Romelu Lukaku grabbed his second hat-trick of the season and added one more amid a deluge of goals at Goodison
Ronald Koeman was all smiles at the final whistle of today's entertaining 6-3 win over Bournemouth, a contest he described as “crazy” after Everton eventually powered their way back past the spirited Cherries.
Romelu Lukaku scored four goals to vault himself to the top of the Premier League's goalscorers table and James McCarthy and Ross Barkley grabbed the other two in a contest that underlined both the Blues' attacking prowess and their occasional defensive fragility.
”That's not a normal result… a crazy game of football,” the Blues boss said in the tunnel at Goodison Park.
“During the game, different systems for both teams… change system, change system and it was really a tactical battle.
“They came back into the game with really good football and they made it really difficult. I think we dropped a little bit of intensity after half time at 3-0 up.
“But the reaction after 3-2 was good. Back to the 5 defenders that brought us back to dominating in the game.
“And we scored great goals today. Romelu's showed again today that he is maybe one of the best finishers in football because what he showed was really outstanding.
“One of his big qualities is scoring goals and we need to support him. We need to create and we have players around him to create that space and [provide] those final balls.
“Still we can improve but he showed today his best quality. One chance is a goal. I'm not surprised because I see that often on the training pitch and I'm impressed with his finishing.
Koeman was asked if he felt his side has the potential to close the gap on the top six and perhaps mount a late challenge for a Champions League place. The Dutchman won't be getting ahead of himself despite a seven-match unbeaten run in the Premier League but stressed that anything could happen if his Everton side keep winning.
“If we keep the momentum and the spirit, the team is really comfortable,” he continued, “maybe a little too comfortable after half time but I like that confidence in yourself.
“It's a long way until the end of the season and every [team] has their own difficulties in winning games and if we keep our momentum then everything is possible.”
Reader Comments (41)
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1 Posted 04/02/2017 at 19:33:16
Not "anything" "everything"...
2 Posted 04/02/2017 at 19:56:43
Main thing is to keep their feet on the ground, don't get their hopes up, keep the positive 'winning' feeling going, and just focus on the next game at hand and perform when it matter most, on the pitch!
3 Posted 04/02/2017 at 20:19:19
4 Posted 04/02/2017 at 20:32:41
My wish for this spring... Good news for a new stadium at the docks and a good fight for top six. COYB!
5 Posted 04/02/2017 at 21:04:53
Last year, the Bournemouth draw effectively derailed our season. This result may just spur us on to greater heights.
6 Posted 04/02/2017 at 21:17:30
8 Posted 04/02/2017 at 21:22:41
For me, this was the best we've seen from Ron, during a match. I'm starting to believe Koeman might just be worth that salary.
10 Posted 04/02/2017 at 22:19:53
Today, we won 6-3 and people are saying we were lucky, defense is crap etc. Granted, the defending was poor. However, if a game is very open cause your opponent is weak, that tends to happen cause you flood forward hoping to get more goals. You get complacent and hey presto it's 6-3.
Against Stoke City and Man City, our defense was very resilient. It can improve no doubt but I don't see it as a major issue.
11 Posted 05/02/2017 at 00:09:57
You could say a better team would have punished us today for that kind of defending but the fact it was Bournemouth and such an open game meant we weren't and if it had've been a better team, it wouldn't have been such an open game.
Going 3-0 into half-time, Bournemouth didn't have anything to lose second half and went for it and it cost them another 3 goals!
Great game, some great performances Lukaku and Barkley looked class together today.
Can we dream of a top 4 finish? Maybe a long shot but not impossible. We've given ourselves a chance at least...
15 Posted 05/02/2017 at 02:28:36
I know what you're saying but, in the '80s, big Nev was often Man of the Match.
16 Posted 05/02/2017 at 06:16:06
Seeing the progress being made, the kids that are being given a chance and new signings integrating, I'm so happy right now. There is still work to be done, and a lot of it but I can now see the evidence of what is changing.
Thank you, Ron, for giving us hope and the ability to dream again. Long may it continue.
17 Posted 05/02/2017 at 06:47:02
Following the next transfer window, we will see some solid defensive reinforcements and I'm sure the spine of the team (with the exception of Rom and Ross hopefully!) will have been totally transformed from the one Koeman inherited. Keep the faith, TW!
18 Posted 05/02/2017 at 07:57:21
19 Posted 05/02/2017 at 09:12:27
You were not on your own with the baying mate. Big of you to post your change of heart. The rest of the bayers will follow your example.
20 Posted 05/02/2017 at 09:30:20
The side which has played with desire and commitment (with hiccups along the way) since the Arsenal game, bears no relation to the shambles at Watford and for a couple of months preceding that, when both the manager and the players looked hardly interested.
The dynamic between team and manager got fixed. That's wonderful.
21 Posted 05/02/2017 at 10:14:31
22 Posted 05/02/2017 at 12:15:29
I was also having serious doubts (never called for him to be sacked though) about Koeman re his tactics, team selections, style of play etc... but I knew he's a cold, ruthless manager and wouldn't let that form continue and he would eventually turn things around.
