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Venue: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
FA Cup
 Saturday 20 February 2015; 5:15pm
0 2
Half Time: 0-0
Barkley 55'
Lukaku 76'
Attendance: 11,404
Round 5
Referee: Martin Atkinson

Match Report

The dream of a Wembley final and a trophy to lift what could otherwise be a season of frustration remains alive after Everton successfully negotiated a potentially difficult FA Cup Fifth Round tie to book passage to the Quarter Finals.

A fourth win in give games in all competitions represented a job well done for the Blues on the south coast and helped dull, for now at least, lingering pains from last weekend's defeat to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League that had once again thrown up fears of another wasted year.

It also provided redemption for their capitulation on this ground in late November. Thanks to an excellent penalty save from Joel Robles and two second-half goals from Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, Everton made sure with their second bite at the Cherries this season.

While the WBA loss had thrown the question of Roberto Martinez's long-term future at Goodison Park back into virtual and real-world pub discussions alike, it was the influence of fortune that has dominated much of the Everton-related talk in recent days. As if in response, Lady Luck relented a little today, offering Barkley's 55th-minute opener a little helping hand over goalkeeper Adam Federici, perhaps influencing the direction of Robles's dive when faced by Charlie Daniels from 12 yards, and diverting Junior Stanilaus's direct free kick off the defensive wall and maybe a foot wide of his post at a crucial period of the second half when it was only 1-0.

Ultimately, though, the Blues overcame what was an untidy first half and were strong enough overall on the day to push through to the next round on their own merits.

To his credit, the manager erred on the side of continuity, naming an unchanged line-up from last Saturday's exercise in attacking futility and left a trio of one-time first-team certainties in the form of Tim Howard, John Stones and Leighton Baines on the substitutes' bench. Just as encouragingly, he found no room in the dugout for Arouna Kone who made way for new signing Oumar Niasse, a player of whom the travelling fans would get their first glimpses, however inconclusive, with a 10-minute cameo at the end.

Though they would dominate the opening quarter of the contest, Everton weren't quite on their game, however, and the chemistry certainly didn't appear to be there between Barkley and Lukaku up top, while the deliveries from the flanks by Seamus Coleman, Aaron Lennon, Tom Cleverley and Bryan Oviedo left plenty to be desired as well.

Moments to excite the 2,000-plus travelling Blues were few and far between in the first 45 minutes but Lukaku provided the best of them when he burst down the left flank, cut along the byline and then tried to filck the ball past Federici but was foiled by the keeper's leg.

At the other end, Juan Iturbe's surging run and shot that flew wide and another even more wild effort by Stanislaus were the only real signs of intent from Eddie Howe's men until they were gifted the chance to take an undeserved lead eight minutes before the break.

James McCarthy, his finger already on the self-destruct button with a rash, late tackle on Iturbe that earned him an uncomfortably early booking in the 18th minute, visibly handled the ball trying to field a deep Bournemouth corner giving Martin Atkinson all the invitation he needed to point to the spot.

Robles anticipated the direction of the resulting penalty, though, and leapt to his left to push the shot away and watched in relief as the rebound was lashed into the side-netting.

Not surprisingly, Everton were better after the half-time interval and, after a Lennon volley had been deflected behind for a corner and McCarthy sliced a first-time shot well wide, Barkley gave them a precious lead. Collecting Cleverley's pass, he had time to measure a shot that nicked off Dan Gosling's boot and arced over Federici's flailing gloves.

Three minutes later, the 22-year-old looked to have served up the second for Lukaku who finished in typically clinical fashion but the Belgian was ruled marginally offside.

Had it been allowed, that 'goal' might have killed the game there and then. Having lost their previous two matches, both at home, in fairly convincing fashion, the Cherries weren't at their energetic best and they certainly lacked the kind of service from the flanks or the shooting accuracy that had brought them back from the dead in this fixture three months ago.

