A David Brooks brace proved to be enough for Bournemouth who record a welcome 2-0 win against Brighton.
The home side took the lead just after the 20 minute mark, with Brooks firing home a fine strike from the edge of the area beyond the despairing Mat Ryan.
Bournemouth had Asmir Begovic to thank for going into half-time with a lead though, as the Bosnian goalkeeper produced a trio of smart saves to deny Yves Bissouma, Jurgen Locadia and Lewis Dunk - helping the Cherries preserve their advantage.
There was very little by means of goalmouth action in the second-half, although Brighton's task of getting back into the game was made harder when Dunk was sent off with 17 minutes remaining - the defender receiving a second caution for a clip on Callum Wilson.
The hosts made the most of the man advantage with 13 minutes remaining, as Brooks helped himself to his second of the game with a lovely header beyond Ryan to wrap up the points for Bournemouth.
Key Talking Point
Bournemouth had lost seven of their last eight games in all competitions heading into the Brighton game, so Eddie Howe will be delighted to see his side secure a much-needed win.
With some standout performances from Begovic and Brooks, it was an efficient display from the hosts and an important win, with the Cherries now looking to climb up the Premier League rather than looking over their shoulders.
Starting XI: Begovic (7); Francis (6), Cook (6), Ake (6), Daniels (5); Stanislas (5), Surman (6), Lerma (6), Brooks (8*); King (5), Wilson (6).
Substitutes: Fraser (7), Mousset (5), Ibe (N/A).
The match-winner on the day, David Brooks, provided two great finishes to decide the game at the Vitality Stadium.
His movement and quality on the ball also caught the eye, as he was allowed to drift off the flanks into central positions, where he caused Brighton all sorts of problems.
Two goals again for David Brooks today. Quite the debut PL season he's having.— Alex Terrell (@alxterrell) December 22, 2018
It wasn't Junior Stanislas' best afternoon in a Bournemouth shirt, as his crossing from wide positions was well off the mark. His replacement Ryan Fraser showed him what to do by laying on Brooks' second.
Key Talking Point
Chris Hughton's decision to start the club's top scorer Glenn Murray on the bench will now be a decision he regrets, especially as the game against Bournemouth was one he would've seen as winnable prior to kick off.
Instead, the Seagulls couldn't take their chances when they presented themselves, and were punished twice by some quality finishing from the hosts. Murray entered the game in the final ten minutes with the Seagulls already 2-0 down, a man down and pretty much out of the game.
Perhaps Hughton had one eye on the Arsenal game on Boxing Day, with Murray more than likely to start that game.
Starting XI: Ryan (5); Montoya (5), Balogun (6), Dunk (5), Bernardo (5); Bissouma (7), Propper (6); March (5), Gross (5), Locadia (5); Andone (6).
Substitutes: Knockaert (5), Bong (5), Murray (5).
Offering energy and bite to Brighton's midfield, Yves Bissouma was the Seagulls' best player when they were on top in the first-half, and was denied a well-worked goal by Begovic in the 11th minute, which could've changed the course of the game.
Jurgen Locadia was given a chance to shine from the start, although barring a strike from distance in the first-half, he had a rather forgettable 70 minutes.
Locadia, like everyone, had a good first half and an awful second. That whole last 45 minutes was a joke— Jamie Walker (@Walker_this_way) December 22, 2018
Locadia on the pitch at all is a joke.— Graham Ridley (@GrahamRidley) December 22, 2018
Both sides return to action on the traditional Boxing Day fixtures, with both up against London opposition.
Bournemouth face a trip to Tottenham hoping to carry the momentum from this win, while Chris Hughton will be looking for a reaction when his Brighton side host Arsenal.