Bournemouth 2 - 2 Everton
It felt like time had stood still for a few seconds as referee Lee Probert brandished the red card in the direction of Richarlison late in the first half of what became another lively, goal-infused encounter between these two teams at Vitality Stadium.
Surely Everton couldn’t have been reduced to 10 men for the second away game in succession and in precisely the same minute of the match? The prospect of another 55-plus minutes of action stretched out ahead in the imagination, thoughts turning to another grind as the Blues dug in to try to avoid defeat and move on to the next home game where they could make amends.
They had indeed suffered the same fate, of course, albeit in somewhat less controversial but no less maddening circumstances. The letter of the law could be said to be similarly clear where both Phil Jagielka’s tackle at Wolves two weeks ago and Richarlison’s tête-à-tête with Adam Smith are concerned. Likewise the intent of the law: to avoid serious injury to players and the elimination of a culture where head-butting players is accepted conduct.
The spirit and application of those laws offer considerably greater leeway for more common-sense refereeing, however, but both Craig Pawson and Probert elected not to apply any judgement of their own. In Richarlison’s case, while the law is quite clear — even if it is increasingly loosely applied, as the World Cup, where a number of head-to-head flare ups went unpunished, showed — he should have known better and he was clearly in violation of it by pushing his head into Smith’s. But you find yourself asking if Probert could have taken a more pragmatic approach, booked the Everton player, told Smith to stop being such a tart for his pathetic reaction, and just got on with the game.
As it turned out, Everton had the wherewithal and the guile to render the dismissal of their star player meaningless by the time 25 minutes of the second half had elapsed. Already a goal to the good, the Blues saw parity of numbers restored when, in a moment of delicious karma, Smith was shown a straight red card of his own in the 61st minute before Michael Keane headed home to make it 2-0.
It felt in that moment like Everton had won a big psychological victory and taken a significant step forward under the new regime. Unfortunately, though, some of the mental and defensive frailties that have dogged them for years still prevail and they would ensure that a hugely important lead was squandered in the space of four minutes later in the half.
As expected from a visit to a ground where the Toffees have yet to record a win in the League, nothing about the game was easy in the first half but Everton had, on the whole, looked the more assured of the two teams even if there were three or four players who never really got going and it was Bournemouth who had the two best chances.
Both were gilt-edged opportunities but, thankfully, Callum Wilson side-footed over after arriving in oceans of space in the Blues’ right-back spot to collect Ryan Fraser’s pass, and Nathan Ake made a mess of a free header six minutes before the interval, the ball bouncing off his shoulder in front of goal when a better contact would surely have beaten the stranded Jordan Pickford.
Everton, for their part, were better in possession but struggled to create opportunities of their own. With three goals in his first two games and one of the clear creative outlets in the Blues’ team, Bournemouth had clearly made nullifying the threat of Richarlison a clear priority. It worked; there were times when the Brazilian was suffocated by three red and black shirts and his inability to provide a reliable outlet had obvious implications for Leighton Baines going forward.
On the other flank, Seamus Coleman was having one of those days. He twice let the ball run under his feet for a throw-in after taking his eyes off it and the propensity he has shown thus far this season to overhit his crosses was still in evidence today. In central midfield, meanwhile, today was a big one for Tom Davies playing in place of the injured Morgan Schneiderlin but it’s fair to say he didn’t grab it with both hands as he was a little disappointing.
The best chance for Silva’s men in the first half fell to Theo Walcott when he latched onto a poor pass in front of his box by Steve Cook but the forward elected not to take the direct route to goal and was eventually crowded out.
Still, Silva was no doubt content that things were going to plan as half-time approached. That was until Richarlison reacted to some verbal sniping from Smith, squared up to the Cherries’ defender and picked up the first red card of his Premier League career for “violent” conduct. He's young and he will need to learn from this, particularly if he continues to pull up trees in the Premier League and becomes a marked man.
As was the case for much of the second half at Molineux, Everton acquitted themselves very well with only 10 men and in one of those moments where you found yourself wondering how a team with an extra man can find themselves so badly exposed at the back, Walcott scampered through to put the Blues 1-0 up.
Gylfi Sigurdsson did well to find the industrious Cenk Tosun, he sent Walcott away down the channel and the former Arsenal man did the rest with a thumping finish past Asmir Begovic from the angle.
Walcott threatened to repeat the feat five minutes later from another of those pin-point missiles forward by Pickford. The No.11 breezed past Smith who extended an arm to check his progress and Walcott crashed to the turf. Probert, citing the denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity, sent him packing and Baines stepped up to take the resulting free kick. His shot had the accuracy but lacked power and Begovic clawed it away.