Nevertheless, in chasing that 1-0 deficit for the ensuing 20 minutes, they had their best spell of the game and they were unfortunate that Stanislaus's free kick was deflected the wrong side of the post from their point of view, denied by Phil Jagielka's crucial block on Glenn Murray's drive from the angle, and frustrated when Gosling planted a free header straight into Robles's grateful arms from six yards out.

Ritchie then swept a good chance wide after Joshua King had surged past the otherwise solid Ramiro Funes Mori and delivered an inviting cutback. But Everton underscored their superiority with a lovely move that eventually led to the corner from which Lukaku plundered the second. It started deep in their own half with the game's best player, Gareth Barry, and ended with Aaron Lennon collecting McCarthy's backheel, nudging it on the Barkley in oceans of space in the box and his shot taking a vital deflection off Eunan O'Kane's elbow.

Barry, who had led by example with an excellent display, would play a delicious role in creating the goal for Lukaku, as well with a deft flick with the inside of the boot to guide Oviedo's short corner into the striker's path in front of goal where he couldn't miss from five yards.

That was the cue for both he and Barkley to depart for a well-earned rest and Kevin Mirallas and Niasse to lead the line for the final 10 minutes or so in which the former would despatch one wayward into the away fans from 20-off yards.

It wasn't the most attractive victory of the season - although there were some lovely touches and moments to be enjoyed here and there - particularly in the first half, where things broke down to a frustrating degree in the final third, but they don't all have to be. Away from home in the last 16 of a cup competition, the result is of paramount importance; anything else is gravy.

Having escaped the setback of going a goal down thanks to Robles's heroics, Everton retained the conditions by which they could go on and win the game by what was a fairly comfortable scoreline, and progress to the last eight.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

For the FA Cup 5th Round tie against Bournemouth, Roberto Martinez resisted the temptation to change the side, despite Oumar Niasse being available finally. Stones and Howard, presumably both fit again, stayed sat on the substitute's bench as goals from Barkley and Lukaku put them through to the 6th Round.

Eddie Howe has wrung the changes for his Bournemouth side, putting seven replacements into the team that lost at home to Stoke City last weekend, and suggesting that maybe he wants to concentrate on retaining their precious place in the Premier League, with Distin and Gosling making up the ex-Everton contingent.

Oviedo won an early free-kick but Cleverley's delivery was lacking, the ball flying beyond everybody. Lukaku, instead of powering forward and shooting at goal after a nice pick-up, chose to lay off a somewhat overhit pass for Barkley who scuffed his shot from a narrowing angle. Everton continued to press the home side but a series of poor crosses from Coleman.

Barkley took a snap shot but it spun away from Ovideo for a Everton's first corner but it came to nothing, McCarthy committed a late foul from behind and as carded by referee Martin Atkinson. The free-kick saw a rare Bournemouth move forward as Everton continued to dominate play without really creating much in the Bournemouth area. Barry gave away another free-kick, but Everton defended it away and Coleman did well with limited support down the right but again forward possession petered out to nothing.

Everton built again, although far too slowly and Barkley did well to retain the ball but is forward pass was to nowhere. The then swung in a better-looking cross for the lonely and increasingly depressed Lukaku who could only watch as the ball went through to Frederici. Barkley finally had a shot on target but from far too far out and it was easy meat for the Bournemouth 'keeper.

Stanislas got a chance to run at the Everton defence and shoot... high, wide and not too handsome. At the other end, a fantastic run down the left from Lukaku, who shrugged off everyone and looked all set to drove home but Frederici was too smart as the striker's attempted dink with the outside of his left foot was really rather poor. Why not hit it with power?

Distin smartly dispossessed Lennon and the Cherries surged forward but good defending set up another Everton attack that ended with a good ball for Lukaku that was not in his game plan as he watched it role forward from a distance.

Bournemouth looked for a penalty with Gosling going down but Jagielka had just scrapped the ball with his studs. Everton were defending effectively whenever the Baggies did come forward, although a good cross needed the head of Jagielka to head it behind for Bournemouth's first corner, floated to the far post, and handball called against McCarthy, who put his arm out needlessly... PENALTY! Executed by Daniels, saved brilliantly by Robles, and the rebound fired wide!!! McCarthy escaping a second yellow for what must have been deemed a deliberate handball, although that would have been very harsh. Good judgement from Atkinson?

