Premier League
BournemouthAFC Bournemouth2NewcastleNewcastle United2

Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle: Matt Ritchie volley rescues point for Magpies.

By Matthew HowarthBBC Sport
Matt Ritchie, Newcastle United
Matt Ritchie's thunderous volley from DeAndre Yedlin's cross earned Newcastle a dramatic point against Bournemouth

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez believes his Magpies side need just one more win to secure Premier League safety following Saturday's dramatic draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Former Cherries player Matt Ritchie sent a spectacular volley into the top corner from DeAndre Yedlin's cross to lift the visitors on to 35 points with seven games left to play.

"The job is not done," Benitez said afterwards.

"It could be 38 points, or 40, to guarantee [safety]. I think 38 will be enough, but we have to keep winning."

Salomon Rondon opened the scoring with a superb free-kick on the stroke of half-time but Joshua King turned the game in Bournemouth's favour in the second half, sending Martin Dubravka the wrong way from the penalty spot before finishing coolly into the far corner from Dominic Solanke's pass.

Benitez was unhappy with referee Mike Dean's decision to award the hosts a spot-kick following Federico Fernandez's foul on Nathan Ake.

"There was a penalty [appeal] at the other end after 10 minutes which was not given," he said. "You can check the pulling of Rondon. It's football, you have different opinions, but we're not happy with that."

The draw lifts Bournemouth above Everton into 11th place, while Newcastle remain 13th.

Ritchie comes back to haunt his former club

Benitez bemoans referee decisions and calls for VAR

Only Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United had collected more points than Newcastle from their last nine games before the Magpies' trip to the south coast.

The visitors were without two of their most consistent performers during that spell, with Jamaal Lascelles sidelined through injury and Fabian Schar suspended after picking up his 10th yellow card of the campaign against Everton last weekend.

Their replacements - Paul Dummett and Fernandez - coped admirably with the threat of Bournemouth's attack in the first 45 minutes, restricting the hosts to just two attempts before the interval.

It was Fernandez, however, who gifted Bournemouth a route back into the game when he pulled down Ake inside the penalty area following a Cherries corner, prompting Dean to point to the spot.

Had it not been for Dummett's goal-line clearance from Callum Wilson's looping header, though, Benitez's side might have left the Vitality Stadium empty-handed.

The 25-year-old's effort appeared to be sailing over Dubravka and into the back of the net but the Newcastle skipper's acrobatic clearance rescued the Magpies.

In the end it was former Bournemouth midfielder Ritchie who made the decisive contribution, volleying home his first league goal from open play this season to edge his side closer to Premier League safety.

"It was a good goal, one of my better ones," said Ritchie.

"It's a strange feeling as I owe so much [to Bournemouth]. I wheeled away and realised I have a lot of respect for this club.

"I've hit a few like that here back in the day. It's just good to get a goal as I missed the penalty last week [against Everton] and goals have been few and far between this season."

Cherries on brink of safety

Cherries did enough to win - Howe

Eddie Howe said before the game that his Bournemouth side were still not safe from relegation, despite their comfortable cushion over the bottom three.

The Cherries would have hit the 'magic 40-point mark' had they held on for all three points, but it would still take a major collapse for Howe's charges to lose their Premier League status this season.

The hosts started confidently at the Vitality Stadium with Ryan Fraser striking the outside of the post with 10 minutes gone, but Jordon Ibe's clumsy challenge on Miguel Almiron in first-half stoppage time gave Newcastle one last opportunity to test Artur Boruc before the break.

Rondon, who announced himself to the Newcastle faithful with two goals in the corresponding fixture at St James' Park, curled home the resulting set-piece to put the visitors in the driving seat.

Bournemouth responded brilliantly after the restart, however, and drew level when King fired home his 10th goal of the season from the penalty spot.

They took the lead for the first time when Solanke - who had come on for Ibe only five minutes earlier - shielded the ball from Newcastle's defenders before teeing up King, who finished confidently past Dubravka.

Ritchie may have broken his former employers' hearts at the death, but it is surely a question of when - and not if - Bournemouth clinch safety.