Five minutes after that, it was 2-0. Keane, who was in the Bournemouth box for a quickly-taken set-piece that caught the home side napping, was in the right place when Sigurdsson sent a perfect cross into the box and the defender rose highest to power a downward header under the ‘keeper.
That should have been that but Everton failed to really settle the game down and shut up shop and their lead was halved just eight minutes later following a clumsy challenge by Baines on Wilson. The fullback came together with the striker as a cross from the Bournemouth left fell between him and Keane and Wilson, feeling the contact, made the easy decision to crumple to the turf.
The referee pointed to the spot, Pickford guessed the right way but couldn’t reach Josh King’s spot kick that was placed inside the post. Everton had 15 minutes to try and see out the victory but their worrying susceptibility at set-pieces reared its head again just four minutes later.
Wilson got his head to a corner, guiding the ball past Pickford but onto the post and the positioning of the Blues’ defenders all outside the six-yard box meant that three Bournemouth players were queuing up to slot home the rebound. Ake did the honours and it felt then as though the pendulum had swung decisively in the home side’s favour.
Wilson popped up again at another corner a couple of minutes after that before a solid penalty claim at the other end where Tosun appeared to be dragged down by his shirt was waved away by the referee. (An even clearer incident in the first half where Coleman's legs were taken from underneath him was also not given by the officials. What consistency?)
Any momentum the game might have had going into the six minutes of time added for stoppages was largely dissipated by a lengthy delay following a heavy clash of heads between Keane and Idrissa Gueye, the latter coming off the worst as he came to meet a cross from the right and caught his team-mate full on after making the clearance. The centre-back was eventually carried off strapped to a stretcher with his neck in a brace to a pitch-side gurney whereupon he was rushed to hospital.
Yet Sigurdsson would have one last chance to win it for Everton when the space opened up for a shot from 20 yards following Gueye’s intercepting tackle but the Icelandic midfielder’s rising effort cleared the crossbar.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and Everton won’t be rebuilt over the course of a summer, a couple of transfer windows or even a season. There are still plenty of kinks to be worked out, many weeks still of Marco Silva instilling his methods and preferred style of play on the squad, and some maturing and growth to come among some individual players.
Even acknowledging those facts, this was still a hugely disappointing result that felt a bit like a defeat in many respects rather than the draw that we would surely have grudgingly accepted at half time with another 45 minutes of football to come facing a team with a numerical advantage.
That Everton once again took the lead despite being a man down and then went two goals up once the numbers had been evened up makes what followed hard to take. It does feel as though there is so much more to come from a team that is being reconstructed with younger players but, at the same time, it’s difficult not to be frustrated at opportunities like this being squandered.
Still, while there were late glimpses of Bernard and Kurt Zouma as late substitutes, this was, Richarlison aside, still Silva’s version of the badly under-performing team that plodded its way through last season and was so dreadful to watch under three different managers.
An unbeaten start, two away draws and a home victory with three games on the bounce to come at Goodison Park and five of the six new signings hardly having kicked a ball could be considered to be a decent start to the new regime. Fingers crossed we’re at the start of an upward curve and that lessons will be learned from missed chances like these first two away games.
Reader Comments (42)
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1 Posted 26/08/2018 at 00:29:29
I always feel over the years going right back to the Moyes era that our downfall has been drawing too many games especially away and especially when in winning positions.
If we lost 11 away games but won the other 8 it would be far better than only winning our usual meek 3 or 4 and drawing a loads.
Lessons for not just Silva but the whole team to learn.
2 Posted 26/08/2018 at 01:30:37
A period of 25 minutes of vigor and two goals was the height of an otherwise indifferent performance.
I thought Tosun, Gana & Sigurdsson were the lads who earned their corn. The rest, including Walcott (goal and run aside) were fairly poor.
Even within the maelstrom of the game and the criminal concession of a 2-goal lead, you can see progress. We have a real transition game and potency. We also are unable to control through game either with tempo or defensive fortitude.
The game incidents has given Silva the opportunity to blood players he wants without the headache of dropping someone.
One last note for Silva himself, as we sat on our lead and allowed Bournemouth to change it up, I thought his subs were too little, too late.
Utterly bonkers game, one you have to rue dropping points when 2-0 up.
3 Posted 26/08/2018 at 02:50:49
4 Posted 26/08/2018 at 04:26:25
In his stead, Baines wore the armband but did not seem to do very much by way of leading.
Meanwhile, Coleman had an awful game... A causative factor perhaps?
5 Posted 26/08/2018 at 04:41:45
However, the result became less important when Michael Keane suffered a bad injury. I am sure we all wish him a speedy recovery.
