Bournemouth handed Brighton its heaviest home loss in the Premier League, winning 5-0 on Saturday to leave the hosts in serious relegation trouble.
After Dan Gosling opened the scoring in the first half, Ryan Fraser, David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Junior Stanislas all added goals after the break as the visitors ended a recent slump in style.
It was only Bournemouth’s second win its last 10 matches, but it took the visitors past the 40-point mark to end any lingering fears they had of being dragged into the relegation fight.
For Brighton, though, the problems are mounting after losing in the FA Cup semifinals last weekend. The team has collected only eight points since the turn of the year and is in 17th place. However, Cardiff’s 2-0 loss to Burnley means Brighton is still five points above the relegation zone and with a game in hand ahead of a crucial match against the Welsh club on Tuesday.
Brighton will be without mercurial winger Anthony Knockaert for that game, after he was sent off for scything down Adam Smith. And more worryingly, Chris Hughton’s side has not scored in its last four matches.
Joshua King had already put two presentable chances wide before Bournemouth took a 33rd-minute lead as Gosling finished off a neat passing move with his first goal of the season.
Fraser added the second in the 55th from the edge of the box as he looped his shot over Mathew Ryan and into the top corner.
Knockaert was given a straight red card for a strong foul on Smith in the corner and soon after Brooks ended any remaining home hopes when he played a one-two with Fraser before slamming the ball past Ryan.
Wilson got in on the act with eight minutes remaining, cutting in from the left and rolling the ball home, and substitute Stanislas struck in stoppage time.