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Venue: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
Premier League
 Saturday 30 December 2017; 3:00pm
BOu'MOUTH
2 1
 EVERTON
Fraser 34', 88'
Half Time: 1-0
Gueye 57'
Attendance: 10,467
Fixture 21
Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Match Report

Everton finished 2017 with Sam Allardyce's first defeat as manager as Ryan Fraser's deflected winner handed Bournemouth their first win in nine games.

The Blues had been punished by the diminutive midfielder in the first half when James McCarthy's giveaway led to him scoring the opener and while Idrissa Gueye scored a well-taken equaliser 12 minutes into the second half, the visitors couldn't hold on to a point.

Gueye had been expected to sit out again after straining his hamstring against Chelsea last week but he was selected in a defensive midfield trio that was rounded out by Morgan Schneiderlin and James McCarthy, making his first appearance since returning from hamstring problems of his own.

The overtly defensive posture had predictable ramifications for Everton's ability to attack; while there was, on the whole, a good deal more passing and confident possession of the ball, Dominic Calvert-Lewin remained an isolated and ineffective presence up front.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, it was Bournemouth who had the better chances in the first period. Callum Wilson rolled Michael Keane easily and saw his half-volley beaten away by Jordan Pickford while Jordan Ibe was also foiled by the Blues' keeper who pushed his fierce drive behind.

The home side did take the lead in the 33rd minute, however, when McCarthy's back-pass was collected by Wilson, he fed Josh King and when the ball was squared across the box, Fraser was there to steer the ball past Pickford.

Allardyce made a much-needed change at the break, introducing Wayne Rooney, returning from a virus, withdrawing McCarthy and, combined with Oumar Niasse's introduction for Calvert-Lewin soon afterwards, the change in formation would contribute to Everton regaining parity within 12 minutes.

Rooney had dragged a left-footed shot narrowly wide and when Simon Francis gave the ball away to Gylfi Sigurdsson from the resulting goal kick, the Icelandic international picked out Niasse in the Bournemouth area. His lay-off found the advancing Gueye and he swept it home to make it 1-1.

Everton failed to push on from there, however. Instead, it was the Cherries who responded, with Francis exchanging a one-two pass and sliding it square to Wilson but Pickford was there again to make an excellent save.

Benick Afobe came very close to putting Eddie Howe's men back in front when he turned neatly past his marker but a heavy touch took it through to the ‘keeper before Yannick Bolasie replaced Gueye with 20 minutes left.

The Congolese winger had one chance where he eschewed a decent shooting opportunity and chose to play it wide to Niasse and then ballooned over when the Senegalese striker's cross was headed out to him.

Then, three different episodes where Everton sloppily gave the ball away in their own half put them in danger of falling behind again. Pickford had to race off his line to avert danger on the first two occasions and then parry another effort from Ibe who then clipped the crossbar as Bournemouth continued to threaten.

After Sigurdsson had had a shot charged down at one end, the hosts made the breakthrough that they had been threatening after the protection afforded by Gueye had been lost in midfield at the other.

Fraser was played in on the edge of the Blues' box and with Keane backing off, he jinked his way into position before firing a shot off the defender's heel and over the stranded Pickford with just a couple of minutes left on the clock.

The loss ends Allardyce's seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions and keeps Everton's attacking deficiencies in sharp focus as the January transfer window approaches.

Everton end the year in ninth place but will rue having dropped five points from two winnable games against two teams struggling near the bottom of the table over the Christmas period.

Matchday Updates

James McCarthy made a surprise comeback for Everton only to gift Bournemouth a goal in another dreadful first half but Gueye pulled back an equalizer only for Bournemouth to snatch the win with a deflected late goal.

Wayne Rooney started on the bench while Gueye and Schneiderlin were paired together, and Lennon, Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson meant to provide the attacking intent.

