Salomon Rondon netted an impressive brace for Newcastle United as they claimed consecutive wins in the Premier League for the first time since April to move a point clear of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
Newcastle, full of confidence following their previous victory over Watford, got off to the perfect start when Rondon opened the scoring after seven minutes following a fine build-up from DeAndre Yedlin.
Bournemouth’s Adam Smith suffered what appeared to be a serious injury and play was suspended for eight minutes while he received treatment before being carried off with suspected knee ligament damage.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said later that Smith was in a lot of discomfort in the dressing room and the long delay had affected his team.
“Adam Smith looks like he’s got a knee injury; it looks quite serious, he’s in quite a bit of pain in the dressing room,” Howe said. “It did disrupt the flow of the game, the long delay, and obviously the players were concerned so that didn’t help.”
Rondon grabbed his second goal five minutes before the break when he met Kenedy’s cross and directed a powerful header past Asmir Begovic.
Bournemouth refused to lie down and made the most of eight added minutes at the end of the first half when Jefferson Lerma headed home a cross from Ryan Fraser to net his first goal for the club.
Eddie Howe’s side were unfortunate not to come away with a point in the second half as Jordan Ibe fired over when clean through on goal and Dan Gosling’s 84th-minute effort was ruled out for offside.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez praised the way Rondon had given his forward line a new dimension.
“Rondon did well, he has to improve his fitness but he was working well and trying to fight the defenders. He shows what he can do and is giving us something different,” Benitez said.
“We knew that they would be difficult because they have had good form and are doing well. We have to give credit to our players, they were very good. They gave everything and the atmosphere was good.
“We have done well in some games but that was one of the best mentalities and the way we competed for the ball.”
Writing by Marc Isaacs; Editing by Ian Chadband and Clare Fallon