EPL

Everton find goalscoring touch to beat struggling Bournemouth

By Sports Desk October 07, 2023

Everton scored more than once at home for the first time in almost a year as Goodison Park finally celebrated a victory after a 3-0 win over a woeful Bournemouth.

October 22, 2022 was the last time Goodison witnessed a game with multiple goals for the hosts when Crystal Palace were dispatched by the same scoreline.

On-loan Leeds winger Jack Harrison, who departed to a standing ovation late on, marked his full home debut with a brilliant lob over goalkeeper Neto to double the advantage given to them by James Garner’s early strike.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, whose goal against the Cherries in May secured the club’s top-flight survival here on the final day of the season, made the game safe on the hour with an altogether more simple close-range finish.

After four successive home defeats, Everton avoided a record worst start to a season at Goodison but were fortunate to come up against Bournemouth.

The visitors extended their own club-record winless run to 12 matches (nine defeats and three draws) and have now equalled their worst start to a season since 1994 in the third tier. The reasons for that were apparent.

Everton have hosted – and lost to – some poor sides in Wolves, Fulham and Luton already this season but none were as accommodating as the Cherries, who aside from an energetic spell 10 minutes after going behind appeared to still be trying to work out what new coach Andoni Iraola wants them to do.

Sean Dyche’s side did not even have to play that well to establish a two-goal cushion but once they did the confidence started to gradually flow back, encouraged by the lack of threat their opponents posed.

Dyche had dropped midfielder Amadou Onana to move Garner inside so he could go with two wingers in Harrison and Dwight McNeil but the Belgium international received a late reprieve when Idrissa Gana Gueye sustained a problem in the warm-up.

The key factor in the victory was probably the early goal, something they had failed to manage in four previous matches.

Illia Zabarnyi slipped bringing the ball out of defence, Philip Billing was unable to recover possession and Garner advanced forward to guide a low shot past Neto’s left hand for his second goal in three games.

The goal prompted Everton’s worst spell of the game and Bournemouth’s best as Dominic Solanke drilled a shot into the side-netting from an acute angle as the momentum appeared to shift.

But Everton seized it back when Dominic Calvert-Lewin latched onto Ashley Young’s pass down the line and set off on a run along the byline to force Neto to block his cross-shot.

A minute later they had doubled their lead when Neto punched clear Vitalii Mykolenko’s hanging cross only as far as Harrison, who perfectly lofted a 20-yard shot over the backtracking goalkeeper and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Calvert-Lewin hit the same crossbar with a header and Onana fired a shot on the turn as Everton finished the half strongly before another mistake by Zabarnyi soon after the interval should have sealed Bournemouth’s fate.

The centre-back’s wayward pass presented the ball to Doucoure but, unlike his blast from the edge of the penalty area in May, he shot weakly at Neto.

He did not make the same mistake from close range when Harrison’s far-post header from McNeil’s cross was parried into his path by the goalkeeper and straight from kick-off he should have volleyed home the fourth from another McNeil cross.

Everton’s former Burnley winger was having a decent game himself and, after hacking Zabarnyi’s header off the line defending a corner, he managed to get on the end of the subsequent counter-attack to shoot at Neto.

The under-employed Jordan Pickford’s late saves from Kieffer Moore and Marcus Tavernier at least kept him tuned up for the forthcoming England internationals.

Related items

  • Diogo Dalot admits Man Utd players must accept responsibility for shortcomings Diogo Dalot admits Man Utd players must accept responsibility for shortcomings

    Diogo Dalot admits Manchester United’s players cannot shirk responsibility for their shortcomings after an underwhelming second season under Erik ten Hag continued with Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

    United twice trailed at the Vitality Stadium and were fortunate to escape with a point following a poor first half in which the impressive hosts wasted a series of chances.

    While Bruno Fernandes’ double prevented defeat in Dorset, Ten Hag’s seventh-placed side face an uphill task to secure European qualification and also avoid the club’s worst Premier League finish.

    Defender Dalot believes battling back on the south coast was an encouraging sign but concedes the team have significant room for improvement going into their final six top-flight fixtures.

    “The big positive is we fought always for the result,” the Portuguese told United’s website.

    “That hunger of trying to fight until the end is something we have been showing this season.

    “It’s been a positive thing, in my opinion, although we have a lot of things we should improve, as a team, as individuals.

    “There are some things we obviously need to take responsibility (for), we cannot hide from it.

    “The standards are always high at this club so we have to be really, really accountable for these types of mistakes that we are making as a team that we cannot (make) if we want to fight for the big trophies.”

    United, who have never finished below seventh position in the Premier League era, are 10 points adrift of the Champions League positions following a fourth league outing without a win.

    Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert capitalised on sloppy defending to score for the Cherries but Fernandes’ volleyed equaliser ensured the visitors were only a goal behind at the break.

    United’s captain converted a 65th-minute spot-kick in a more even second period to again level before his side breathed a sigh of relief when Bournemouth were denied an added-time penalty by VAR when Willy Kambwala’s foul on Ryan Christie was adjudged to have been outside the box.

    United next weekend face a Wembley FA Cup semi-final against Championship club Coventry before returning to top-flight action at home to bottom side Sheffield United on April 24.

    “We are already focusing on a big opportunity for us to be again in the FA Cup final and it’s a massive competition we want to win,” said Dalot, who was an unused substitute in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City in last year’s final.

    “We know the feeling of being there, now we want the feeling of being there again and winning it. Next week we are going to have a huge opportunity to be there again.”