Smith enticed a very gullible Richarlison to touch him with his head. It was like being swatted by a fly. They were both wrong and anyone with an ounce of sense would have given both players a red. Aren't refs supposed to use common sense?
6 Posted 26/08/2018 at 04:44:04
Baines has been one of my favourite players since the day he got here, but he is no leader of men. We've seen a few examples of that.
Seamus, on the other hand, seemed born for it and has always lead by both example and instruction.
Pure speculation of course, but more than a tad plausible.
7 Posted 26/08/2018 at 04:45:59
8 Posted 26/08/2018 at 05:42:21
If Coleman was poor BECAUSE the captaincy was given to Baines, then what kind of captain would that make him? Baines was poor defensively all match today and he cost us the win. Coleman was poor in attack all game, and in prior games, while also getting lost in defense multiple times. Baines needs to be replaced in the team. But if you think Colemans poor play was because he wasnt captain today then how could you advocate for him to ever be captain again?
9 Posted 26/08/2018 at 05:59:08
I hope Keane recovers soon. He was far and away the best defender yesterday and attacked thr ball with confidence. His distribution is sometimes suspect and I don't like when he gets taken down the channels by pacey forwards, but he will young and will learn.
10 Posted 26/08/2018 at 06:31:24
The captain is an important figurehead and sets the tone. Its fine to have multiple leaders in the dressing room but the man given the arm band should be the real leader.
Baines and Jagielka are not real leaders. Seamie is. Pickford is too. I would pick these two as my leaders.
Seamie did have a stinker but he is still head and shoulders above Kenny. Defensively he did really well clearing at the far post and with Keane, Jagielka and Mina out Silva has no choice but to continue with him anyway. Giving him back the arm band would be sound man management but also necessary as Baines can't continue. His legs have gone and we need to blood Digne.
Keane's injury and Jagielka's suspension is hugely unfortunate. Silva faces the prospect of his 3rd centre back pairing if the season and his only 2 fit CBs. He has a problem at LB and, thanks to Ritchies idiocy, has lost a real threat down the left side.
This is a real chance for Lookman and I hope we see him against Rotherham and then our next league game. If we are cashing in on him, then I assume we will see Theo asked to play wide left and DCL come in wide right. Not my preference.
Under no circumstances should Gylfi be played out wide. He has been absolutely superb as a no 10 and with Tosun and Walcott we still have a penetrative front 3, especially at home.
11 Posted 26/08/2018 at 07:27:17
These gaping weaknesses show a weak defence that even good defenders could never be comfortable or confident about playing in. Baines for instance got the blame for a clumsy penalty.
But the ball was unchallenged at the cross (on same wing as the Wolves cross, which resulted in a goal) and Keane failed to cut out the cross, having time to attempt a recovery destined to fail, before it became Baines's impossible problem. Silva has a lot of hard work to do in coaching a defence, who is composed of some players who never seem to learn or listen.
Tosun is providing a supporting midfield and wing role, which quite frankly is not the necessary job he is supposed to be doing. This is the winger's and midfielders' role; if Tosun is there, he is interfering with play and not making himself available.
Richarlison was successful played out of the game, surrounded by extra shirts, who could take the risk, knowing their markers were not a threat. . . Bournemouth's hallmark is recognising this and playing higher up the pitch improving their striking rates and possession. They will have come away from the game thinking, same old Everton with a slight improvement, but less of a threat in front of goal.
Lyndon, I share your frustration.
12 Posted 26/08/2018 at 07:49:24
When looked at 3 games played, 1 win, 2 draws away sounds good on paper, however, when looked at individually it feels like a lucky win and 2 defeats.
Southampton had a number of chances through poor defensive play by us. The 2 draws were both achieved from us leading.
Hopefully in a couple of weeks time Silva will have more of his own team out on the Park. More importantly we will see us stronger defensively and having a better game management plan in place.
We can all see improvement going forward, however, the defensive side of the game is equally, if not more, important. Presently we show, in my opinion, no improvement at all in that department.
13 Posted 26/08/2018 at 08:50:33
The lack of away wins is put under the microscope far more when points are dropped at Goodison, and a pattern of winless games starts developing so we need to maintain a solid home record against two pretty piss poor sides before we travel to the Emirates.
If I was Silva Id be concerned about the away form that has stretched back 2 years now and thats a question of mental strength and why the players seem to be so fragile and weak when in comfortable leading positions.
Character plays a pivotal part in football, its mainly what won Leicester the Premier League two years ago so it should never be underestimated.
Its something we need to develop quicker than we are at present because you can have all the formations or skilled players you like, without a strong mentality its always going to hold you back.
