Dominic Solanke chose the perfect moment to end his 39-game Premier League goal drought to hit a double in Bournemouth’s 4-1 demolition of Leicester to boost their chances of survival.
The Cherries are now 18th, three points from Premier League safety with three games to play after ending a miserable run of recent form.
Striker Solanke, signed from Liverpool for £19million in January 2018, has struggled since the big-money move but his two goals also gave a timely boost to Chelsea in the race for Champions League football with Foxes, in fourth, dropping points again.
Dominc Solanke (centre) takes praise from team-mates after scoring for Bournemouth
The £19million striker slammed home his first Cherries Premier League goal against Leicester
Solanke said after the game: ‘I think all the boys are over the moon. We knew it was going to be a really tough game. The last few weeks have been difficult for us but today we went all out. I’m just happy they came now, at a time like this we need goals.
‘At the last few games we didn’t quite get that but today we managed to put four in. I think after you get a get a goal you get the adrenaline and it definitely helped for the second. I got two good chances, some days you don’t get them.
‘We didn’t have anything to lose, we went 1-0 down, we knew today was a must win game. We went a bit more attacking and it worked. It’s a massive boost, the last game we did well against Tottenham but didn’t’ manage to get the win but we did today.’
Solanke then seized on a defensive mistake to poke home his second of the game in victory
The £19million man gets praise from his manager Eddie Howe after sealing a crucial win
On Sky Sports, the pundits also had words of praise for the striker and believe he has given the Cherries a chance of survival.
Sol Campbell said: ‘Now he’s given Bournemouth a heartbeat, a chance to survive. I’m pleased for him.
‘All the players were around him. You need that bit of a luck. Leicester had their cigars out, nice and easy then it all changed, that’s what makes football beautiful.’
Jamie Redknapp added: ‘Lifeline? Just a bit, they used up 50/50, phone a friend, ask the audience, they had used all of them. I think the phone a friend was Leicester and Kasper Schmeichel today.
‘Eddie Howe made two changes at the break, gave them a bit more energy. Like Sol said I am pleased for Dominic Solanke, you wonder when he is going to score a goal. He got a slice of luck but you saw the confidence oozing out of him after the second goal.’
On Sky Sports, Jamie Redknapp praised the performance of Solanke in ending his drought
Having graduated from Chelsea’s youth academy, Solanke left for Liverpool in 2017 but registered only one Premier League goal in 22 appearances and 27 games overall.
This is in contrast to a sparkling England youth career where he won the 2017 Under-20 World Cup and scored nine goals in 18 games for the Under-21s.
After making the big-money move to Bournemouth, Solanke’s first half-season would go goalless before his first strike in the FA Cup against Luton almost exactly a year after joining the club ended the drought.
Yet senior England international Solanke, who won his only cap to date in a 2017 friendly against Brazil, may not only have had a huge say in the relegation fight but also in the battle for top four football.
Solkanke made his senior England debut against Brazil in 2017 but has not played since
Having at one point been 14 points clear of their rivals, Leicester are now just one point ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United with a game to play.
Chelsea, where Solanke came through the youth system, are one point ahead in third and in pole position for the Champions League places.
Solanke, a Chelsea youth product, gave his former club a boost in race for Champions League
As it stands, Champions Liverpool and Manchester City, in second, will take two spots and the final two will be contested between Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester United.
However, sixth-placed Wolves are only three points back and even seventh-placed Sheffield United still have a chance on 54 points.
To further confuse things, Manchester City are awaiting a verdict from the court of arbitration for sport (CAS) over their two-year ban from European football that would offer up another Champions League spot.
If the ban is upheld, the fifth-placed team will get Champions League football and it is likely the teams finishing from sixth to eighth will qualify for the Europa League.