    Bournemouth were denied a first league double over the 20-time English champions on the back of December’s thumping 3-0 victory at Old Trafford.

    Striker Solanke became the Cherries’ record scorer in a single Premier League season with his 17th strike this term, moving clear of former team-mate Joshua King’s tally in the 2016-17 campaign.

    “For the last few games I wanted to get that next goal,” he told Bournemouth’s website.

    “It’s a great achievement and I’m over the moon with that record. Hopefully I can get a few more towards the end of the season.

    “Sorry Kingy about that – records are there to be broken!”

    Speaking about the late VAR drama, Solanke added: “I only managed to see it back on the big screen in the stadium and it looked like it was on the line. It definitely could have been a penalty.

    “I’m a bit gutted not to get the win.”

  • Eddie Howe grateful to Newcastle hierarchy for support through tough spell Eddie Howe grateful to Newcastle hierarchy for support through tough spell

    Eddie Howe has thanked the Newcastle hierarchy for backing him in his hour of need after emerging from a dark winter.

    The Magpies romped to a 4-0 Premier League victory over top-four candidates Tottenham at St James’ Park on Saturday to boost their own hopes of European qualification despite missing 11 players through injury or suspension, six of whom could be conceivably named in his strongest starting line-up.

    It was their third win in four games since the international break, a run in stark contrast to a sequence of eight defeats in 10 outings in all competitions around the turn of the year, during which the club’s Saudi-backed owners remained steadfast despite the first murmurings of disquiet around their 46-year-old head coach.

    Howe said: “I always say the most important thing for me is not during the good times, but the difficult moments which will inevitably be there.

    “There will always be negative and difficult moments and it’s the support you get then that is the defining factor.

    “You need stability, calmness, level heads and to be allowed to focus on your work. The people behind the scenes have done all of that for me.”

    Howe, his staff and his players have done much the same in the face of an injury list which has remained stubbornly lengthy throughout a challenging campaign.

    On Saturday, they started with their back-up goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, winger Jacob Murphy at right-back, third-choice right-back Emil Krafth and left-back Dan Burn playing as two of three central defenders and left-sided frontman Anthony Gordon operating on the right.

    But it was the way in which the players implemented Howe’s game-plan to the letter which won the day as they lured Spurs into their trap by allowing them possession and then hitting them with devastating counter-punches.

    Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon punished two errors from defender Micky van de Ven inside as many first-half minutes to set the ball rolling, and the imperious Sweden international ran away from his Netherlands counterpart after the break to make it 3-0 before Fabian Schar completed the job at the death with a bullet header.

    With six games to go, Newcastle could yet drag themselves to within three points of last season’s tally of 71 – and they will have key midfielder Bruno Guimaraes available to aid their cause after he safely negotiated an 11th outing on nine bookings – although Howe is refusing to look too far ahead.

    He said: “We’ve got a long way to go to get there. Six games to go and we’ll give our best to try to win every one.”

    Opposite number Ange Postecoglou headed back south chastened, but ready to come out fighting once again.

    He said: “There’s no point sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. There’s another game in two weeks. We’ve just got to get ready for that.

    “It’s not the first time it’s happened to us and it won’t be the last. It’s part of our growth. Sometimes that growth is painful. That’s part of it and you’ve just got to embrace it, use it and get ready for the next challenge.”

  • Mateo Kovacic believes Premier League title race will come down to nerves Mateo Kovacic believes Premier League title race will come down to nerves

    Manchester City midfielder Mateo Kovacic admits the title run-in will be a test of nerve.

    The champions kept the pressure on rivals Arsenal and Liverpool at the Premier League summit with an emphatic 5-1 win over relegation-threatened Luton on Saturday.

    City now have just six games remaining of what has been an enthralling title race.

    Kovacic, who scored City’s second goal in a commanding display at the Etihad Stadium, said: “It’s amazing, it’s entertaining. Three amazing teams doing great.

    “It will be tough until the end and let’s see who will have the strongest nerves until the end.

    “It was important to keep the pressure on them but we are focused on ourselves, to win our games and then in the end we’ll see what happens.”

    City dominated in all departments against the Hatters but they benefited from a huge slice of luck to take the lead after just two minutes.

    Erling Haaland’s acrobatic volley was heading well wide until catching Daiki Hashioka in the face and deflecting into the net for a highly unfortunate own goal.

    Perhaps with next Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid in mind, City then played at a slow tempo and it was not until the 64th minute when Kovacic doubled the lead with a thunderous strike.

    Haaland then added a penalty and the hosts finished strongly with further goals from Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol after Ross Barkley had grabbed a consolation.

    “We kept going, doing our job and in the end scoring five goals,” said Kovacic. “It could have been even more but we are happy with the three points. We have to keep going now.

    “We approach every game focused, to be 100 per cent and do our best. I think this game was as important as Wednesday. We need to keep the same focus and try to win.”

    Despite seeing his side outplayed and still rooted in the bottom three, Luton manager Rob Edwards was not downhearted and remained confident of survival.

    Edwards said: “This game was never going to derail us, whatever happened.

    “The supporters have been incredible all season long, home and away. They are all behind the players and me and that is really special. It gives me belief.

    “The players and the staff give me that belief as well and we know we are capable of winning the next five games. I’m not saying we’re going to win them all but we feel we can win enough games.

    “We have got three home games and I think it is difficult for any team to come to Kenilworth Road. We are up for this challenge.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.