The football was very scrappy from the start, and Schneiderlin gave away a silly free-kick that was hit deep and went behind off Cook. In possession, Everton were bereft any real ideas going forward, a pass through the middle to Gueye immediately turned over.

Sigurdsson got a chance too deliver from a set-piece but it fell to Lennon whose shot came to nothing. The home side won the first corner but the ensuing cross was over-hit. Lennon got behind the Bournemouth defence but was unable to shoot.

In the build-up from midfield, The Blues continued to be painfully slow and unable to create much, backing off after loosing the ball and allowing the Bournemouth players to run at them until encountering a reasonably solid blue wall in the Everton penalty area.

The hosts had another decent chance, Jordon Ibe twisting and turning before firing a fierce low effort at goal which the Everton keeper pushed behind.

Callum Wilson raced through on goal and got a shot off but it was too close to Jordan Pickford who saved it well. Everton paid the penalty for their cautious approach on 33 minutes after some terrible play from McCarthy toward his own goal allowed Bournemouth to surge forward and Fraser volleyed home King's cross to put the Cherries into the lead. King then had to go off a few minutes later, with Afobe replacing him.

A shockingly poor half for Everton, the lack of energy, lack of movement, continued poor passing is frankly unbelievable, with the Blues second to nearly every ball, the players strolling at a snail's pace in possession, while Bournemouth although poor were at least showing some intent to get forward in numbers.

Wayne Rooney replaced McCarthy after the break but, despite the change, all the attacking invention and desire continued to come from the home side.

Oumar Niasse replaced Calvert-Lewin before the hour-mark and had an instant impact in a rare Everton attack against the run of play after Steve Cook had gifted the ball to Sigurdsson, Niasse slipping his pass out smartly with a deft flick into the the path of in-rushing Idrissa Gana Gueye who fired home unerringly into the far side of the goal beyond the decidedly under-worked Begovic.

A great move from Bournemouth sliced through the Everton defence and it was well worthy of a goal but Pickford got down superbly to stop Callum Wilson's shot.

Yannick Bolasie was Sam Allardyce's final change, replacing Gueye as the Everton manager looked to go for a win with a more attacking formation for the last quarter of the game. Fraser looped a poor free kick well past Pickford's goal.

Bolasie was immediately involved in a much more promising attack, feeding the ball wide in the Bournemouth box, then getting the return form Niasse but firing his shot over as he struggled to keep his balance.

Another horrible giveaway at the back almost let Afobe in but for the Bournemouth player's heavy first touch. Schneiderlin was next to gift the ball to the home side who went forward and got off another shot at Pickford.

Sigurdsson should have sown the game up for Everton with a glorious chance that he somehow contrived to miss. Meanwhile, Bournemouth kept probing as the Everton defence looked to remain solid and preserve Sam Allardyc'e remarkable unbeaten record into an unprecedented 8th game.

But 3 minutes from time and another Bournemouth attack saw Ryan Fraser's shot deflected off Keane past Pickford and into the Everton net just inside the post to give Eddie Howe the win, despite 5 mins of added time.

Scorers: Fraser (33', 88'); Gueye (56')

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 30 December 2017

Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis, Steve Cook, Ake, A Smith, Ibe, Lewis Cook (78' Arter), Gosling, Fraser, King (39' Afobe), Callum Wilson (85' Mousset).
Subs not Used: Boruc, Pugh, Daniels, Simpson.

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Martina, Gueye (72' Bolasie), Schneiderlin, McCarthy (46' Rooney), Lennon, Calvert-Lewin (54' Niasse), Sigurdsson.
Subs not Used: Williams, Davies, Holgate, Robles.

Referee: Lee Probert

Attendance: 10,497

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton close out 2017 with a trip to Bournemouth looking to secure what would be only their third away win of the calendar year.

The Blues' abysmal away form under Ronald Koeman, where they registered a solitary victory at Crystal Palace last January, has only marginally improved in recent weeks with the narrow success at Newcastle and they were held to a goalless bore draw at struggling West Brom on Boxing Day.