Coleman won another corner at the other end, Oviedo swinging it in to the far post but it a headed behind for a corner by Cleverley from the other side, also headed away, Everton unable to threaten from the set-pieces. Barkley was again on a completely different plane from Lukaku, anther forward pass wasted.

Barkley picked out Coleman with a lovely wide ball that Coleman sent back in a little deep and Oviedo attempted a dramatic diving header from a long way out that went wide. Lennon was fouled by Gosling who saw yellow from Atkinson just before the break.

Bournemouth kicked off the second half but the tempo continued to be pedestrian until Lennon's shot was defected for a corner, swing in by Cleverley and met on the run by Coleman who was a little ahead of the ball and he could only head over. Daniels won a corner at the other end, defended away well by Everton, but the break did not really develop.

Oviedo thought he'd made a good tackle on King wide left but he had not touched the ball and it set up the Cherries for a couple of Chances spurned by wide shooting. Lukaku played the ball back nicely for an excellent driver from McCarthy that curled away. But Everton went ahead on the next attack, Ross Barkley shooting from nothing at the edge of the area, the ball deflecting up wickedly off Gosling's leg and over the backpedaling Frederici into the net for the opening goal.

Lukaku finished a great pass from Barkley well but he was deemed offside, when strictly level with the Cherries defenders. Bournemouth pressed with another corner but the Blues looked to break although Lukaku rather poorly failed to command a bouncing ball and Bournemouth attacked again, winning a dangerous free-kick by Stanislas that was deflected inches wide with Roles beaten. The home side, however, had dominated possession since the goal and pressed the blues back, who had to defend solidly. Jagilelka played King well wide right, who was deemed to have fouled the Everton defender, and was booked, perhaps for his energetic dissenting views.

Murray, on as a sub, ran at Jagielka and his shot was deflected for a corner. Gosling should have scored off a great cross, but headed straight at Robles. Then King did well down the Everton right, crossed in well to Ritchie who spooned over, under a lot of great defensive pressure from Funes Mori as it was attack after attack from the home side. When Everton did loft the ball forward to Lukaku, he had no appetite for any kind of battle with Distin.

A great passing move across the Cherries area saw Barkley curl a lovely shot just wide, deflected for a corner, from which, there was Lukaku, who reacted first to the lose ball that had been flicked on, to drive the ball home with intent, his 21st goal of the season.

Mirallas replaced Barkley and Niasse got his debut, with a protective cast on his writs, replacing Lukaku. The Senegalese striker's first action was to foul Francis. Bournemouth continued to press forward, knowing that a two-nil lead for Everton meant that the game was anything but over. Mirallas, with a chance to make it three, lofted his shot high over stand and into the car park.

Ritchie won a free-kick off a poor challenge by Barry but Niasse headed it away, although a great cross was swung in by Stanislas for King who powered wide under pressure from Robles. Robles had performed faultlessly in the Everton goal, and continued to anchor the solid Everton defence.

In the dying embers before 4 mins of added time, Coleman thought he should have had a penalty. Everton went on to manage the game through to its conclusion with no further threats on their goal, thoroughly professional and competent performance from the Blues, in stark contrast to the Premier League game at this stadium.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Many people have traced the derailment of Evertons season back to the events in stoppage time at the end of the Toffees Premier League game at Dean Court at the tail end of November. Pegged back to 2-2 having been 2-0 up and coasting against Bournemouth, Roberto Martinezs side reclaimed the lead through Ross Barkley and were a couple of minutes of disciplined, tight defending away from earning three important points.

What followed, of course, was a third Cherries goal scored in the minutes presumably added on for the time it took to clear the pitch of jubilant Evertonians who had spilled out of the stands to celebrate with the players. It came like a punch to the solar plexus; instead of a second successive win that would have lifted them into 6th, Everton dropped back to 9th and took the psychological effects with them on the long trip back to Merseyside.

