Jermain Defoe

Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton: Cherries come back for first points

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  • Sonny March put Brighton up after halftime
  • Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe brought the Cherries back
  • Jordon Ibe produced two assists for Bournemouth

Jermain Defoe had done little through the first 70 minutes, and it seems that’s when he’s most dangerous. The former England international struck with 15 minutes to go, giving the Cherries their first win and first points of the 2017/18 Premier League season.

There was an opening 45 minutes. It was so awful that these two sentences will be all we have to describe it.

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Don’t believe us? Fine, here’s one more sentence: the first half featured one shot on target, one corner, zero serious chances on goal, zero offside calls, seven fouls, and zero Brighton touches in the Bournemouth penalty area.

May we continue?

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Moving on to the second half, things were just as cagey, but Brighton began to attack with more venom. Shane Duffy had a header cleared off the line 51 minutes in. That would prove prophetic, as the visitors scored minutes later. A wonderful through-ball down the left sprung Pascal Gross, and he delivered a pinpoint cross to the head of Solly March who headed in from point-blank range.

The game opened up ,and Bournemouth responded, leveling things up 10 minutes later. Jordon Ibe produced a wonderful back-heel assist to put Andrew Surman on the ball, and the 31-year-old South African skipped past a defender and delivered the ball into the far corner of the net.

The Cherries nearly got another as Ibe collected a poor Brighton clearance at the top of the box and rifled on net, with the shot destined for the far corner but blocked by a sliding Lewis Dunk. During that chance, Gross was injured under a challenge from Nathan Ake and required a physio visit. That forced him off momentarily, and soon after the restart before Gross could come back on, the Cherries struck with the temporary advantage.

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Ibe again played creator as he stayed on the ball under heavy contact, feeding Defoe with an outside-foot pass. The 34-year-old took his chance, burying the shot past Maty Ryan for a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute. The goal is his first of the season.

That was it the rest of the way, as Brighton had little ability to push the attack to look for a late point.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

The points for Bournemouth were massive, moving them out of 19th and even with Leicester City and West Ham. That leaves Crystal Palace as the only team without a point this season. Brighton remains in 14th with four points.

Defoe emotional in talking about ailing Bradley Lowery: “His love is genuine”

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New Bournemouth striker needed time to address his emotions when asked about Bradley Lowery, the young boy whose fight with cancer took root in the hopes of football fans last season.

The six-year-old Lowery is reportedly in end of life care after a battle with neuroblastoma, and Defoe grew very close to the boy during his time at Sunderland.

Lowery walked out Sunderland against Chelsea, and later accompanied Defoe to the pitch before the striker scored on his England return.

[ MORE: Leicester closes in on Iheanacho ]

The relationship is genuine, and Defoe has spent a lot of time with Lowery as the youngster fought his disease, Tweeting that the pair were “#bestfriends” in February.

From the BBC:

“I speak to the family every day. I was with him a few days ago and it was tough to see him suffer like that,” said the England international.

“He will always be in my heart for the rest of my life. There isn’t a day that goes past when I don’t wake up and check my phone or think about little Bradley.

“His love is genuine and I can see it in his eyes when he looks at me.”

That’s the part of being around children that is such a wonder: unconditional love. To be around that love while its holder suffers can be overwhelming. Our hearts are with the Lowery family, Defoe, and all young families fighting terminal diseases.

Goal-machine Jermain Defoe signs for Bournemouth

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Jermain Defoe is back where it all began.

[ MORE: Sanchez to Man City? ]

Bournemouth announced the 34-year-old striker has signed for them on a three-year contract after a release clause in his Sunderland deal was triggered, meaning he could leave for free following the Black Cats’ relegation from the Premier League last season.

Defoe spent a season on loan at Bournemouth as a teenager back in 2000-01 when he was coming through the ranks at West Ham and during his first season as a pro he played with current Cherries manager Eddie Howe, scoring 19 goals in 31 appearances (including a run of 12 goals in 10-straight games) for the then third-tier club.

