LONDON         -          Marcos Alonso’s late header saved Chelsea’s Premier League top-four berth as the Blues scrambled a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

Alonso opened the scoring with a crisp volley after Olivier Giroud struck the bar with an acrobatic flick, but Chelsea were punished for dwelling on that lead. Jefferson Lerma thumped in a header and three minutes later Josh King tapped in to hand the Cherries control just ahead of the hour. Blues boss Frank Lampard dispensed with his 3-5-2 formation and withdrew the luckless Fikayo Tomori in favour of Willian, in a desperate bid to reverse his side’s fortunes. The changes at first yielded precious little dividend, and just when Chelsea feared another costly loss, up popped Alonso with a vital header.

Pedro forced a parried save from Aaron Ramsdale on the half-turn, and the ever-alert Alonso was first to the loose ball to head into the empty net. A 10th league defeat of the campaign would have opened the door for Chelsea to drop out of the top four for the first time since October. While the Blues will be left to lament another frustrating afternoon, at least the visitors were able to salvage a point from the wreckage of a circumspect and at times complacent performance.

West Ham climbed out of the relegation zone as goals from Jarrod Bowen, Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio sank Southampton 3-1. Deadline-day signing Bowen marked his first Hammers start with the opening goal and ended up celebrating his first win in the Premier League, having suffered defeat in each of his previous nine matches. Record signing Haller chipped in with his first goal since New Year’s Day after Michael Obafemi had equalised, and Antonio wrapped up a much-needed victory after half-time.

In other matches, Steve Bruce’s gamble failed to pay off as Newcastle drew a blank once again and had to make do with a point from a hard-fought clash with Burnley. Jordan Ayew struck a second-half winner as Crystal Palace secured bragging rights against bitter rivals Brighton by snatching a 1-0 success at the Amex Stadium. Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis boosted their hopes of survival with a 70th-minute goal to beat visiting high-flyers Leicester City 1-0 and secure a vital three points.