Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton Player Ratings: Stephens impresses

Deadly Defoe nets the winner –

Substitute Jordan Ibe inspired Bournemouth to pick up their first three points of the season on Friday night. Solly March’s header saw them fall behind to Brighton but goals from Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe gave Eddie Howe’s side a 2-1 win. Here’s our ratings for players on both teams.

AFC Bournemouth

Asmir Begovic – not much he could do about the goal, but wasn’t tested enough during other periods to show what he can do. 5

Adam Smith – plenty of pace and energy which allowed him to recover his position on occassions but his crossing was poor. Didn’t cover his man at the back-post for the goal. 4
Simon Francis – recycled possession well, but his limitations were exposed in the second half. Let his man get away from him at two corners and didn’t challenge in the air for the goal. 3
Nathan Ake – good at shifting the ball on but not so efficient at being strong in the air, which is the main priority for a centre-back. 4
Charlie Daniels – some good forward runs but lacked a bit of defensive heart for the goal. 6

Ryan Fraser – couldn’t get on the ball and when he did his crossing left a lot to be desired. Rightly taken off midway through the second half. 4
Harry Arter – Had a good pass completion ratio which denied Brighton opportunities to start attacks. Sometimes though you’d want him to be a little more ambitious. 6
Andrew Surman – controlled proceedings in the first half with his composure in possession. Not normally known for his third man goalscoring runs, but he showed neat feat for an unerring finish to equalize. 7
Marc Pugh – not quick enough for the Premier League. Wasn’t able to hit the byline when opportunities arose and was therefore too reliant on the support of his full-back, which slowed play down in the final third. 3

Josh King – stole the ball in the middle a couple of times to create one or two openings, but needs to make earlier runs off the ball to create space for Defoe. 5
Jermain Defoe – he’s the type of player who only comes into life when the balls in the box. Bournemouth reaped the benefits of that for the winner, but his lack of movement did limit them in the first half. 6

Jordan Ibe (on 65) – had a transformative impact on the team. Played a clever flick to release Surman for the equalizer, then an excellent reverse pass for Defoe’s winner. His willingness to take risks in the final third was what Bournemouth had missed. 10
Benik Afobe (on 78) – ran the channels well in the closing stages. Possibly a better partner for King than Defoe. 8

Brighton & Hove Albion

Maty Ryan – one or two good kicks found Gross in space. Stayed on his feet for the first goal but was beaten by an excellent finish for the second. 5

Liam Rosenior – guilty of giving the ball away in dangerous areas and struggled to handle Daniels. Didn’t offer anything going forward. 4
Shane Duffy – harshly, one might say he contributed more to Bournemouth’s first half attacks than some Bournemouth players! Although, his dominance in the air in the opposing box was key to a period of second half pressure. 3
Lewis Dunk – made a series of important late blocks and was unlucky to be on the losing side. 8
Markus Suttner – composed enough in the first half but his positioning for the goals looked suspect. A little negative to have two defensive-minded full-backs. 4

Anthony Knockaert – combined well with Gross for the goal but otherwise struggled to have the kind of influence you’d expect him to have in the Championship. 3
Dale Stephens – was crucial in keeping Bournemouth at bay in the first half with some strong challenges in the defensive third. Came close with a glancing header shortly after the break. 7
Davy Propper – solid enough and forced Duffy to head the ball off the line with his shot early in the second half. Careless in possession at times though. 4
Solly March – anonymous in the first half. Grew into the game at the beginning of the second half and scored an excellent header, but then drifted out. 5

Pascal Gross – put in an impressive ball for the opening goal and was one of the few players who retained possession well in good areas. 7
Tomer Hemed – lacks the mobility to carry Brighton’s attacks on his own. Chris Hughton must either drop Hemed in favour of a quicker forward, or change the system in order to give him more support. 3

Izquierdo Mena (on 76) – struggled to get into the game. 4
Glenn Murray (on 77) – the gap between the midfield and attack got bigger when he replaced Gross. 4