Everton saunter to final-day defeat

Sunday, 26 July, 2020 0comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 3 Bournemouth

Jordan Pickford made one excellent save but dropped another clanger as Everton lost at home in the league for the first time since November

Everton ended a hugely disappointing season in fitting fashion, ambling their way to a first home loss under Carlo Ancelotti.

The result ended up being academic in terms of the relegation picture as Aston Villa's draw at Upton Park condemned Bournemouth to relegation to the Championship but the stakes were reflected in the two sides' performances.

The Cherries were committed and aggressive when they needed to be while the Toffees, all too familiar fashion, controlled the possession for long periods but lacked urgency and effectiveness going forward.

Ancelotti picked an anticipated line-up featuring Moise Kean up front for his sixth Premier League start and Gylfi Sigurdsson operating in a more advanced midfield role but it was the visitors, who needed to win to have any chance of staying up, who carried the bulk of the early threat.

Josh King forced an early save from Jordan Pickford at one end and Seamus Coleman prompted Aaron Ramsdale into a parry at the other end with a left-foot effort before Pickford was called upon to make an excellent stop from Callum Wilson. The striker looked odds-on to score after being played in by King but Pickford denied him with an outstretched glove.

That merely delayed the opening goal by a couple of minutes, though. Everton managed to initially repel a free-kick after Jarrad Branthwaite had fouled King just outside the penalty area but when the ball was played back into the mix, Richarlison was correctly adjudged to have handled it.

King stepped up to take the resulting penalty and despatched it past Pickford's dive to put the visitors a goal up in the 13th minute.

Another handball claim, this time on Lucas Digne, was waved away by referee Chris Kavanagh a few minutes later and it was only then that the home team started to make sustained inroads on Bournemouth's defence.

Richarlison had a shot blocked after collecting Kean's pass from the left flank and when Kean fed Theo Walcott on the other side of the area a minute later, the veteran winger couldn't force a shot under Ramsdale who saved low.

Sigurdsson ballooned a shot over 10 minutes before the break but Everton did level matters six minutes later. Sigurdsson found Coleman who slipped Walcott in on the right side of the box and when he rolled a centre across the face of Bournemouth's goal, Kean was on hand to tap in from close range.

Parity only lasted another five minutes, however. Tom Davies committed a foul in a dangerous area in his own half and Diego Rico swung in a free-kick that was met with the head of Dominic Solanke who steered the ball into the far corner to make it 2-1.

Wilson began the second half by testing Pickford with a powerful half-volleyed shot that the England man beat away but chances would be at a premium in an increasingly dull second half.

Kean had a couple of tame headers easily gathered before he went off in a triple-change with 20 minutes to go that saw Leighton Baines come on for what might be his last appearance in an Everton jersey and made one crucial last-ditch tackle but apart from a half-chance for Anthony Gordon, the Blues created little of note.

Instead, it was Bournemouth who made sure of the result by way of another error from Pickford. Substitute Junior Stanislas was allowed to drive into the box from the left before aiming a fairly routine shot across the keeper that should have been easily to deal with but Pickford allowed it to skid under his arms and into the goal.

The defeat, the first in the Premier League at Goodison since Norwich stunned Marco Silva's men back in November — or, more accurately, the failure to win — costs Everton around £2.5m as Southampton's victory over Sheffield United at St Mary's means that the Saints leapfrog the Blues to finish in 11th place.

After the club's lowest league finish in 16 years, attention now turns in earnest to the transfer window and preparations for 2020-21 when expectations for Ancelotti's first full season in charge will be higher than the lethargic fare turned in by charges this afternoon.

 


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