bournemouth from West Ham, scoring in 10 straight league games in one hot spell. He sealed a return to Bournemouth in the offseason, triggering a clause in his contract at Sunderland allowing him to leave on a free transfer following its relegation from the Premier League.
"5,977 days since my last Bournemouth goal," Defoe tweeted, "and it feels just as good."
This was a first ever top-flight meeting between the two seaside clubs, who were playing each other in the second tier only two years ago.