Brighton & Hove Albion were unable to hold on to their lead against a relentless AFC Bournemouth side that kept fighting until the very end to grab a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe.
Eddie Howe marked his 300th league game for the Cherries in some style, inspiring a comeback against a Brighton side that first took the lead early in the second half through Solly March, a great header to give the Seagulls the lead in the game.
However, their lead wasn't mean to last as Bournemouth fought back in the latter stages of the game and ended their poor run of results to grab their first three points of the season against their visitors from Sussex.
Key Changes for Seagulls and Cherries
Chris Hughton made just one change from last week's victory against West Bromwich Albion. Liam Rosenior came into the side for captain Bruno.The Seagulls lined up with a 4-4-1-1 formation with in-form Tomar Hemed and Pascal Groß spearheading the team's attack.
The biggest concern for Eddie Howe was the absence of Steve Cook at the back, his leadership is of big value to the Cherries. Howe reverted to a back four for this one with Jermain Defoe and Josh King being the dynamic duo up top against a stubborn Brighton defense that had rarely conceded in the Championship.
Pedestrian first-half display from both sides
Bournemouth kicked off the first half of the game with a loud vitality at the start supporting them. Charlie Daniels's cross created the first chance of the game for the Cherries, there was a good spell of early pressure from them
Ryan Fraser got into dangerous positions down the right and combined well with Adam Smith at times. However, the attack's were neutralised just in time. Brighton playing out wide to Liam Rosenior well, there were long passes from Lewis Dunk, which was the first time the Seagulls seemed like a threat in the early minutes.
Bournemouth were playing sharp football, there was purposeful passing from Howe's side. Brighton were playing catch-up in the early minutes. Brighton being patient in build-up play, Anthony Knockaert was at the centre of attacking moves in Bournemouth's half for much of the first half.
Knockaert took a long-range effort, which went close off the near post. Bournemouth were dominating the ball as expected. Howe's team were also using the wings to their advantage, using simple football and keeping the Seagulls on the backfoot. Daniels' crosses were largely intercepted and cleared by Shane Duffy.
Brighton survive late period in the first half
Brighton were lucky to escape from jail at one moment when Duffy made the wrong pass to Dunk, intercepted by Josh King, however, his shot was ineffective, thanks to the block. The Seagulls were not looking potent on the break, Knockaert the catalyst for them to make things happen, Pascal Groß was still fitting into the game.
Another chance for the Cherries came after 20 minutes, Marc Pugh unable to put away a cross sent in by Daniels. A couple of minutes later, Daniels led the Cherries attack again down the left. However, his long-shot finds only the hands of Brighton's keeper, Mathew Ryan
At the half-hour mark, Defoe decided to test the goalkeeper with an attempt from long range, the shot went just past the post. And for the rest of the half, the Cherries kept the ball to themselves and never really got at the opposition.
Second half comes to life at the Vitality
In the second half, Solly March carved the first chance of the game after the youngster skipped past Smith to give the Seagulls their first goal-scoring chance.
Groß's lob corner to Duffy had seemingly put the ball into the back of the net via another Brighton head in the box. However, the referee didn't give it and the game goes on.Another of Duffy's headers went towards the back post and was blocked away by Surman and at the second time of asking, Stephens' header came back off the post.
Bournemouth were now putting pressure on Brighton's box as Cherries looking to score the goal and break the deadlock of the game.
Against the run of play, Brighton made it 1-0 just close to the hour mark, thanks to great work from Pascal Groß, a brilliant cross from the German indeed. March attacked the box and got the header into the back of the net after Francis jumped before the youngster.
Bournemouth's resistance was finally broken and the Seagulls had taken the lead against the way the match had gone on until then, with the home side dominating with the numbers in possession of the ball.
Brighton started to look more threatening down the wing, delivering early crosses, however, the Cherries defenders were holding firm and blocking those attempts on their box. The game came into life since the Seagulls' goal, now Howe attempted to force the issue with the introduction of Jordon Ibe, a substitution that ultimately made the difference.
Ibe wins the game for the Cherries
Daniels' high crosses were unable to find Defoe or King until then. However, when the equaliser came from the Cherries, the wait had been seemingly worth it for them. Substitute Ibe with a brilliant backheel into the path of Surman, who then rolled it into the back of the net to make it 1-1 after a smooth turn.
Ibe got another chance in front of goal, but his powerful effort blocked by the Brighton defenders, meanwhile, Groß was still down from the start of this move by Surman, Asmir Begovic tried to pick him up off the pitch, a gesture not appreciated by the German international.
Towards the closing stages of the game, Ibe did it again, he's the creator and Defoe is in the right place at the right time, once again. One chance, one finish, and the veteran goal-scorer made it 2-1 to the Cherries, what a turnaround for the home side indeed.
In the final few moments of the game, the Seagulls looking to play it directly and get the ball to Glenn Murray and Tomer Hemed as soon as they could. Bournemouth breaking them down in midfield itself and giving them no chance on the counter.
A late free-kick in the game was the last of Brighton's worries as they slumped to a 2-1 loss away from home. This victory will mean a lot more to the Cherries who have picked their first three points of the season after five games.