Afobe, King's brilliant attacking play sparks Bournemouth to Swansea win
Bournemouth earned a well-deserved three points in their 2-0 victory over Swansea on Saturday and have really turned a corner since their dismal run of poor form at the turn of the year. Eddie Howe's side are a match for any team if they perform like this, but it's just a matter of finding that consistency, which is something they struggle with.
There's still work to do in avoiding relegation, but Bournemouth can breathe a huge sigh of relief, having stretched the gap to the drop zone even further.
It was the first clean sheet of the year, combined with some brilliant attacking play between Josh King and Benik Afobe. The strike partnership that the two have created over recent weeks is turning into a pleasing sight for Howe and the fans, but a worrying one for every opponent they face. Restricting the Swans to just one shot on target is testament to the much-improved defence as well.
Perhaps not a negative, but surrendering 53 percent possession to Swansea at home is very uncharacteristic. A more ruthless side may have punished them. Artur Boruc's consistently poor distribution remains an annoyance, too.
Manager rating out of 10
9 -- The right team selection again with perhaps a question mark over Marc Pugh's inclusion. Good to see Howe benching Jack Wilshere, too.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Artur Boruc, 7 -- Continued his trend of poor ball distribution and was caught punting it unnecessarily out for a throw in, but he was dependable on crosses and displayed his usual reliable shot-stopping ability.
DF Adam Smith, 7 -- Did everything you ask of a full-back. Wasn't as dangerous on the front foot in comparison to previous matches, but that paid dividends with his team not conceding.
DF Simon Francis, 8 -- Marshalled the defence superbly and was a key factor in securing the clean sheet. Bournemouth needed him to really step up with Tyrone Mings' suspension and he has done just that recently.
DF Steve Cook, 8 -- Made a fantastic 68th-minute clearance to deny Swansea a shot on a goal from a dangerous area and his performance was similar in its reliability. May not have made the England squad this time, but he is knocking on the door.
DF Charlie Daniels, 7 -- Was a useful attacking outlet as ever down the flank. Sent a couple of decent crosses into the box as well.
MF Ryan Fraser, 8 -- His energy is infectious and simply a joy to watch. Frequently navigated his way through the Swansea defence and consistently posed an attacking threat while also doing his fair share of defensive work.
MF Andrew Surman, 7 -- Took over Harry Arter's role in midfield and there can be no complaints. Passed well, displayed good strength on the ball and put in an all-round decent showing.
MF Dan Gosling, 8 -- In similar fashion to Fraser, simply did not stop running for one moment. He's turning into a really valuable player in this Bournemouth squad and his dominance in the midfield 50-50s is brilliant.
MF Marc Pugh, 7 -- Was one of the quieter performers in a Cherries kit for the second week running. Did everything required of him, but he's not doing enough to comfortably warrant a starting spot above Jordon Ibe and Junior Stanislas week in, week out.
FW Josh King, 8 -- Started the move for the first goal, assisted the second and nearly had Bournemouth's third if it wasn't for a brilliant Lukasz Fabianski save. Great performance yet again.
FW Benik Afobe, 9 -- Wasted a glorious chance in the 15th minute, but there can be little complaints after an outstanding 90 minutes in which he eventually found the net.
Jack Wilshere, N/R -- Put in a delightful cross to King at the back post in the 79th minute, which nearly led to a third goal. Was only on the pitch for 15 minutes, but it was a good stint.
Max Gradel, N/R -- Came on in the 92nd minute.
Jordon Ibe, N/R -- Came on in the final minute.
Will Kent is a freelance journalist who has worked for AFC Bournemouth, ESPN UK and ESPN FC, among others. Twitter: @WillKentSPORT