A visit to another club battling to avoid a relegation battle in the second half of the campaign offers another chance to end the year on a high, however.

Having failed to win any of their last eight Premier League matches, Bournemouth will begin the weekend in the drop zone but will take heart from their recent performances at the Vitality Stadium against Everton. They battled back to draw 3-3 in this fixture in 2015 and beat the Blues in September last year thanks to Junior Stanislas's solitary goal.

Eddie Howe's plans this time have been hit hard by injuries to his forward line, however. Stanislas is ruled out along with Jermain Defoe while Josh King and midfielder Andrew Surman will undergo late fitness tests to see if they can make it.

Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, wasn't shy in expressing his frustrations with the striking options at his disposal as he discussed his options in the coming transfer window where Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun has emerged as a top target.

"Players already here, like Sandro, haven't picked up the pace of the Premier League,” the boss said today. “He hasn't been able to show what he showed in Spain.

”I think Oumar [Niasse], while he has scored, hasn't made a regular place in the Everton side. And young [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin is battling away but still his goal record is around four.

“I think he's got a bright future, but I don't think we can rely on him week in and week out at the moment."

While a deal for Tosun is reportedly close, he wouldn't be able to sign until the New Year so Allardyce will continue with the options available to him right now.

Wayne Rooney's return from illness will come as a big boost for this game and James McCarthy seems to finally be fit following a succession of soft-tissue complaints but Idrissa Gueye is unlikely to be risked.

Leighton Baines won't be ready, however. The fullback continues to struggle with a calf complaint and isn't expected to resume training for another couple of weeks or so which will require Cuco Martina to deputise again out of his natural position on the left.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 30 December, 2017
Referee:
Last Time: Bournemouth 1 - 0 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Keane, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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Match Preview
Match Summary
Match Report
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BOURNEMOUTH
  Begovic
  Francis
  Ake
  S. Cook
  Smith
  L. Cook (Arter 78')
  Ibe
  Gosling
  Fraser
  King (Afobe 39')
  Wilson (Nousset 85')
  Subs not used
  Boruc
  Pugh
  Daniels
  Simpson

EVERTON
  Pickford
  Kenny
  Keane
  Jagielka
  Martina
  Schneiderlin
  Gueye (Bolasie 71')
  McCarthy (Rooney 45')
  Lennon
  Sigurdsson
  Calvert-Lewin
  Subs not used
  Robles
  Williams
  Holgate
  Davies
  Unavailable
  Rooney (ill)
  Baines (injured)
  Barkley (injured)
  Coleman (injured)
  Funes Mori (injured)
  Tarashaj (injured)
  Browning (loan)
  Dowell (loan)
  Galloway (loan)
  Onyekuru (loan)
  Pennington (loan)
  J. Williams (loan)

Match Stats

Everton
Possession
47%
53%
Shots
1
1
Shots on target
7
1
Corners
4
4

Premier League Scores
Saturday
Bournemouth 2-1 Everton
Chelsea 5-0 Stoke City
Huddersfield 0-0 Burnley
Liverpool 2-1 Leicester
Man Utd 0-0 Southampton
Newcastle 0-0 Brighton
Watford 1-2 Swansea
Sunday
Crystal Palace 0-0 Man City
West Brom 1-1 Arsenal


Team Pts
1 Manchester City 59
2 Chelsea 45
3 Manchester United 44
4 Liverpool 41
5 Arsenal 38
6 Tottenham Hotspur 37
7 Burnley 34
8 Leicester City 27
9 Everton 27
10 Watford 25
11 Huddersfield Town 24
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 22
13 Southampton 20
14 Bournemouth 20
15 Stoke City 20
16 Newcastle United 19
17 Crystal Palace 19
18 West Ham United 18
19 West Bromwich Albion 16
20 Swansea City 16

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