The England international, who scored 15 times for Sunderland last season, returns with both himself and Bournemouth in a very different situation.

“It’s great to be back and I’m really looking forward to this challenge.” Defoe said. “When the opportunity came about to return to AFC Bournemouth I just knew it was the right one. It was an easy decision, joining a top team with a top manager. It’s a great place to be. The Bournemouth fans know that every time I pull the shirt on I will give 100 per cent, and the one thing I can guarantee is goals.”

Howe added that he was “delighted” that Defoe has returned and said it was a “huge moment” for the club as they continue their progression following a ninth-place finish in the PL last season.

During his distinguished career Defoe has scored goals by the bucket-load wherever he has played. He has 269 goals in 649 total career appearances and he has proven that he still has plenty left in the tank.

Playing for West Ham, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Toronto FC and Sunderland, he is a predator in the box and has kept himself in fine fettle over the years with a vegan diet just one of the ways he has elongated his career. Defoe’s form for Sunderland over the past two-and-a-half seasons has seen him recalled to the English national team in his mid-30s after scoring 37 goals in 93 goals.

He will not only add goals but will also help the development of young strikers Josh King, Benik Afobe and Lys Mousset at the Vitality Stadium.

This move was a no-brainer for both Bournemouth and Defoe as the Cherries continue to strengthen and add PL experience. Asmir Begovic has already arrived as their new starting goalkeeper and Chelsea’s promising defender Nathan Ake, who spent time on loan at Bournemouth last season, is expected to arrive later this week.

Heading into their third season as a PL club, Howe is addressing his needs early and impressively.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Watch Live: Sunderland vs. Manchester United (Lineups & Live Stream)

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Manchester United has a chance to get back to winning ways and put pressure on the top of the table as they travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

The Red Devils have suffered disappointing draws with West Brom and Everton in their last two, with just one goal scored between the two matches, and questions have been raised over Jose Mourinho’s pragmatic approach to games. The fight for the top four had been a true battle, but if they fail to win here, they risk being left behind, currently seven points back of Manchester City.

[ WATCH LIVE: Sunderland vs. Manchester United live online at NBCSports.com ]

As he often does, Mourinho has defied his own comments, having only a week ago said he doesn’t believe Luke Shaw has the work ethic to succeed at a club like Manchester United, only to name him in the starting lineup today. Mourinho issued a warning before the match, telling the media, “if he doesn’t perform exceptionally well, he doesn’t come back into the team.”

Sergio Romero also starts in goal with David De Gea missing his second straight match due to an injury he suffered against West Brom. Antonio Valencia returns at right-back, while Ashley Young misses out after an injury against Everton, while Wayne Rooney remains out with an ankle problem. Henrikh Mkhitaryan also comes in after his injury during the international break. Marouane Fellaini takes the captain’s armband for the first time during his Manchester United stay.

For Sunderland, the Black Cats seem the best bet to find themselves in the Championship next season. They sit a massive 10 points back of safety, and manager David Moyes has – fairly or unfairly – taken the brunt of the criticism. Today, with all the pressure on, they will be without Adnan Januzaj against his parent club United, while John O'Shea misses out for a second time as he takes leave after the death of his father.

Jermain Defoe starts up front for Sunderland, having not scored since the club’s last win, a 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace back on February 2nd, a win that seems like years ago. Defoe has never scored against a Jose Mourinho-managed team, and if he fires another blank, the Black Cats likely have little chance to save their Premier League status.

LINEUPS

Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, Oviedo, Denayer, Kone, Larsson, Rodwell, Cattermole, Ndong, Anichebe, Defoe.
Bench: Mannone, Djilbodji, Borini, Pienaar, Khazri, Manquillo, Gibson.

Manchester United: Romero; Darmian, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw; Fellaini, Herrera; Lingard, Pogba, Mkhitaryan; Ibrahimovic.
Bench: Pereira, Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah, Blind, Carrick, Martial, Rashford.