EVERTON 6 - 3 BOURNEMOUTH
Gaz kindly drove and we were in the pub nice and early to watch Arsenal, predictably, crumble at Stamford Bridge. It was good fun in the pub. A few Bournemouth supporters were milling around and I couldn't help but hear a few American/Canadian (apologies, I can't tell the difference) within earshot. I've noticed this a few times now this season and it's fantastic to have a rich base of support travelling over the Atlantic for Everton games. Long may it continue.
After the tough game at Stoke City, Ronald Koeman decided to shuffle his pack a little, pulling the young lads Tom Davies and Mason Holgate out, as well as Kevin Mirallas. This equated to a midfield three of Morgan Schneiderlin, James McCarthy and Gareth Barry, with Ross Barkley and Ademola Lookman both operating mainly from the flanks to support Romalu Lukaku. A first start in a blue shirt for Ademola by the way. Ex-blue Dan Gosling and Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere both featured for the visitors who were well-backed by their supporters.
After two succesive blanks I fancied Romalu Lukaku to get on the scoresheet, though I certainly didn't expect him to do this so quickly...nor did I anticipate he to do so four times! It was the perfect start to the game and great play at such an early stage of the match. Schneiderlin's ball in to Lukaku was nicely touched back to McCarthy who returned the pass to Lukaku, who didn't hesitate in smashing the ball into the corner of the net past Artur Borac. A dream start to the game after only 30 seconds.
We continued to threaten and were well on top. Our creative players Ross Barkley and Ademola Lookman both in their groove and enjoying themselves. It was great play by Romalu however which doubled our lead when he got free down the right hand side of the penalty area and cut the ball back for James McCarthy whose first effort was blocked but he got lucky with the ball ricocheting back and bouncing in of himself for his first goal of the season. Shortly after, 2-0 became 3-0 when Simon Francis played a dreadful pass into his own penalty area, directly to Romalu Lukaku who reacted quickly and finished intelligently, clipping the ball over the advancing Artur Borac. One of the lads got a bit excited thinking it would get to 5-0 before half time. As it transpired, we almost needed a five goal cushion such was the spirited fightback from the Cherries after the break.
The visitors, as you knew they would, began the second half strongly, but we felt the storm had been weathered and that we may be able to see the game out comfortably. Goals change games of course and the impressive Joshua King began the comeback when he got behind our defence and finished coolly past Robles. It certainly wasn't time to panic then, however panic soon set in some 10 minutes later when King again got on the scoersheet, this time stretching to turn in a Ryan Fraser centre. 3-2 and the players were stunned. Us supporters? Very nervous. Very nervous indeed. You actually expected us to "do an Everton" and blow the game. Bournemouth twice came close, both with good efforts from distance. Joel Robles couldn't keep a lid on his frustrations and received a yellow card for booting the ball as hard as he could high into the Upper Gwladys Street. We really were on tenterhooks though you knew that if we could get one more goal we would probably have enough to finish them off. Thankfully, on 83 minutes Romalu Lukaku helped us breathe a big sigh of relief with a very well taken goal. His pass out to Seamus Coleman was perfectly measured, his volleyed finish back across the keeper also perfect as our brilliant Belgian completed his hattrick and, finally, finished Bournemouth off.
Except we weren't quite finished. Neither team were in fact as we still had three goals to come. Romalu Lukaku's fourth goal arrived just a minute later when he chased through an exquisite backheal from Ross Barkley and slotted past the goalkeeper, this time with his right foot, to make it 5-2. Goodison Park erupted as Lukaku wheeled away towards the corner flag at the Park End. Word got around that Hull City were leading Liverpool 2-0 much to everyone's palpable glee. "I've never felt more like singing the blues, when Everton win and Liverpool lose..." echoed around the stadium several times. We were all the more jubilant when we heard that our cast off striker Oumar Niasse had scored Hull City's second goal. Meanwhile on the pitch Harry Arter scrambled in Bournemouth's third goal, much to Joel Robles and Ramiro Funes Mori's dismay as the ball had gone out of play before he put it into the net.
Though Romelu Lukaku rightly gets all the plaudits for his exceptional efforts in front of goal, it was nice to see Ross Barkley have the final say on the game. Ross had an excellent game, this characterising his form since the turn of the year and you have to expect that an England recall must be on the cards if he can keep up this form. Ross picked up the ball and ran at goal. Artur Borac came flying out of goal. Ross rounded him effortlessly, then prematurely celebrating before stroking the ball home to compound a quite exhilarating afternoon of football at Goodison Park. You know you've been spoilt when, at the very end of the game, a little bit of me wanted the referee to award a penalty to Bournemouth rather than the free kick they received. Only to add to the drama!
