by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
AFC Bournemouth are now unbeaten in their last three games, after the Cherries battled to a 0-0 draw away at Swansea City.
Eddie Howe’s side came into the fixture off the back of a last-minute Steve Cook winner at Newcastle, before a 4-0 rout of Huddersfield Town lifted Bournemouth further clear of a relegation battle. Simon Francis’ red card at the Vitality saw Adam Smith come back into the side - the Cherries’ only change.
Swansea have struggled under Paul Clement this season, and look set for a relegation scrap come the end of the season. But it was the home side who started the quickest, with Jordon Ayew beating Nathan Ake before firing narrowly over.
Bournemouth gradually asserted themselves into the game, and controlled the majority of possession in the early stages. Jordon Ibe looked to pick out Callum Wilson, but his deflected pass fell to the feet of Andrew Surman who could only drive his effort into the chest of Fabianski.
Both teams struggled to create chances in the wet conditions. After a scrappy interchange just past the half-hour mark, Ki Seung-Yeung fed through Bayern Munich loanee Renato Sanches, who could only find the side netting as Asmir Begovic narrowed the angle.
The best chance of the first half fell to Bournemouth, just two minutes before the interval. Josh King and Marc Pugh combined well, and as King span Roque Mesa he fired a low effort towards goal that had Fabianski getting down low to save.
On the stroke of half time, Swansea City had the ball in the back of the net. Captain Wilfried Bony fired home emphatically, after Jordon Ayew had held off Nathan Ake. As the Liberty Stadium celebrated, referee Stuart Attwell ruled the Dutchman had been fouled, and the two teams entered the interval level.
Five minutes after the break King found Adam Smith, who brought the ball forward before letting loose a long-distance effort that whistled narrowly past the post. Swansea could have opened the scoring just after, as a block from Charlie Daniels fell to Sanches who could only blaze over.
Both teams struggled to break down their opponents’ defence, despite both goalkeepers being forced into action countless times this season. Bournemouth improved in the closing stages, and in the 70th minute Jordon Ibe latched onto a clearance from Mawson, before cutting inside and testing Fabianski at his near post.
Ki could have been shown his marching orders by the referee not long after, following an altercation with Ibe that saw the Korean international push Stuart Atwell. But with nothing being given, Eddie Howe rolled the dice and introduced Benik Afobe in place of Callum Wilson, who was unable to build on his hat-trick against Huddersfield.
In the 83rd minute, the Swans should have opened the scoring. Leroy Fer shrugged off Adam Smith with ease, before the Dutchman found himself clean through on Begovic’s goal. The Bosnian did well to block the first effort, and Fer could only fire the rebound over with the goal gaping.
A penalty shout for the home side was turned away by the referee in added time, despite clear contact from Adam Smith. The Cherries had their own chance to steal all three points too, with Charlie Daniels’ fizzed ball to the back post just beyond Afobe’s reach.
Both teams were forced to settle for a point, which sees Eddie Howe’s men extend their unbeaten streak and move into 12th place for the time being. Swansea, however, needed more than a draw to stave off their relegation worries, and Paul Clement’s job is looking less secure with every passing matchday.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Alfie Mawson (Swansea)
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, van der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson, Mesa, Ki, Carroll, Sanches, Ayew, Bony
Subs: Nordfeldt, Fer, Abraham, Dyer, Routledge, Clucas, Rangel
Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, S. Cook, Ake, Daniels, Ibe, Surman, Arter, Pugh, King, Wilson
Subs: Boruc, Gosling, Afobe, L. Cook, Fraser, Moussett, Simpson
Referee: Stuart Atwell