Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Bournemouth 5.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton said "it could have been worse" after his side were thrashed 5-0 at home by Bournemouth.
The Seagulls' Anthony Knockaert was sent off in the second half for a reckless tackle on Adam Smith, with his side already behind to goals from Dan Gosling and Ryan Fraser.
Further goals from David Brooks, Callum Wilson and then Junior Stanislas in injury time sealed a result that leaves Brighton one place above the relegation zone.
"In the end it was about keeping that score down. The fear is - it could have been worse," said Hughton.
The Seagulls are five points above next-placed Cardiff, who visit the Amex on Tuesday, 16 April.
"I think it was one of the poorest performances since I've been here," added Hughton, who took over at Brighton when the club were near the foot of the Championship in December 2014.
Bournemouth climb into 12th in the table, and with 41 points they are close to securing their place in the Premier League for a fifth season.
The Cherries won for only the fourth time away from home this season, with their other victories on the road coming at Watford and relegated Huddersfield and Fulham.
Brighton did not get an effort on target until the 91st minute, when Bernardo's header was easily saved by Artur Boruc.
Reality bites for Brighton
If Brighton's run to the last four of the FA Cup had taken their minds off their league position for a short while, this performance and result will have brought reality crashing back.
Not even being on home turf would have brought much solace, with just six wins and only 17 goals scored in 15 league outings at the Amex this season prior to kick-off.
But while Brighton won plaudits for their resilience against Manchester City at Wembley last time out, manager Chris Hughton saw his side give Bournemouth time and space to repeatedly cut through their defence even when they still had 11 players on the pitch.
Hughton was furious when Gosling was given the time to line up Bournemouth's first, but the way he blanked Knockaert as the French midfielder walked into the tunnel following his red card also spoke volumes for what the Seagulls boss now has to contend with.
The collapse in morale both on the field and in the stands following Knockaert's dismissal means that Cardiff's visit on Tuesday, with the Welsh club five points behind, now takes on even more significance.
Bournemouth impress to almost secure safety
Bournemouth started the match 10 points and four places above the relegation zone, but for manager Eddie Howe this was not a position of safety.
Defeat at home by Burnley a week earlier prompted Howe to state his side "could not take any liberties" following the result, the latest in a poor run of one league win in nine since the start of February.
But after soaking up what little Brighton had to offer in the first 30 minutes, Howe's side took control when a slick exchange of passes between Gosling and Wilson ended with Gosling scoring his first goal in over a year.
Fraser's seventh goal of this season had a touch of luck, with the Scot slipping over as he shot from outside the penalty area to make it 2-0 to Bournemouth.
The impressive Fraser helped put the result beyond any doubt with key contributions in the build-up to Brooks' and Wilson's goals.
Stanislas' clincher in stoppage time gave Bournemouth their biggest-ever away win in nearly four full seasons in the Premier League.
Man of the match - Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)
What the managers said
Brighton manager Chris Hughton: "We came up against a very dynamic Bournemouth side and couldn't handle them.
"We are in a fight at the moment. Our form is very up and down. This was on the back of a very good performance last week. We have to show our character on Tuesday. Once the players cross that line it's only them who can do that."
On Anthony Knockaert's red card: "It was a reckless challenge. It was the right decision. I've spoken to the team and I think it was one of the poorest performances since I've been here. Especially knowing the qualities of the team we were playing against."
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "The frustrating thing for us is finding that consistency. We attacked with devastating intent at times. It's a really good win but the longer term thing is finding that consistency.
"We're pleased with some of the goals we scored today. We countered with devastating effect in the second half so I'm really pleased.
"We restricted them to only a few chances and we know if we can do that to teams then we can hurt them.
"We've been hesitating and spluttering in recent weeks so it's good to get back into the groove and show what we can do."
Fraser and Wilson are the dynamic duo - the stats you need to know
- Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson have combined for 11 Premier League goals this season, the most by a duo in a single campaign since Alan Shearer and Mike Newell in 1995-96 (also 11).
- Brighton have lost consecutive home games in the Premier League for the first time ever.
- Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last 10 league games against Brighton, winning six and drawing four.
- Brighton have lost at home in the league by a 5+ goal margin for the first time since a 2-8 defeat against Bristol Rovers in the third tier in December 1973.
- Since promotion to the Premier League ahead of 2015/16, Bournemouth have seen their opponents receive 16 red cards, more than any other side in that period.
- Bournemouth's Callum Wilson has been involved in five goals in his three league appearances against Brighton at the Amex stadium, netting three and assisting two.
- Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has scored seven and assisted 12 goals in the Premier League this season, the most goal involvements by a Scottish player in a single campaign since Charlie Adam in 2010/11 (20).
Brighton face fellow strugglers Cardiff at home on Tuesday, 16 April, with a 19:45 BST kick-off. Bournemouth play relegated Fulham at home on Saturday, 20 April, at 15:00.
- 8BissoumaBooked at 78mins
- 24PröpperSubstituted forIzquierdoat 63'minutes
- 11KnockaertBooked at 68mins
- 10AndoneBooked at 50minsSubstituted forMurrayat 58'minutes
- 1BorucBooked at 71mins
- 15A Smith
- 33MephamBooked at 50mins
- 3S CookSubstituted forSimpsonat 87'minutes
- 5AkéBooked at 22mins
- 4GoslingBooked at 64mins
- 17KingSubstituted forSolankeat 76'minutes
- 13C WilsonSubstituted forStanislasat 83'minutes
- Kevin Friend
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Bournemouth 5.
Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Bournemouth 5. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Brooks.
Foul by Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth).
Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Bernardo (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Shane Duffy with a headed pass.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Dan Gosling.
Attempt blocked. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Brooks.
Attempt blocked. Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Brooks.
Attempt blocked. Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jefferson Lerma.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Jack Simpson replaces Steve Cook.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Lewis Dunk.
Attempt blocked. Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Brooks.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Junior Stanislas replaces Callum Wilson.
Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Bournemouth 4. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Fraser.
Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion).