Match Report There’s no question that had Everton lost this game, making it a club record fifth successive home defeat, this international break would have made for a long fortnight of recriminations, anxiety and fevered discussion over the future of a manager whom the club probably couldn’t afford to sack anyway. Last weekend’s loss to Luton was a sickener that threw up question marks over Sean Dyche’s ability to set up his team to defend on the one hand and to attack opposition sides with any guile or semblance of a plan beyond the long ball to twin strikers who had never played together before — and it showed! — on the other. This, then, was the tonic to lift Evertonian spirits heading into a two-week hiatus before the trip to Mordor that lies on the other side. Last week, Dyche had referenced his team’s almost incomprehensible xG when compared with their miserable goal return and this week those attacking metrics finally aligned with the scoreline as Everton handily beat Bournemouth to record their first home since the two clubs last met in late May. In truth, had the margin of victory been twice as wide, Cherries boss Andoni Iraola couldn’t have complained — his side were that bad and Everton were that dominant for all but a few minutes midway through the first half when the 1-0 lead afforded to the hosts by James Garner’s first Goodison goal felt a lot more slender that it should have. The Toffees scored three (the first time they’d notched more than one at home in almost a year) but also hit the bar, forced Neto into a couple of important saves and saw a handful of other really good opportunities pass them by in what was a hugely satisfying victory. If Dyche’s time at Everton so far as told us anything it’s that the first goal is almost alway decisive in terms of whether the Blues will win and while we’ll never know for sure, it felt as though his decision (whether forced or not by rumoured disciplinary action against Amadou Onana for showing up late to training) to finally deploy Garner in his preferred central-midfield role was instrumental to this victory. The 22-year-old had started in that position at Aston Villa 10 days ago and scored his first goal in an Everton jersey and just seven minutes into today’s must-win encounter with Bournemouth, he confidently grabbed his second to set the hosts on their way. Granted, it came from an unfortunate slip by Illia Zabarnyi but the team just looked that much more cohesive and potent with Garner playing alongside Onana who, in stark contrast to his disappointingly muted display against the Hatters a week ago, was increasingly effective as the afternoon wore on. That pairing hadn’t been Dyche’s plan; Idrissa Gueye was the manager’s intended partner for Gueye but the Senegalese sustained a foot injury in the warm-up and was forced to pull out and watch from the bench. The presence of Jack Harrison in the starting XI was very much part of the plan, however, and the winger delivered on the promising signs in his two appearances off the bench since returning from injury to provide energy, invention and tenacity on the right flank as well as the finest goal to grace Goodison for quite a while. It took a few minutes during a fairly scrappy opening for the shape of the contest to emerge but Everton’s harassment of the Cherries’ defence soon paid dividends as the visiting defence tried to play out from the back. Zabarnyi lost his footing trying to turn away from Garner and the midfielder gratefully seized on the loose ball, advanced on Neto in the opposition goal and using Doucouré and Dominic Calvert-Lewin as decoys, he calmly passed it wide of the keeper to score Dyche’s side the potentially pivotal first goal in the game. The ever-purposeful Dwight McNeil dragged a shot wide of goal from the edge of the box with a quarter hour gone and Calvert-Lewin unwittingly blocked Harrison’s low drive from threatening Bournemouth’s goal a couple of minutes later before the hosts had a flurry of corners that caused the visiting defence all manner of grief without leading to a second goal. Everton did double their advantage eight minutes before half-time, though, thanks initially to excellent work by Calvert-Lewin who stole along the byline and cut the ball back looking for Doucouré but it was cut out by Lewis Cook for a corner. Neto managed to punch clear from the set-piece and then got two fists to the return delivery from the left by Vitalii Mykolenko but his second clearance fell to Harrison outside the box who took it first time, sweeping a delicious shot over the defence, stranded keeper and in off the underside of the crossbar. Though they had enjoyed a spell of superiority midway through the half, Bournemouth for their part had only threatened Pickford’s goal once early on when Dominic Solanke’s ambitious half-volley from an almost impossible angle flew into the side-netting. And they came within inches of going into the break three goals down in first-half stoppage time. First, Calvert-Lewin’s header came back off the crossbar from Ashley Young’s cross and then Onana swivelled onto Mykolenko’s square pass in the box but it squirmed inches wide. The pattern of dominance and tenacious pressing from Everton continued into the second half and when Calvert-Lewin forced another error from Zabarnyi and released Doucouré, the Mali international fluffed his lines with a powder-puff finish that Neto comfortably gathered. He would make amends 13 minutes later, however, moments after Calvert-Lewin had dropped an audacious volley over the crossbar. Doucouré fed McNeil down the left flank and continued his run into the box as the winger curled the ball in towards the back post where Harrison arrived looking to grab his second on the day. His header was blocked on the line but Doucouré was hand to belt home the rebound. With a bit more composure, the Blues could have inflicted worse damage on the Cherries but Doucouré volleyed another McNeil cross over while Calvert-Lewin was unfortunate to see his clipped effort over the advancing keeper drop a few inches the wrong side of the post and Doucouré blazed another chance over. A penalty claim by Calvert-Lewin was waved away by referee David Coote but from the corner, Neto made a terrific double-save by his post to deny Onana from point-blank range. Bournemouth were well beaten by the time the game entered the final 20 minutes but Iraola’s side would have their best chances of the contest at this stage. Solanke had planted a header straight into Pickford’s arms from a central position, Zabarnyi thought he had scored until McNeil cleared his header from under his own crossbar and Moore forced Pickford into a strong parry. McNeil tested Neto again at the end of a quick counter-attack and, late on, Pickford palmed aside a skidding effort from Marcus Tavernier while Calvert-Lewin’s replacement, Beto, smashed into the side-netting after being played in by McNeil. Evertonians who saw the wins at Brentford and Aston Villa as a possible inflection point of the season under Dyche but then witnessed the ineptitude on show against Luton will not be getting too far ahead of themselves on the back of a routine win over a poor Bournemouth outfit. There are still moments, like the Cherries’ two first-half free kicks where Phillip Billing was allowed to steal around the back of the defence in the same way Carlton Morris did for Luton last weekend for example, that show that some lessons aren’t being learned. By the same token, though, this was another illustration of this Everton side’s ability to get forward, force mistakes from their opponents and carve out chances. They bettered their shots tally from the Luton game by 2 with 25 efforts at goal today, 8 of them on target and are reaping the benefits of having a fit and sharp Calvert-Lewin leading the line. The striker didn’t get the goal his performance deserved but he was terrific from start to finish, holding the ball up well, winning his aerial duels and bringing team-mates into the play. Doucouré, meanwhile, was stamina personified and while not everything comes off for him, his sheer persistence and ability to be in the right places and the right time mean that his chances of causing problems and scoring goals are that much higher. (He has eight since Dyche took over, having been binned off by Frank Lampard.) It goes without saying that Everton now need to build on this, something that will be difficult against upcoming opponents like Liverpool, West Ham and Brighton, but each fixture presents an opportunity to spring a surprise given the attacking threats that Dyche’s team possess. Keep things tight at the back and they have every chance of picking up some unexpected points in the coming weeks. Lyndon Lloyd top Matchday Updates Everton scored early through Garner and added good goals from Harrison and Doucoure to secure a vital win over fellow strugglers Bournemouth. Jack Harrison made his full Premier League debut for Everton as manager Sean Dyche made one change to his starting line-up, with Onana dropped, supposedly for being late into training yesterday, while André Gomes was still not involved. That was until Gana picked up an injury in the warm-up and Onana stepped