An extraordinary afternoon at Goodison Park then and our impressive 2017 form continues. With two of the league's biggest strugglers coming up in our next two games we have a real opportunity of having an additional six points in the bank by the time we visit White Hart Lane.
Who knows how close that may bring us to the "big six".
Robles: He got away with a first half dropped catch but otherwise he didn't really put a foot wrong. At 3-2 in fact he appeared to be our only player out there who was keeping his head whilst everyone ahead of him was losing their's. 8
Baines: Did fine. He's playing with consistency. 7
Funes Mori and Ashley WIlliams: They were both led a merry dance as Bournemouth rallied and they need to defend better than that. They both seemed to improve when Mason Holgate joined them to make it a back three. There's certainly room for improvement. 5
Coleman: Not at his best. Good assist for our fourth, and perhaps most important, goal though. 5
Schneiderlin: Looks a fine player. You've got to enjoy watching a player who gets stuck in. Morgan certainly does that. 7
Barry: A bit hit and miss. Did some very good things, but on a good few occassions was a little sloppy with his passing. 6
McCarthy: Got lucky with his goal but was working hard. He seemed to have a role whereas he was asked to press up the pitch and he was full of running before he was substituted on the hour. 6
Barkley: Ross had an excellent game and it was great to see him throwing a few tackles in. He's really gotten his act together lately. I loved his arrogance of celebrating before he scored. Ross had lost a lot of that this last season or two. It's great to see him get it back. 9
Lookman: Had a lively first half but was struggling a bit in the second before he was substituted for Kevin Mirallas. 6
Lukaku: Well you can't ask for more than that. A remarkable performance from Romalu Lukaku. He can be as good as he wants to be. The question, of course, is for how long will be be an Everton player? Are we just to enjoy what we have and build without him, or are we now beginning to match his ambitions and will be able to keep him? Whatever the answer, yesterday's performance was truly exceptional. My man of the match. 10
Davies (for McCarthy): Got involved. 6
Mirallas (for Lookman): Got involved and did pretty well. 6
Holgate (for Barry): Helped settle down a rocky defence. 6
Reader Comments (46)
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1 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:00:51
2 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:07:20
3 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:07:40
4 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:14:13
5 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:20:34
He was all over the place when they came back into it with two goals. May well need replacing for next season.
6 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:24:02
7 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:28:09
And Williams is a bit of a liability.
8 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:48:20
Pay him what he's worth. Why wouldn't he stay?
9 Posted 05/02/2017 at 17:01:46
10 Posted 05/02/2017 at 18:05:00
11 Posted 05/02/2017 at 18:37:29
13 Posted 05/02/2017 at 19:18:25
14 Posted 05/02/2017 at 19:48:34
The way he has been playing these games shows he hasn't given up yet on being a diamond! Kudos to Koeman for driving him hard, without giving up on him (a la Deulofeu)..
Keep it up, fella! Still a long way to go yet!
15 Posted 05/02/2017 at 20:02:18
Everton fans are simply the best and deserve this change in fortune. The sleeping giant that was Everton is awake and flexing its muscles and the future looks good. I expect a lot of torture on the way but it wouldn't be Everton without.
16 Posted 05/02/2017 at 20:07:00
17 Posted 05/02/2017 at 20:22:39
Agreed, Williams has proven to be somewhat less than hoped... although watching him gallop off on the wing was a great moment.
And it may seem strange after yesterday's Bournemouth defensive debacle, but I continue to rate Steve Cook as a summer acquisition and possible Williams replacement. I didn't think he was culpable for any of our six goals, and he certainly can't be blamed for the buffoonery around him. I know Koeman would prefer Van Dijk or Keane, but they may not be "gettable".
18 Posted 05/02/2017 at 21:34:34
The wife's away, I've been drunk since about 19:30 yesterday. More of this please, blues!
19 Posted 05/02/2017 at 23:21:52
20 Posted 06/02/2017 at 02:57:44
Initially it could just have been a desire not to tread on Jag's toes but, even without our captain in the side, Williams isn't leading anyone. Add to that the fact his defending hasn't been great; some badly mistimed lunges going in against Bournemouth as they have been all season really.
21 Posted 06/02/2017 at 09:11:48
If you not sure if someone is American or Canadian just ask them to say a word like "out" or "about". A Canadian will say "ute" or" abute" and then usually add "eh" at end of every other sentence.
22 Posted 06/02/2017 at 10:22:22
I think also our Canadian friends pronounce house, 'hoose'.