14 Posted 26/08/2018 at 09:00:31
Soon, Silva will have his new players in place, it's a work in progress, but some good signs. For me, the midfield is the area that let down a shaky defence with poor positional covering for both goals.
Let's hope we get in tune for the next game.
15 Posted 26/08/2018 at 09:01:48
16 Posted 26/08/2018 at 09:08:56
17 Posted 26/08/2018 at 09:24:49
The frustration with supporting Everton is that, this problem of shooting ourselves in the foot by daft errors has been around for a long time. I know other teams do it as well, including Liverpool, but it seems so consistently prevalent with us.
All we can hope is that this tendency, or psyche, or whatever it's called, becomes a thing of the past as the new regime and new signings bed in. But it's more of a hope than an anticipation.
18 Posted 26/08/2018 at 09:24:52
Idrissa Guaye - 5 Game bypassed him !!
Obviously their correspondent must have been distracted looking for his season ticket for the 5.30 ko.
Guaye for me has excelled in every game this season, his energy levels are back to where they were when he first joined us, he is a vital player for gaining possession and Davies in stark, direct comparison looked lost bereft of all the required technical skills.
I believe, and I'm probably not the only one, that Baines has made his last start for the club, he cannot be the No 1 left back now surely, its time to announce Digne.
Generally Everton look so much better with the ball, optimism abounds
19 Posted 26/08/2018 at 09:59:15
The zonal marking simply doesn't work but we are stuck with it. Hopefully Zouma and Holgate will work well together against Rotherham.
20 Posted 26/08/2018 at 10:01:05
The days when Everton could secure victories with 1-0 results have gone for good. Now, Everton need to score 3 times to secure victories. This situation will not continue when Everton play better opposition.
So instead of Everton scoring twice to draw, they will be getting beat by 2 or 3 goals. It appears that Martinez, Koeman now Silva have ignored the defensive side of football at their peril.
21 Posted 26/08/2018 at 10:11:25
22 Posted 26/08/2018 at 10:38:09
That's pretty much my feeling, Lyndon. One of positivity. I'll, again, be going into the next game with high excitement rather than last season's feeling of imminent doom.
Very interesting point about captaincy that Michael @ 4 raises.
23 Posted 26/08/2018 at 10:52:37
On another note, I can't remember when we totally dominated a match, I don't know if that's the case for most teams in modern football or it's just us that has this problem. Are the days of commanding midfielders long gone? It's the same with closing a game down. So many goals are scored in the final minutes of matches which makes me think it's a widespread thing.
I don't think that we have a commanding midfielder. Can someone name one at another club? Do they exist?
24 Posted 26/08/2018 at 10:58:08
Yesterday should simply not have happened, and I hope the boss has learned something about the character of some of these players. I wonder how long Digne will sit on the bench for.
25 Posted 26/08/2018 at 11:04:44
MotD analysed four key decisions in the Game. They felt that the Richarlison "Headbutt" left the referee with no choice, no matter how tame it was.
They thought the Baines incident was a clumsy challenge, but a penalty.
However, they were as perplexed as Walcott was (in an interview for MotD) about Smith's Red Card. They all thought Walcott still had a lot to do to make it a "Clear Goal Scoring Opportunity".
Finally, they thought we should have had a penalty when Tosun was clearly tugged by a desperate Bournemouth player in, or just outside the six-yard box. I watched it on a poor stream but I heard the Evertonians who were there clearly and loudly appeal, That is the decision we should be debating.
26 Posted 26/08/2018 at 11:47:05
Silva has clearly stated in interviews that the new players are not yet ready to be integrated. You shouldn't take Silva's comments about the new players literally. "Adding competition for places" is a polite way of saying the existing players are not good enough.
Give him a chance, he has inherited poor defenders but is stuck with them until the new ones are up to speed with his coaching and properly fit.
27 Posted 26/08/2018 at 12:53:41
Half time I went to do some gardening -– could I put up with the disappointment of listening to a defeat. Joy at 2-0; disappointment to find out we let it slip.
But Marco Silva has given me back my love for football. I was so disenchanted with football after 6 months of Allardyce, I never even bothered with the World Cup. Silva has brought back the excitement.
We may have dropped 4 points and scuppered our chance of Champions League in 2019-20. Maybe even made it more difficult for Europa League (and see how badly Burnley are doing so maybe a blessing in disguise) but the excitement is back.
Maybe the 2019-20 season will be when the resilience is added for the whole season to go with the excitement because, by the time we get to the end of this one, Silva will have added that this team.
