Monday 21 August 2017

Bournemouth secure highest ever Premier League points total with win over Burnley

Bournemouth's Joshua King with his family during a lap of honour after the match
Bournemouth's Joshua King with his family during a lap of honour after the match

Olawale Kuponipe

Josh King's late winner ensured Bournemouth will finish the season with their highest-ever points tally in the top flight after a dramatic 2-1 victory over Burnley.

Sam Vokes' 83rd-minute equaliser looked to have mathematically secured the Clarets' Premier League status but King fired home two minutes later as the Cherries claimed victory in their final home game of the season. Junior Stanislas had given Bournemouth the lead with his first-half effort.

The result sees Bournemouth climb up into 10th after reaching a record 45 points, while Burnley stay 14th and await Hull's result at Crystal Palace on Sunday, that could confirm their fate.

Both sides remained unchanged from last weekend's round of Premier League fixtures, with the previously ever-present Michael Keane missing a second consecutive game due to a knock as rumours of a summer move away from Turf Moor intensify.

The Clarets knew before the game that one point would mathematically secure top-flight safety.

Prior to kick-off there had been at least two goals in 12 of the last 13 league games at the Vitality Stadium and the hosts went on the front foot from the off.

After a patient passage of play, Cherries captain Simon Francis was in acres of space outside the area but the defender's effort from 20 yards out skied way over the bar and the stand.

Burnley were aiming to win their second win on the road this season, following their 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace, but their defence was breached with the first shot on target after 25 minutes.

Stanislas controlled Lewis Cook's long ball on his chest before the forward showed composure and pace to shrug off Stephen Ward and calmly slot past Tom Heaton.

Conceding seemed to wake Burnley up after a subdued start to the game and they came close to finding an equaliser.

A slick interchange of passing saw the ball fall to Scott Arfield, who found space on the edge of the box but could only fire his left-footed effort wide of Artur Boruc's post.

Another chance fell to Arfield before break as Ashley Barnes' deflected shot somehow found the midfielder in behind Bournemouth's defence.

Boruc, however, had other ideas and the Polish stopper sprinted off his line to gather the loose ball.

Eddie Howe's men started the second half brightly as Lys Mousset failed to get firm contact on the ball following Marc Pugh's cross.

Burnley went up the other end and went agonisingly close to drawing level with Arfield's long-range strike, beating Boruc but going inches past a post.

Mousset's header almost doubled Bournemouth's advantage but would be the Frenchman's last involvement in the game as he limped off with an injury to be replaced by Ryan Fraser.

The tireless King was next to try his luck and he could only find the side netting from a tight angle after out-muscling Kevin Long on the left-hand side.

And Bournemouth were punished for their missed chances when former Cherries striker Vokes climbed highest to head home Johann Berg Gudmunsson's cross with seven minutes to go.

Burnley fans thought that was the goal to rubber-stamp Premier League safety, but King had the final say moments later.

Substitute Fraser's low cross found the Norway international inside the box, where he struck past Heaton to score his 16th goal of the season, clinching all three points.

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