23 Posted 06/02/2017 at 10:26:41
I agree about Williams; not impressed with him at all.
24 Posted 06/02/2017 at 10:47:55
25 Posted 06/02/2017 at 11:03:38
On the matter of Williams; like a lot of Blues, I was chuffed when we signed him for all the reasons mentioned above. Yes, he has been disappointing overall but to be honest, watching the game on Saturday it occurs to me that Funes Mori is the real problem. He gets out of position so often up the pitch and that must be a nightmare for the bloke partnering him. If Jags is fit then, in my opinion, he should play in the game against Boro'.
26 Posted 06/02/2017 at 11:23:58
27 Posted 06/02/2017 at 12:09:00
As for Funes Mori, I thought he would Mature into a rock-solid defender, genre Vincent Kompany, circa, 2009-14. He seems to be struggling, doesn't look comfortable on the ball, and often appears to be quite 'donkey-ish'.
28 Posted 06/02/2017 at 15:26:45
29 Posted 06/02/2017 at 15:36:07
To vote, visit: http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11661/10757442/vote-now-for-your-pfa-fans-player-of-the-month-in-the-premier-league?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral
30 Posted 06/02/2017 at 16:00:54
32 Posted 06/02/2017 at 16:10:20
Mr Ed is it worth a separate thread for voting Player of the Month?
33 Posted 06/02/2017 at 16:13:24
He keeps playing so deep, we end up having to hoof it up to Rom just to get out of our own box. I am beginning to think Robles and him are "close friends" as he seems determined to play as close as possible to his own goal... :P
34 Posted 06/02/2017 at 16:32:13
Perhaps he is under instructions not to, but he has lost a yard of pace when the best practitioners at wing back these days are flying down the flanks. Coleman manages to do it on the right, and many of our goals stem from his efforts. So 7 is very generous.
35 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:30:58
Tom's well ahead, mate! Now how may times can I vote using some aliases????
36 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:31:34
I mean what does, say, Lookman offer from a defensive point of view at corners? His place should be on the halfway line occupying 2 or 3 defenders who are now in our box.
Ronald has done it all season and the number of times we clear it and we lose the ball is really getting on my tits. We should be looking to break with the pace of Lookman, instead it comes straight back at us.
37 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:35:13
38 Posted 06/02/2017 at 22:39:27
I tend to partly agree with your
"This hoof ball from the likes of Williams is not helped by Ronald's insistence on having EVERYONE back for corners and deep free kicks, even when cruising 3-0 at home."
But in my view that tactic has been part of our DNA for years Moyes did it throughout his tenure, and I think but am not so sure that the Smith/Knox regime did it before him. Leaving a couple of pacey players up near the half-way line would cause the opposition to keep at least 3 back.
I also don't understand why having so many back, we don't defend the back post.
39 Posted 07/02/2017 at 11:56:40
Doesn't really make much sense to me as there is no outlay; but what do I know?
40 Posted 07/02/2017 at 11:58:12
41 Posted 07/02/2017 at 13:05:00
42 Posted 07/02/2017 at 13:05:50
43 Posted 07/02/2017 at 14:44:01
● We're only in 1 competition meaning the lads get plenty of rest in comparison to most teams... ie. more depth needed.
● We need a much better defence and leadership in there. Time to invest big.
● Enjoy Rom while we can – but others need to chip in with more goals.. especially from midfield and set pieces.
● We need to be able to manage different systems and not just rely on fast breaks as many teams will just drop back and wall us out.
● Team spirit and confidence is vital (sorry for stating the obvious) – that tends to keep the best players loyal a bit longer.
● Continue to trust youth and you will be rewarded. Nice mix we got now of energy, motivation and experience.
44 Posted 07/02/2017 at 15:43:45
45 Posted 07/02/2017 at 18:07:09
At 6'-)" he's always struggled against players good in the air. He is now slow and heavy and has difficulty coping with fast and tricky players.
46 Posted 07/02/2017 at 18:23:43
He tries to make up for lack of height by placing his hands over the opposing player's shoulders, thereby preventing the opponent from getting off the ground. It's a tactic that frequently draws a foul in the opposition's penalty box when he's attacking but which in our own box, so far, fortunately, hasn't resulted in a penalty being awarded against us.
For all his faults and perceived "decline", Jags is a much better all round defender, in my opinion.
47 Posted 07/02/2017 at 00:00:46
48 Posted 08/02/2017 at 15:51:16
I agree, Coleman not at his best, but forgiven as he has been inspirational recently.
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