Cherries survival confirmed with Swans win
- Kevin Friend
AFC Bournemouth will be in the Premier League for a fourth successive season in 2018/19 after a 1-0 Swansea City win confirmed their safety.
Bournemouth started strongly, creating chances from the off, and had their rewards when Fraser fired home after being set up from a clever freekick routine.
Swansea pushed men forwards as they looked for a leveller important for their own chances of survival, though the Cherries had the clearer second-half chances without able to notch a settling second.
The win was cheered to the rafters by the home supporters at the final whistle, Eddie Howe leading his squad to a fourth season in the Premier League in 2018/19.
The Cherries made a single change from their last match, Marc Pugh coming in for Lys Mousset as the French striker dropped to the bench.
The hosts made a bright start and Callum Wilson was a fraction away from getting the wrong side of Federico Fernandez and in on goal, the ball eventually trickling out of play before the Cherries striker could get his shot in on goal.
Joshua King then ran at Alfie Mawson wide right, beating the Swans defender twice before his low centre was cut out, ahead of the home side winning a succession of corners which the visitors managed to clear.
The Swans growing into the game, Asmir Begovic was at his best to get to down and repel Mike van der Hoorn who, following a set piece, struck with power from ten yards, the Cherries 'keeper maintaining parity with his legs.
Bournemouth had an even better chance on 16 minutes, Lewis Cook picked a pocket, fed to Fraser and the Scot delivered a wonderful skidding cross into the box for Wilson to bury at the back post, though the striker could only hit the bouncing ball wide.
King was soon breaking down the left. His pass found Andrew Surman bursting through and the ball was squared to Wilson, but again his shot was off target.
Andre Ayew crossed for brother Jordan Ayew, but the latter could only stoop to head over, and on 36 minutes the goal the Cherries had the goal their play had warranted after Wilson had won a freekick on the very edge of the area.
Surman rolled the ball along the top of the box, into the path of Fraser who bent an effort home from 19 yards to give the home side the lead.
The Swans could and maybe should have levelled when Andre Ayew dinked a ball into space for Jordan Ayew who was free with time to shoot from eight yards, the Ghanaian misreading his lines and swiping his effort wide.
There were no changes made by either manager at the break, and Begovic was again alert to scramble across his goal and save from Jordan Ayew 30 seconds after the restart.
There was a clearer sense of urgency in Swansea legs following the interval, the Ayew brothers linking well while Tom Carroll looked to orchestrate with his passing ability.
However, it was at the other end where the next big chance arrived. King worked wonders to beat two men on the byline and lofted a centre that Steve Cook ran into the path of but headed over the bar. Simon Francis soon firing over with another rolled freekick.
Carroll blasted a half-volley over the bar for the Swans at the midpoint of the second period, the attacking tide swaying without either side able to take control and net would would be a crucial second goal of the game.
Nathan Ake rose to head a corner down and towards goal, though Lukasz Fabianski was behind it and gathered. Dan Gosling was introduced from the bench and almost immediately spun in the box and got a shot away, the effort lacking the power to trouble the 'keeper.
The Cherries were looking to hit the Swans on the break, as the visitors increasingly committed men forwards. Lewis Cook led one counter, finding Wilson to his left before the centre was a yard in front of Gosling in space in the middle.
The Swans again escaped as Fraser blasted from his own half on the dribble, played in King and in similar circumstances to moments before a low centre gave Wilson an opening, Fabianski miraculously blocking to keep the lead at one.
Tyrone Mings returned from injury and appeared from the substitute's bench in the closing stages, capping a good afternoon with a positive injury return.
The counters continued into the three added minutes at the end of the game, but a match that was filled with chances ended with just one, and that was enough for the Cherries to secure their win and Premier League place for next season.