I'd just like to chip in with my usual anti-media rant. The coverage in the press is pathetic as all the attention has been on their beloved Klopp and how the players are letting him down. When will they get it in their thick heads that the RS are no longer a force in football and haven't been for a long time?
As for Sunday Supplement, well for the second week in a row (first Jason Burt and now Matt Dickinson today) when asked about Everton both journos appeared to be caught totally flat-footed and mumbled and stumbled as though they were thinking "Who"? "Why is he asking me about them?" "Isn't this show supposed to be about our top 6?" The other journos don't even bother to opine as though it's not worth the effort.
Well good for them. Let them keep on beefing up the perennial also-rans ie Arsenal and the RS while we keep on slowly building and improving. They are a great advertisement for their "profession".
23 Posted 05/02/2017 at 12:25:47
Mike Jones was abysmal. Couldn't wait to book both Schneiderlin and Davies. Absolute garabge of referee.
A huge roar went up with about 5 mins remaining around the ground which seemed odd, I couldn't see the giant screen from where I was sat. Then someone a few seats down said Niasse had scored.
Funes Mori and Mirallas need to be replaced in the summer with another top striker alongside Rom and a young CB alongside Williams and Holgate.
24 Posted 05/02/2017 at 12:31:46
25 Posted 05/02/2017 at 12:37:29
I thought Funes Mori had a good game. Imo, Williams is the "weak link" in the defence. He's too slow and his distribution is awful.
26 Posted 05/02/2017 at 12:51:40
He let several poor early challenges on Lookman go and even helped set up a good chance for Bournemouth to equalize by ignoring an obvious foul.
27 Posted 05/02/2017 at 13:05:22
I'm one of those who believe when you're three-nil up at half-time, you come out for the second half with the intent to destroy the opposition and the intensity to do just that. Score another two and then play exhibition football. Our players should do their best to get used to, and enjoy the feeling that comes with absolutely demoralizing teams. They should be hungry to feel how they must have felt after the Man City game, and to a certain extent after yesterday's game.
To make it to the very top, we have to be ruthless and merciless, which is exactly how Ronald Koeman is. His "calling out" of players and public criticism (whether it was right or wrong) was a sign of someone who will not accept mediocrity, someone who demands winners and a winning mentality, someone who not all supporters will love, but someone of whose ilk this club has needed for a long time.
29 Posted 05/02/2017 at 13:17:12
His record is frightening and it may sound crazy but hes our best striker since Dixie Dean. Lineker's one season was superb but Lukaku has given us 4 seasons of vital goals now and the beauty of it all is he isn't the finished article yet. He can still do more to score more.
Lukaku has been a beast for us 95% of the time. I cant say much negative about the lad and his price tag should pay for one side of a new stadium he's that prolific.
30 Posted 05/02/2017 at 13:35:33
31 Posted 05/02/2017 at 13:42:22
Were we were criticising Koeman was for how things were going. You will remember him leaning against a post in the dugout against Watford, whilst Mazzarri was going ballistic on the sideline. It seemed like one cared and the other didn't. that one was in control of his side and the other wasn't.
Also, Koeman said the team was 70% fit, at the start of the season, then after what we thought was enough time to get them fit, they seemed less and less fit. His obsession with pressing seemed more like a return to hoofball.
He was also dismissive of the kids. The U23s were top of the league and he said they weren't ready. Loads of us had seen Tom Davies in the U23s and in his cameos, and Mason Holgate in his cameos at the start of the season, and we thought they could do no worse than what was playing. Lo and behold, they come into the side and things were transformed.
As I said above, Koeman is now in control of the team and making tactical changes from the sidelines. Perhaps, the early part of the season was about letting the old players play their way and failing before changing things more and throwing in the kids to really stamp his authority on the team.
Koeman really seems to be earning his money now. I hope this continues as Koeman does have a reputation of being a streaky manager, so let's hope there's not another prolonged down turn coming up. I hope the momentum continues, we have fewer games left than those above us, and the opportunity to really maintain fitness levels and close the gap as everyone flags with the cups and European games taking their toll.
32 Posted 05/02/2017 at 13:58:55
33 Posted 05/02/2017 at 14:39:27
They will hate it and we should revel in it like spectres at the feast. Anti-establishment interlopers undermining the so-called elites with their host of tourist supporters and their smug sense of entitlement.
In keeping with the zeitgeist.
34 Posted 05/02/2017 at 15:42:49
I like your comment, mate; you back it up well and make a valid statement. I too believe Koeman has had to up his game and I am starting to see the reasons I was excited about the new regime. Onwards and upwards for me.
It's going to be very interesting to see if we show some huge ambition by keeping hold of Lukaku and continuing to build a better starting 11. We're not that far off and it looks like Koeman is trying to find a balance in the last 3rd to kill teams off.
35 Posted 05/02/2017 at 15:50:59
Rom genuinely celebrating a goal rather than giving everyone the stink eye, he even did an interview and he smiled! Go on, big lad!
