Bournemouth 3-0 Brighton: Cherries reach club record Premier League points total

Bournemouth's Enes Unal scores against Brighton in the Premier League

Enes Unal scored on his first Premier League start for Bournemouth as the Cherries beat below-par Brighton to reach their highest top-flight points total.

Marcos Senesi's 13th-minute header gave Andoni Iraola's side the lead, nodding in from three yards after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

Turkey striker Unal dragged wide in the first half, but scored his second goal since joining on loan from Getafe in January when he cleverly headed Dango Ouattara's cross into the far corner after the break.

The impressive Justin Kluivert sealed the win when he drove at the Brighton defence late on and drilled home a left-footed strike for his third goal in three home games.

Brighton were lacklustre throughout and failed to create many meaningful chances - coming closest when Simon Adingra's effort was tipped over the bar by Mark Travers.

There was concern late on for Bournemouth though, with winger Antoine Semenyo carried off on a stretcher with a suspected knee injury.

The victory moves Bournemouth to 48 points - two more than their previous best top-flight haul in 2016-17.

Brighton remain 12th and have now won just six of their past 28 league games.

Their season is in danger of petering out in a campaign that has bucked the trend of their recent impressive progress.

Two sides continue on opposite trajectories

When Bournemouth started the Premier League season without a win in their opening nine games, the decision to part ways with Gary O'Neill and appoint Iraola - who had no experience in England - was questioned.

Those questions have been well and truly answered as the season has gone on.

They were excellent again on Sunday, playing with pace and creativity, and arguably should have won by a greater margin in the end.

Unal's first-half miss was a huge chance and Kluivert hit the side netting when he should have squared early in the second.

Iraola's side have taken 45 points from their past 26 games and if they could achieve that ratio over a full campaign then they would be challenging for the European places.

For all of Bournemouth's brilliance, Brighton were poor.

There is plenty of noise around Roberto de Zerbi's future at the club and the Italian cut a disconsolate figure on the touchline at times.

He was slouched in his seat after Bournemouth's opener and looked miserable and frustrated as the game wore on.

Brighton made seven changes from their 4-0 thrashing by Manchester City in midweek, with the experienced Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana dropping to the bench, including first Premier League starts for 21-year-old defender Odel Offiah and 19-year-old striker Mark O'Mahony.

De Zerbi's side had 13 shots across the game but just one on target and while they are hampered by injuries, their run since September has seen only Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United win fewer matches.

They have issues to resolve over the coming weeks ahead of next season - the biggest is whether De Zerbi will remain in the dugout.