Arnaut Danjuma scored the only goal as Bournemouth picked up a crucial 1-0 win over Championship promotion rivals Watford in an ill-tempered game which both teams finished with 10 men.
Danjuma fired the winner – his seventh goal of the season – 16 minutes into the second half to end the Cherries’ two-matching losing streak.
Bournemouth’s victory was marred by a multi-player stoppage-time brawl during which Watford striker Joao Pedro and Bournemouth midfielder Jack Wilshere were both sent off.
The hosts were boosted by the return of top-scorer Dominic Solanke after six games out with an ankle injury.
But the former Chelsea and Liverpool striker was starved of service in a first half lacking too many clear-cut chances.
Watford defender Adam Masina should have done better in the fourth minute when he could only head wide after Asmir Begovic had flapped at a Kiko Femenia cross.
Bournemouth’s first sight of goal came four minutes later when Junior Stanislas’ corner was not dealt with by the Watford defence but Jefferson Lerma was too slow to react and let the ball bounce off his chest and into the arms of Daniel Bachmann.
Watford wideman Ken Sema then blazed over the crossbar with a fiercely-struck volley from just inside the penalty area.
In the 25th minute another dangerous delivery from Femenia sought out Pedro at the near post but he headed wide after being put under pressure by Begovic.
The first meaningful save for either goalkeeper did not come until 11 minutes before half-time.
The lively Stanislas teed up Lloyd Kelly on the corner of the 18-yard box and his angled drive was turned over the crossbar by the Austrian Bachmann, deputising for the injured Ben Foster.
The last action of the half saw Ismaila Sarr send a volley flying high over the crossbar, summing up the lack of attacking quality on show.
Danjuma came close to opening the scoring in the 55th minute when his goal-bound shot was cleared of the line by Francisco Sierralta.
Dutchman Danjuma came close again soon after but was denied by a sprawling save from Bachmann following a quick counter-attack.
Begovic then repeated Bachmann’s heroics by denying Tom Cleverley as Watford broke quickly themselves.
The winning goal came in the 61st minute when Steve Cook took a quick free-kick and released Danjuma to fire past Bachmann at his near post from a tight angle.
The closest Watford came to an equaliser was when Sarr fired wide after racing in behind Kelly.
The match ended in ugly scenes sparked by Pedro’s late tackle on Lerma, which resulted in a second booking and red card for the Watford player.
Substitute Wilshere followed down the tunnel soon after following a butt of heads with Cleverley.
At one stage both sets of coaching staff and substitutes had spilled onto the pitch as pandemonium broke loose.
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