in without being replaced on the bench. The game kicked off in the sunshine, but it was a pretty sluggish opening, Everton's first attack failing on the edge of the penalty area when Harrison was dispossessed. McNeil tried his best on a few occasions to break through but was thwarted each time. But with nothing much really happening, a slip by Billing allowed Ganer to snap up possession, move forward and pick his spot, well wide of the keeper Neto but firmly into the Park End net for a fine opening goal to give Everton the lead. Everton tried to penetrate again but the ball didn't roll for them and in the aftermath, Young caught an ankle and was shown his customary very early yellow card. The Cherries did better to keep Everton at bay and finally got forward, with a free-kick that went first to a Bournemouth man but was then cleared. Solanke chased a ball forward and fired high into the side netting. It was really scrappy stuff in midfield. But Doucoure set up McNeil for a strike across goal from distance that he sliced well wide. From a free kick, Harrison's shot was blocked and Doucouré's shot set up nicely by Branthwaite deflected into Neto's hands. McNeil won a corner after being fed by Mykolenko that Garner delivered really well, a defender glancing it over and behind at the near post. The second corner was punched by the Neto then headed behind for a third corner, brilliant to the far post, Calvvert-Lewin denied by a pack of red & black shirts. The fourth corner was finally cleared. Senesi fell awkwardly from an aerial challenge with Calvert-Lewin, with the Everton players bizarrely penalized. This allowed Bournemouth to get forward with Everton hearts in mouths but the chance didn't come. Everton needed to defend and hope the ball didn't run for the visitors. But it kept coming back and Mykoleno had to put it behind for a Bournemouth corner. A really dangerous ball in was watched all the way and headed behind by Branthwaite but nothing came of that corner, giving Everton a chance to play forward but no structure to the long-ball attack Onana shitted out of a key block allowing Kerkez to drive forward to shoot over. Bournemouth attacked again and won a dubious corner, wellied clear to no-one by Ashley Young. Everton edged forward and the ball finally fell for Garner to shoot but it was half-blocked. Branthwaite was penalised for a tackle on Christie. The free-kick was aimed to the wide man again and headed back to Ouattara who smashed it over. Some great play by Calvert-Lewin saw him keep the ball and then cut in along the byeline and tried a cutback. More Everton corners ensued. The second glanced on superbly by Branthwaite but over everyone. The ball was punched out to Harrison who delivered a superb finish from the edge of the area over everyone and in off the underside of the bar, an excellent strike. Bournemouth looked to play forward again and were helped by Onana who gave the ball back to them not once but twice. But Calvert-Lewin got free and played in Garner who drove forward, looked up, say Doucoure and played his pass perfectly to where Doucoure should have been – only he'd stopped and decided to go backwards! Brilliant chance completely missed. In a splendid flurry of action just before the break, Young put in a great cross to Calvert-Lewin whose header hit the top of the crossbar. Then Mykolenko picked out Onana with his cross who spun and screwed his shot inches wide. After the restart, Doucoure was gifted an incredible chance for the third but he literally passed it softly to Neto! An incredible failure to strike the ball with any effort, desire or intention. And Bournemouth immediately put Everton under pressure without causing any damage. Everton pushed forward but could not advance, Branthwaite timed a brilliant tackle on Solanke to stop him dead in his tracks. The game was largely back and forth in midfield with neither side in command. Harrison was fouled by Kerkez, setting up a free-kick opportunity for Garner to deliver but instead it was McNeil who chipped in straight to a defender and was cleared. Solanke was finally booked for a pullback after two other such offences had been ignored. A long ball from Pickford was collected superbly by Calvert-Lewin and smacked on the turn but it flew over the bar. McNeil went wide and clipped over a beautiful cross to Harrison, his header blocked by Doucoure was there to put the follow-up home. Another attack down the left, McNeil's cross saw Docucore attempt a very difficult volley that flew over the Bournemouth goal. But Everton kept surging forward and McNeil was released by a