Man of the match - Paul Dummett (Newcastle)

Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett, Newcastle United
Had it not been for their captain, Newcastle would have left the Vitality Stadium empty-handed. Paul Dummett made some crucial interceptions and clearances over the course of the 90 minutes, including this one off the goal-line from Callum Wilson's header

Rondon likes playing Bournemouth - the stats

  • Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last 19 home Premier League games against non-'big six' sides (W10 D9), since losing to Burnley in November 2017.
  • Newcastle have lost just two of their last nine Premier League games (W5 D2), after losing three of the four before that (D1).
  • Only Manchester United (10) have won more penalties than Bournemouth in the Premier League this season (nine), while only Crystal Palace (eight) have scored more than the Cherries (seven).
  • Courtesy of Joshua King's 48th-minute penalty, Bournemouth ended a run of 138 minutes without a shot on target at the Vitality Stadium in the league.
  • Bournemouth's Jefferson Lerma has picked up 11 yellow cards this season in the Premier League, more than any other player and a joint-high for the Cherries in a single top-flight campaign (level with Harry Arter in 16-17).
  • Against no side has Newcastle's Salomon Rondon scored more Premier League goals than he has against Bournemouth (four, level with Swansea).
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (91) is the only Norwegian player to score more Premier League goals than Bournemouth's Joshua King (41).
  • Matt Ritchie is only the second player to score against Bournemouth in the Premier League having previously played for them in the competition, after Glenn Murray for Brighton in January 2018.

'A difficult one to take' - what the managers said

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told a news conference: "It's a difficult one to take - it wasn't a perfect game from us, we found the first half quite difficult but it was a much improved second-half display.

"Until we went 2-1 up I felt we were the dominant team. Newcastle put pressure on but we defended really well at times and it looked like we were going to see the game out until the ball fell to Matty's left foot.

"It's bizarre how football can find these stories, he's probably the one player on the pitch we didn't want the ball to fall to on his left foot as we know how he can strike the ball from distance.

"I'm sure I speak on behalf of the Bournemouth supporters, when you concede so late in the game and you think the referee's about to blow. But that's what makes the game special - it isn't over till it's over."

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez told a news conference: "I think we have lost two points. We did enough, especially going in 1-0 at half-time, to manage the game and get three points. It was a great goal from Ritchie and I'm happy for that, but we deserved three points.

"It's a very good point, to a draw against a very good attacking team and you're losing 2-1, it's a good point."

On Ritchie's equaliser: "Sometimes these things happen, he was playing well for us in defence but to score against his former team, I'm sure he's happy and at the same time he's making all the Newcastle United fans happy."

What's next?

Bournemouth take on Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, 30 March (15:00 GMT), while Newcastle travel to Arsenal on Monday, 1 April (20:00 BST).

Line-ups

Bournemouth

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Boruc
  • 23Clyne
  • 33Mepham
  • 5Aké
  • 11DanielsBooked at 83mins
  • 10IbeBooked at 45minsSubstituted forSolankeat 75'minutes
  • 20Brooks
  • 8LermaBooked at 19mins
  • 24Fraser
  • 13Wilson
  • 17King

Substitutes

  • 9Mousset
  • 21Rico
  • 25Simpson
  • 27Begovic
  • 28Taylor
  • 29Solanke
  • 44Surridge

Newcastle

Formation 5-4-1

  • 12Dubravka
  • 22Yedlin
  • 20Lejeune
  • 18Fernandez
  • 3Dummett
  • 11Ritchie
  • 17PérezBooked at 9minsSubstituted forAtsuat 72'minutes
  • 10DiaméSubstituted forShelveyat 83'minutes
  • 14HaydenBooked at 75mins
  • 24AlmirónSubstituted forMutoat 82'minutes
  • 9Rondón

Substitutes

  • 2Clark
  • 8Shelvey
  • 13Muto
  • 15Kenedy
  • 19Manquillo
  • 26Darlow
  • 30Atsu
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
10,625

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home10
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bournemouth 2, Newcastle United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bournemouth 2, Newcastle United 2.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Bournemouth 2, Newcastle United 2. Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by DeAndre Yedlin with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Hand ball by Yoshinori Muto (Newcastle United).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Atsu.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Chris Mepham.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Isaac Hayden.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Jefferson Lerma.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth).

  11. Post update

    Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

  13. Post update

    Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey replaces Mohamed Diamé.

  16. Booking

    Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth).

  18. Post update

    Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Yoshinori Muto replaces Miguel Almirón.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Bournemouth 2, Newcastle United 1. Joshua King (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dominic Solanke.

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