Bournemouth eased to 7/2 in bwin’s Premier League relegation odds after a 3-1 victory at fellow strugglers Sheffield United.
Marcus Tavernier fired a double as Bournemouth maintained their resurgence under Andoni Iraola.
Tavernier struck early in both halves, his brace sandwiching Justin Kluivert’s first Premier League goal, while the impressive Cherries could have won by a bigger margin.
Substitute Oli McBurnie headed a stoppage-time consolation for the Blades, who remain in the relegation zone.
Bournemouth cruised to their first league win on the road this season and made it three victories in four top-flight matches to climb seven points clear of the bottom three.
The Blades had followed up their recent first Premier League win of the season against Wolves with a 1-1 draw at Brighton before the international break but were a distant second best.
With Dominic Solanke scoring six times this season and Kluivert – son of former Netherlands striker Patrick – notching his first goal for the club, Iraola saluted his side’s all-round offensive threat.
“We added Justin scoring in the league and Tav scoring two goals,” the Spaniard said. “I think we have talent there, I think we have goals there, behind Dom. We were having the chances.
“They were not scoring the goals before and I think it is good for them confidence-wise to come here and to score in such an important game.”
Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom acknowledged his side’s performance levels had dropped after they slipped to their 10th league defeat of the season.
They are 1/10 for an immediate return to the Championship and Heckingbottom said: “We started poorly and never really recovered. We can’t hide behind mistakes, though, we need to play better than that and get it out of our heads before the next game.”
The Blades face another relegation rival in bottom club Burnley at Turf Moor next Saturday and Heckingbottom added: “We’re going to have moments in this league, we are not stupid enough to know we will be at our best every week.
“But we have to try. We have to quickly get this out of our heads for Burnley next week.”
Home comforts crucial for Hatters
Luton are 1/3 for the drop after substitute Jacob Brown’s dramatic late goal earned a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Kenilworth Road.
A stolid match burst into life 18 minutes from time when Teden Mengi blasted Rob Edwards’ side into the lead from a corner, just reward for the pressure they had put Palace under in the second half.
Michael Olise levelled within seconds for the visitors, a brilliant goal that deserved more than to be in a losing cause.
But Luton, buoyed by the 10-point deduction handed to Everton this week, roared back, sealing a first top-flight home win in more than 30 years when Brown nipped between defender and goalkeeper seven minutes from time to nick it.
Edwards admitted the majority of Luton’s points are likely to come at home if they are to survive in their debut Premier League campaign.
He said: “Everyone made a big point about Kenilworth Road this season, how important it’s going to be. But before (Saturday) we’d had more points away from home.
“I don’t really care where (points) come from as long as we get enough. I think every game here has been tight, so I do think here is where the majority of them are going to come.
“I think we should have had more here already but we haven’t. Again that was why we challenged the players and again they delivered.”
Tomas Soucek’s stoppage-time volley condemned Burnley to a seventh consecutive home defeat as Vincent Kompany’s struggling side conceded two in the space of five minutes to lose 2-1 to West Ham.
The loss left Burnley, now 1/2 for relegation, bottom of the table having suffered seven successive defeats in all competitions for the first time since the 1931/32 campaign.
Everton (2/1) remained second-bottom after a 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Goodison Park on a day when fans protested against their 10-point deduction.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Toffees with a big game at Nottingham Forest next Saturday before facing Newcastle (h), Chelsea (h), Tottenham (a), Manchester City (h) prior to the new year.
Nottingham Forest (15/2) went down to their second successive defeat when losing 3-2 to 10-man Brighton in a drama-filled encounter at the City Ground.
Forest have now won just once in nine games to leave them in 14th, eight points clear of the bottom three, with that game against Everton next up.
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