Six things we learned from Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion

Asmir Begovic punches a cross clear. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Asmir Begovic punches a cross clear. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton's winless run against Bournemouth increased to ten matches when they lost 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium yesterday. Here's six things we learned from the game.

Chance to stake a claim

Albion's Dutch striker Jurgen Locadia looked like he was playing with a point to prove, especially in the early exchanges.

Locadia has had limited game time this season and expressed his frustration about a lack of chances in an interview with Dutch media last month.

Yesterday was just his second league start of the campaign but he looked lively when Brighton got the ball wide to him on the left in the first half.

After a driving run, his cross was just too far ahead of Florin Andone early on, before he had a low 20-yard strike well saved by Asmir Begovic later in the half.

He was quieter in the second period as Bournemouth pressed higher up the pitch and Brighton struggled to get the ball out wide as much and he was subbed after 64 minutes.

Locadia will hope he did enough to get more game in the hectic festive schedule.

Star in the making

Bournemouth's young Welsh winger David Brooks was a constant threat and scored two excellent goals.

The 21-year-old joined the Cherries from Sheffield United in the summer and netted twice to move on to five Premier League goals for the season.

He opened the scoring when he was given too much time, cut onto his left foot and drilled a shot across Mathew Ryan and into the far corner from 20 yards.

His second was a looping header from Ryan Fraser's cross to put the game beyond doubt 16 minutes from time.

His goals - especially the first - are the type you want to see Solly March try to score more. The Albion winger has the ability and, although he netted his first goal of the season last week, he has been challenged to score more by Seagulls manager Chris Hughton.

Mistaken identity

Brighton were made to pay for mistaken identity as Lewis Dunk was sent off in the second half.

Albion's defender was booked by Mike Dean earlier in the half, although replays showed it was Yves Bissouma who committed the foul.

Seagulls keeper Mathew Ryan said afterwards that Dunk was not aware he had been booked when he fouled Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and was sent off for a second booking in the 73rd minute.

Bournemouth scored their second just three minutes later to put the game to bed.

Albion will now be without Dunk for their Boxing Day home clash with Arsenal but Shane Duffy is back available after serving a three-game ban.

On top form

Bournemouth's Bosnian keeper Asmir Begovic produced several outstanding saves in the first half.

The 31-year-old was quick off his line to deny Yves Bissouma early on, before he got down low to his left to push away Jurgen Locadia's shot at full stretch later in the first half.

Begovic also used his 6ft 6in height to claim crosses into the area, before he ensured Bournemouth were ahead at the break when he kept out Lewis Dunk's header on the stroke of half-time.

Begovic had only kept two clean sheets this season but was in the type of form which saw Chelsea sign the shot-stopper from Stoke in 2015.

Bournemoouth signed Begovic in 2017 and Eddie Howe was full of praise for the keeper after the game.

Key period

Albion went into the game knowing they had some tricky games on the horizon.

The Seagulls are comfortable in 13th at the moment, nine points clear of the bottom three.

Arsenal and Everton head to the Amex in the next week, before Albion travel to West Ham and Manchester United in between a home game with Liverpool.

A four or five point haul will be enough to ensure Albion aren't looking over their shoulder too much heading into February.

Based on their first half performance, Brighton will be ruing not getting anything at Bournemouth. They had enough chances to get something and got in enough good areas but just lacked a slight cutting edge to make the most of their opportunities.

Cherries hoodoo continues

Brighton's recent struggles against Bournemouth continued and they have now failed to beat the Cherries in their last ten meetings.

Bournemouth have claimed six wins and drawn four of those matches and Albion have won just one of their last 12 games at the Vitality Stadium.

Albion made a bright start but failed to make the most of their chances and David Brooks' double took the hosts to all three points.

The clubs still have to face each other twice more this season, when Albion will be hoping for better fortunes.

They meet in the third round of the FA Cup at the Vitality Stadium next month, before Albion host Bournemouth in the Premier League in April.

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