Martinez suggested in the latter half of last season that similar failures to hold onto leads against Leicester and Arsenal at the start of 2014-15 had left mental scars that debilitated his team for months afterwards; if that was the case again this term, it manifested itself in the further cession of precious advantages against Norwich, Stoke, Tottenham and Chelsea in the League and, painfully, Manchester City in the Capital One Cup.

That 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge, which played out in infuriatingly similar circumstances to the one at the Vitality Stadium, was the opportunity to demonstrate that the players had learned from what happened against Bournemouth, one they unfortunately failed to grasp. Their return to the south coast this weekend offers a shot at partial redemption.

Martinez brushed off the notion that Everton need to win the FA Cup in order to save" this season but he is on record from only a few weeks ago saying that his team hadto achieve this season given the quality of the squad at his disposal. At the time, definition of achieve was assumed to be "win a trophy" or "finish in the top four" but the avenues for success have narrowed considerably in the interim and this competition without question represents the best chance of a positive conclusion to 2015-16.

Not only would it finally end a 21-year trophy drought but it would also put the Blues back in Europe. It wouldnt mask the failings in the Premier League, particularly if the team isnt able to improve much on its current mid-table berth indeed, it would surely complicate the debate on Martinezs future but it would provide a bright spot in an otherwise maddening season.

The manager surely knows this and that could be reflected in a starting XI featuring few changes despite last weeks defeat to West Bromwich Albion. Martinez has confirmed that Joel Robles will be in goal; if his desire for continuity in the back line that has conceded just once in four games holds, then its hard to see him deviating from a defence consisting of Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka, Ramiro Funes Mori and Bryan Oviedo.

There have been calls for Leighton Baines to be recalled, however, and, given that he is still the superior fullback, it makes sense that he should return to the starting XI after spending those last four games getting plenty of rest. It would not be a surprise therefore if the England international is selected even though the Costa Rican has done well recently.

John Stoness return to fitness, meanwhile, throws up another potential selection conundrum, although the apparent strength of the Ramiro Funes Mori - Phil Jagielka partnership and the fact that the 21-year-old has been going through a disappointing patch of form should tip things in the Argentines favour and mean Stones coming back into the squad as a substitute.

In midfield, any inclination on Martinezs part to use the cup as an opportunity to rotate his players could hand opportunities to one or both of Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu, possibly at the expense of Aaron Lennon or Tom Cleverley. Fans will be hoping to catch a glimpse of Oumar Niasse but, if he is able to play despite his wrist injury, it will likely be off the bench.

The importance of this game might not match that of the League Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester City in terms of its immediate connotations namely a place at Wembley for a major final but a definitive result either way would have significant ramifications for the remainder of Evertons season.

Lose and 2015-16 could effectively be over with a little under a third of the campaign to go. A top-six berth is still possible but Everton havent shown themselves capable thus far of being able to put the kind of run together that would be required to achieve it. Win and its one step closer to a shot at glory and a big psychological boost in the quest for the form it would take to finish in the kind of League position that the talent at the club suggests should be a minimum. It being a cup tie, though with Martin Atkinson in the middle to boot anything is possible.

Kick-off: 5:15pm
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Predicted line-up: Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley, Lennon, Barkley, Lukaku

Lyndon Lloyd

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  MacDonald (Ritchie 63')
  Iturbe booked(Murray 71')
  Gosling booked (Smith 77')
  King booked
  Subs not used

  Funes Mori
  McCarthy booked
  Barkley (Mirallas 81')
  Lukaku (Niasse 81')
  Subs not used
  Besic (injured)
  Browning (injured)
  McGeady (loan)
  Garbutt (loan)
  Ledson (loan)

Other Scores
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Bournemouth 0-2 Everton
Reading 3-1 West Brom
Watford 1-0 Leeds
Blackburn 1-5 West Ham
Chelsea 5-1 Man City
Tottenham 0-1 C Palace
Shrewsbury 0-3 Man United

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