Struggling Bournemouth remain languishing in the Premier League relegation zone after a humiliating 4-1 home defeat to Newcastle extended their winless run to seven games.
First-half strikes from Dwight Gayle and Sean Longstaff put the mid-table Magpies on course for resounding success at the Vitality Stadium.
Substitutes Miguel Almiron and Valentino Lazaro completed the job as the Cherries capitulated to a club-record 19th defeat in a top-flight season.
Dan Gosling claimed an added-time consolation with the hosts’ first goal since football resumed following the coronavirus pandemic but, on this evidence, there is little to suggest they can extend their Premier League stay to a sixth season.
The south-coast club are running out of games in the battle to beat the drop and their next four fixtures are against Manchester United, Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City.
Victory for Newcastle moves them on to 42 points, banishing any lingering concerns about their own top-flight survival as they returned to winning ways following Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City.
Not even a shocking second-half miss from Isaac Hayden could dampen the delight of Magpies manager Steve Bruce, who has seen in his position become mired in uncertainty due to proposed takeover talks.
Eddie Howe’s hosts, without suspended top scorer Callum Wilson, struggled to create all evening.
They endured a nightmare start and contributed to their own downfall as they fell behind inside five minutes.
Cherries midfielder Jefferson Lerma was carelessly dispossessed on the edge of his own box by Longstaff and Gayle – who scored his first top-flight goal since May 2018 in last week’s draw with Aston Villa – was sent clear by Allan Saint-Maximin to clinically find the bottom left corner.
The early goal extended the Cherries’ wait for a clean sheet to 15 Premier League games, a club-record run which began after December’s 1-0 win at Chelsea.
Their porous defence was exposed for a second time with half an hour played.
Saint-Maximin was once again the provider, easily tricking his way past Adam Smith on the left and pulling the ball back for Longstaff to rifle his first league goal of the season into the roof of the net from 10 yards out.
Bournemouth failed to produce an attempt on target in the first half and were denied a flying start to the second half by an offside flag.
Joshua King, back from an ankle problem to soften the blow of Wilson’s absence, headed in after Dominic Solanke’s deflected strike came back off the left post but the effort was correctly ruled out.
The incident offered hope for the hosts, however the wind was swiftly taken out of their sails.
Substitute Almiron, who came on when Longstaff limped off injured shortly after scoring, collected Saint-Maximin’s pass and worked space on the edge of the box before stylishly finding the top left corner with a delightful curling effort.
Bournemouth almost reduced the deficit with an hour played but David Brooks, on the two-year anniversary of his arrival from Sheffield United, was denied by the crossbar.
Lazaro coolly converted in the 77th minute after being played through by Shelvey, before Hayden blazed over a gaping goal after Lazaro’s initial effort rebounded off the bar.
Newcastle’s trip to Dorset was marred slightly deep into added time when former Magpies midfielder Gosling bundled home from close range but the positives far outweighed the negatives as they recorded consecutive away league games for the first time since January 2018.
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P