28 Posted 26/08/2018 at 14:31:38
However, Silva will now be aware that Jagielka and Baines are a long way past their best, that last season's team can't fathom zonal marking and the team lacks a centre-forward who offers much more than hard work and nice touches.
I guess our new man has had little option but to start with virtually the team Allardyce left behind but I hope that, by the time the next away fixture comes round, he will no longer need excuses not to include his new men in the squad – at least.
Too many of the old brigade were involved in doing for the last four managers for them to continue to fail (bottle) away games for them to be tolerated any longer.
29 Posted 26/08/2018 at 14:35:48
I am pleased you have highlighted the Daniels tackle on Coleman that should definitely have been a penalty. Referees certainly seem to have it in for us at the moment. I have also noticed how many foot stamps on players are going unpunished this season.
It appears to me that the referees are being lenient on clever fouls but are coming down like a ton of bricks on so-called meaty challenges. Jags and Vardy both played the ball in their red card incidents. Milner yesterday got away with so-called forceful tackling the first of which lead to the RS goal. Even Danny Mills on 5 Live commented on the fact that Milner was being over zealous given the new interpretations pertaining to tackles and the amount of force being used. However he wears Red and not Blue so different rules apply.
With regards to Smith's antics it was what my Uncle John used to say – sorry. PC Brigade – he was acting like a big girl's blouse! The use of the words 'delicious irony' is one of your best Lyndon. I just hope Richarlson has learnt his lesson and when Smith faces him at Goodison he gives him the roasting of all roastings.
COYBs – onwards and upwards.
30 Posted 26/08/2018 at 16:02:01
31 Posted 26/08/2018 at 16:19:16
Despite having plenty of possession we showed little or no penetration in the first half yesterday and might well have been a goal down after fifteen minutes when Wilson had the goal at his mercy but hoofed his shot over the bar.
After scoring our second goal our play became casual with too much aimless passing and knocking it back for Pickford to kick long. That allowed Bournemouth to push up and put us on the back foot.
Walcott was our man of the match. He was a constant threat to the home defence, took his goal brilliantly and worked hard tracking back in defence.
32 Posted 27/08/2018 at 07:14:43
Two sendings off is, however, a real worry. Whether the referees were harsh ought not to be the question, the question is have Everton got a particularly indisciplined group of players. It is always easier for referees to take the letter of the law than to be seen applying the much lauded "common-sense". Everton players ought to be attempting to follow the letter of the law.
33 Posted 27/08/2018 at 07:27:03
All of the above has come in the space of a pre-season in July and three competitive games in August.
Yet to come are new signings getting up to speed and bedding in to the starting eleven; increased fitness levels compared to what they were in the last two seasons; the squad learning to play using a (could also say yet another) new manager's philosophy and tactics. This will come over the next couple of months.
The only issue that I would really be worried about in the short term is stopping giving up soft goals. I would hope that it is something the manager and squad will be focusing on.
34 Posted 27/08/2018 at 07:49:29
35 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:03:46
36 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:19:53
But to me the outlook seems much better for a few reasons:
Firstly and v important: a lot more full of confidence, drive and comaraderie.
Secondly it is like they speeded up the tape from watching same players who played last year.
Thirdly we have some new players, who at least some, if not all, will improve us further.
Of course we are all concerned about the defence and maybe new players can help with that.
With games coming up, we could increase confidence and tend to agree Nov/Dec is when we click. May even be next season when we really click.
To bore myself by saying same again, I still think everything is geared to will slot into place as we kick off season in new ground!
Still expecting world peace then too.
37 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:36:45
I used to get pee'd off with those slowly-executed and slow-paced passes last season. This season I've even seen Jags receive and pass a ball on in one movement, without any touch to control it. Defences last season could polish their nails while waiting for us to get the ball from man to man and up the field.
"I still think everything is geared to will slot into place as we kick off season in new ground! Still expecting world peace then too".
And a smile from my wife in the morning.
38 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:42:47
39 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:47:18
40 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:26:49
The powers to be really screwed up by not getting the VAR in place already.
Yesterday's treatment of Hazard shows that the hatchet men are not worried as long as it serves a purpose and VAR won't catch them.
On a brighter note Everton are showing something they lacked last season and that is character.
Hopefully, soon the strength in depth will prove to be so important to elevate this club back to where they belong.
They are not yet, Man Utd, Man City or Liverpool with all their big money bags but the signs are really promising.
41 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:37:35
Lots of the results of many Premier League games will now be down to the way each referee interprets the rules of the game, sending offs, penalties etc will be down to the man in charge, each one will have different opinion to the same rule, and it looks more and more like the top teams will benefit with these opinions.
42 Posted 28/08/2018 at 18:53:15
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