STEVE MOUNIE’S double secured Huddersfield Town a crucial home win against Bournemouth and lifted them straight back out of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Alex Pritchard’s early opener for the Terriers was quickly cancelled out by Junior Stanislas, but Mounie restored his side’s lead before half-time and followed up by heading his eighth goal of the season in the second period.
Rajiv van La Parra rounded off a convincing win for Town by converting a stoppage-time penalty.
It was a crucial victory for Huddersfield, who notched their first points of 2018 after last week’s defeat at Manchester United had extended their winless league run to eight matches and plunged them into the bottom three for the first time.
Chairman Dean Hoyle referred to the Chinese Year of the Dog in his programme notes - the Asian nation celebrates its new year on Friday - and David Wagner’s players displayed all their Terriers’ spirit in front of watching England coach Gareth Southgate.
Bournemouth forced successive early corners, but Huddersfield opened the scoring with a superb counter-attacking goal in the seventh minute through Pritchard.
Left-back Scott Malone’s excellent pass down the left wing sent Mounie free and after cutting into the penalty area he pulled the ball back for Pritchard to convert his first Premier League goal and first for the club.
But Bournemouth were soon displaying the form that has propelled them out of the bottom three up to 10th in just seven matches as they hit back with a fine goal of their own.
Ryan Fraser chased a ball down the right and curled a lovely cross first time to the far post where Stanislas applied an excellent finish, taking a touch with one foot and then guiding the ball into the bottom corner with the other.
Such was the game’s tempo, more goals were clearly on the cards.
Huddersfield centre-half Mathias Jorgensen headed Aaron Mooy’s cross straight at Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, but soon after the home side restored their lead.
Mooy, looking more like the swashbuckling midfielder who drove Town forward earlier in the season, delivered a fine free-kick after Lewis Cook’s foul on Jonathan Hogg and Mounie headed beyond Begovic in the 27th minute.
Bournemouth defender Steve Cook’s shot clipped a post as Huddersfield held on until half-time.
Town signalled their intent straight from the restart as Pritchard fired wide and Mooy pulled his effort narrowly off target.
Another dangerous Mooy cross was headed just over by Tom Ince and the home side’s ambition was justly rewarded when they secured a two-goal cushion in the 66th minute.
Mooy was again the provider as he swept a low ball in from the left after Bournemouth had given away possession and Mounie steered a neat left-footed finish into the bottom corner.
Bournemouth responded, but with little conviction. Substitute Lys Mousset’s effort was blocked by Hogg and it was Huddersfield who looked more likely to score a fourth.
The only sour note for the Terriers was Mooy leaving the field on a stretcher in the 76th minute with his left knee in a brace before Pritchard was felled by Dan Gosling in the area, leaving Van La Parra to convert form the spot.