Matt Ritchie scored a Goal of the Season contender as Bournemouth secured a 2-0 home win over 10-man Sunderland on Saturday.
The Cherries came flying out of the blocks and took the lead after just four minutes through Callum Wilson, before Ritchie doubled the lead five minutes later when he volleyed home a stunning curling volley.
Jordi Gomez then came close to pulling one back for the Black Cats but saw his cross-cum-shot hit the post, while Jeremain Lens was desperately unlucky to have his header after the restart ruled out for off-side.
Any hopes Sunderland had of mounting a comeback were ended after 75 minutes, though, as Younes Kaboul picked up a second booking and subsequent red card for a nasty lash out at Wilson.
It took the hosts just four minutes to stamp their authority on the game as Wilson latched on to Dan Gosling’s through-ball before outmuscling Kaboul and firing low past Costel Pantilimon.
Just a few minutes later and it was 2-0, Ritchie pulling one out of the very top drawer, controlling a half-clearance with his chest before unleashing an unstoppable volley which left the goalkeeper absolutely no chance.
The Black Cats came within inches of pulling one back a few moments later as Gomez’s delivery caught Artur Boruc unawares, although the post denied the winger what would have been a very fortunate goal.
Jermain Defoe twice came close to halving the deficit but first lost the ball under his own feet when racing through on goal before inexplicably heading over from six yards out, although he had strayed offside anyway and it wouldn’t have counted.
Sunderland should have pulled one back eight minutes after the restart as Lens thumped home a stunning header from close range, only for the linesman’s flag to go up for offside, although replays suggested the forward was level.
Fabio Borini then looked to replicate Ritchie’s first-half cracker after controlling equally well with his chest to set up a shot, although he got too much purchase on his effort and rifled the ball just over the crossbar.
However, their hopes of staging a comeback were all but ended 15 minutes from time as Kaboul, who had been booked in the first half, recklessly lashed out at Wilson to earn a second booking and an early shower.
Bournemouth almost added some extra gloss to the scoreline in the final minutes as Eunan O’Kane crossed in for Marc Pugh, but his downward volley bounced back off the crossbar with Pantilimon well beaten.