Ross was very good yesterday, the weird image of him slide tackling, rarer than hens teeth, reminded me of Paul Scholes, in that it was calamitous, it was worth a mirthy chuckle. But did you here the roar afterwards? He was jet powered after that!
Did you see Mirallas do a Rambona? Too funny!!
Joel was solid, one dropped cross aside, and that's the thing isn't it? It inspires a confidence that you don't worry about the lad. For now, he gets the gig and revaluation to be made at season's end.
Our main issue is still the defense: it can't be ignored as our recent upturn has definitely corresponded with a back 5. The players in it aren't anywhere near good enough but the sum of its parts brings us a more solid base and balance. It also gives us width, which yesterday was lacking.
I guess goal 4 was the only one which came from outside the width of the penalty box. Against better sides, we won't be allowed down the middle.
Sadly in a 4 both center-halves and tragically, Leighton too, look exposed. Coleman did get up and down a little bit.
I hope he returns to a back 5, but I think he went with a 4 simply because he now has so many options in midfield. I hope he doesn't try and shoe horn everyone in somehow.
I guess for me it would be Gana, Morgan and Davies, with Ross behind Rom.
The image of the back heel through ball from Ross is burnt into my brain.
36 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:24:27
That was about as perfect a summary of Koeman's earlier tenure as could be. Whilst I never quite got to the stage of wanting him gone, I thought it might be coming, and probably wouldn't have disagreed.
We never get to really know the inside track, being "outsiders" to the inner workings of the team itself, meaning we are often guessing. Who knows what really kick-started that performance against Arsenal... players, manager, combination, clear-the-air talks?
Whatever it was, it was certainly manifest that match. Koeman's job is to steer, maintain and improve this now for we know for certain that the current players are well capable.
The other levels of the club now need to do their jobs; Priority One is nailing down Barkley, and yes, Lukaku, before even thinking about any more players. Let's see if we're "Big" enough up top to do that.
37 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:34:33
Best moment was Lookman's drag back and having the nerve to even try it. You expect great things from Rom but that piece of skill spoke volumes for the lad and it's hopefully a sign of greater things to come.
Best laugh was opening the morning paper today to see a picture of Klippety with the headline 2-0, Clueless... ha ha, happy days. Make hay while the sun shines, boys!
38 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:37:42
39 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:44:13
40 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:50:10
David I guess he forgets what he says quicker than you do!
41 Posted 05/02/2017 at 16:52:54
42 Posted 05/02/2017 at 17:08:18
Last 6 matches (total)
GP W D L GF GA GD Pts 2.5+
1 Everton 6 4 2 0 17 6 +11 14 67%
2 Tottenham 6 4 2 0 13 3 +10 14 50%
3 Chelsea 6 4 1 1 13 6 +7 13 50%
4 West Brom 6 4 1 1 9 7 +2 13 50%
5 Man Utd 6 3 3 0 9 4 +5 12 33%
6 Arsenal 6 3 1 2 13 9 +4 10 83%
7 Man City 6 3 1 2 10 9 +1 10 83%
8 Burnley 6 3 0 3 9 7 +2 9 67%
9 W. Ham Utd 6 3 0 3 9 9 0 9 67%
10 Swansea 6 3 0 3 8 13 -5 9 100%
11 Stoke City 6 2 2 2 9 8 +1 8 33%
12 Hull City 6 2 2 2 8 8 0 8 50%
13 Watford 6 2 2 2 7 10 -3 8 67%
14 Liverpool 6 1 3 2 7 9 -2 6 33%
15 Sunderland 6 1 2 3 8 11 -3 5 67%
16 Bournemth 6 1 2 3 12 16 -4 5 83%
17 Leicester 6 1 1 4 1 9 -8 4 33%
18 Mid'brough 6 0 3 3 3 7 -4 3 33%
19 Southampton 6 1 0 5 6 11 -5 3 83%
20 Cry Palace 6 1 0 5 3 12 -9 3 50%
Happiness is a shape made out of Blue...
43 Posted 05/02/2017 at 22:26:28
I'm not just saying this but I never really had any doubts about Koeman; he was who I always wanted once Martinez left and I did believe he would come good (though I was a bit worried when it seemed we couldn't play a full 90 minutes to save our lives).
It seems now he's getting his ideas across and he's actually got a Plan B in games when things go against us. I think we're in good hands and if we don't quite do it this season (please do!), I think the top four dream has got a bit more realistic with Ronnie in charge, whether Rom stays or not.
44 Posted 06/02/2017 at 04:13:32
Koeman deserved the criticism in my eyes. Thoroughly deserved it. He now deserves the praise. Now we can see the improvements and what he is doing will also give him more slack from me.
45 Posted 06/02/2017 at 13:31:27
It's the fourth best in the Premier League and in 2017 we have conceded four and scored fifteen in the league. Yes, I know there is room for improvement, but get your facts right, Bobby.
46 Posted 06/02/2017 at 13:39:00
It's all just about 18 months too late for him. Although if he had been reading TW he might have learned a little sooner.
Perhaps a daily dose of TW should be mandatory for all EFC's managers.
47 Posted 06/02/2017 at 13:49:59