brilliant ball from McNeil but he could only chip it weakly with Neto almost on him and it bobbled harmlessly wide. Garner looked to drive forward and the ball squirmed out to Harrison when he was tackled but Harrison's cross was too deep for McNeil wide left. Everton tried to work another opening but the massed Bournemouth defence kept them at bay. Some good play saw Calvert-Lewin and Garner get forward with Doucoure launching the ball high over the Gwladys Street goal. Another fluid Everton attack saw Calvert-Lewin go over a little too easily but from the corner, Onana had two narrow-angle shots that were kept out. Garner then had a sharp shot that Neto just about held. At the other end, Tarkowski had to surrender a corner. A headed attempt by The Cherries were cleared off the line, the second by McNeil who chased Doucoure upfield and lashed a shot at Neto. Pickford had to stand firm to save a close-range header from Moore as Calvert-Lewin came off for Beto. Some good play almost saw Beto set up by Patterson. Beto was then very strong to win a free-kick but nothing came from it. Bournemouth kept playing up, Brantwaite blocking a shot but Moore fired in a shot that Pickford touched around the post. The corner was well defended as 5 minutes were added. Chermiti and Beto had late chances to add to the score. Everton: Pickford, Young [Y:11'], Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, McNeil, Harrison (78' Patterson), Gana Onana, Garner, Doucoure (90+1' Chermiti), Calvert-Lewin (84' Beto). Subs: Virginia, Keane, Danjuma, Godfrey, Dobbin. Bournemouth Neto; Tavernier, Zabarnyi, Sensei, Kerkez (66' Brooks); Christie (46' Rothwell), Cook (66' Moore), Smith (86' Aarons), Billing, Ouattara (57' Sinisterra); Solanke [Y:58']. Subs not Used: Radu, Traore, Kluivert, Semenyo. Attendance: 38,818 Michael Kenrick top A Good Day It was my son’s birthday yesterday, and he was awarded Player of the Match in his kids football game. “If Everton win, that would be a hat-trick of celebrations today” he said gleefully while clutching his trophy award. ‘Don’t get your hopes up’, I thought… After some lunch, Dan picked us up quite promptly and we were parked up for at around 1:15 pm. Such was the beautiful weather, we thought against going to the usual pub and instead visited the Fan Zone which was a nice change up. Them self-service Coors beers are pretty cool, and it was a nicer environment for my son, who was able to come along to the game thanks to Dan and his lad generously offering to switch seats. So rather than having to stand up and not see a lot in the Gwladys Street, we could enjoy a great view from the Top Balcony. Splendid stuff. In the Fan Zone, we’d got the team news and understood that Idrissa Gueye was playing in midfield alongside James Garner and a more advanced Abdoulaye Doucoure. I thought I was going mad when we lined up with Amadou Onana in the midfield instead though it did materialise that Idrissa had injured himself in the warm-up. Not that I like to see players get injured, of course, though this turned into a blessing in disguise as Amadou, for me at least, had his best game yet in a Blue shirt in what was as dominant an Everton performance we’ve seen for many a year. In our podcast earlier in the week, we made a lot of our ability to win games once we take the lead, and inability to get back into games once falling behind. And so it felt important that we got in front early in this one. Our early dominance was repaid when Illia Zabarnyi slipped and panicked a bit in possession as James Garner zoned in. James, who excelled in the centre throughout, took the ball forward and surprised everyone, not least Neto in goal, by taking his strike quite early to put Everton ahead. It looked for all the world that he was going to slip Dominic Calvert-Lewin in, which may have caught the goalkeeper out. My boy jumped up for joy and it was great to give him a hug and a high five, the first of three in the afternoon in celebrating our goals. The next of which wasn’t too far away. Bournemouth briefly murmured and had us struggling with a number of corner kicks which eventually we managed to clear. As it was, pressure built from corner kicks of our own resulted in our second goal. It was clear to see that Neto isn’t a goalkeeper that likes to catch. On a few occasions, he punched clear though Everton got the ball back into the box. On this occasion, Vitalii Mykolenko curved a ball back into the penalty area and Neto punched clear but only to Jack Harrison. Jack had a few options, of which lofting the ball back towards goal and into the net probably the least likely to result in a goal, though this is what he tried. ‘You don’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket’ they say, or perhaps in more footballing terms – ‘you don’t shoot, you don’t score’. So credit to him for taking it on and clipping in a lovely goal, to put Everton into a full deserved 2-0 lead. It could have been more too. Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit the crossbar with a nice header, and Amadou Onana flashed an effort just wide on the turn when perhaps he might have done better. There were a couple of other opportunities too, but we had to be delighted with what we had at the break. During half-time, my son had his photo and message up on the big screen. It was a bit of an anxious wait. I’d sent the photo and message in to Everton though had no response on if it was going to feature, so I was kind of hoping for the best while encouraging my son to keep an eye on the screen. Thankfully it came up which made his day. It would have sucked to have him watch all the messages and then not see one for himself! Everton continued the second half in much the same vein and pressed aggressively up the field. Our third goal was a joy to watch. Amadou was really settling into his groove by now and did very well to retain possession. Was it a foul as Bournemouth were claiming? Possibly, but if the referee doesn't give it in the first instance it’s not clear and obvious enough to overturn that in my view. Anyhow, this resulted in Dwight McNeil getting down the left and chipping a ball to the back post. (It was very Kevin Kilbane to Tim Cahill vs Crystal Palace in April 2005, Christ, how long ago was that?!?!). Jack Harrison should have scored though it was well blocked on the goal line. However, Abdoulaye Doucouré was on hand to make sure and walloped it into the net. The result no longer in doubt. And one more hug and high five with my boy. Brilliant. Though we eased off slightly from an attacking sense, we still had some other openings and on another day could have scored five or six. Abdoulaye should have done better with his chance, Dwight too though that he'd cleared it off the line and then ran the length of the field to be there to hit the shot was incredibly commendable in itself, and Amadou was unlucky not to score with one of his two fierce drives at goal from a corner kick but it wasn’t to be. Instead, preserving a highly valued clean sheet perhaps became more of the priority by the end, though whatever James Tarkowski or Jarrad Branthwaite couldn’t handle was well dealt with by Jordan Pickford. Going into the international break and with the next match at Anfield, this was an important win, make no mistake. While this only takes us up to 15th position in the league table, it’s a big relief to have a little cushion on the teams in the Bottom 3. Look at our goal difference already compared to them too. We’re on -3, they are on -13 or in Sheffield United’s case, -16. Luton Town are on -9. It goes to show quite how tight most of our games have been. After the match, Dan kindly took us back home and we went out for a great family meal. A brilliant birthday for the boy, hopefully one he’ll remember for some time. Certainly one his old man will. A great day. Up the Toffees. Jordan Pickford: Caught what he had to and saved well when required. 7 Vitalii Mykolenko: A good solid effort. 7 Jarrad Branthwaite: Did well. Looked calm and composed as ever. 7 James Tarkowski: Marshalled the team well and defended well. 7 Ashley Young: He did okay. Positionally he’s very aware which is probably what’s keeping him in the team. He doesn’t really get caught out with balls over the top, which may be an area Nathan can improve on. 6 Amadou Onana: He was everywhere. He used the ball smartly and made several excellent tackles and interceptions. Dan made a point on the way home of – is he a bit of a Paul Pogba? Capable of brilliance but doesn’t do it often enough, and looks good when the team is winning and is well on top. Which posed the question – does Amadou play well because the team plays well, or is the team playing well because he is playing well? I’m actually not sure but he was my Man of the Match yesterday. 8 James Garner: He had an excellent game in the middle. He scored a good goal of course, but its his tenacity, and then nous when we win back the ball which make him so valuable in there. A great effort. 8 Dwight McNeil: I think that’s Dwight back to his best and fully fit as he didn’t quite seem there against Luton Town. A great shift throughout. 8 Jack Harrison: A brilliant full league debut from Jack. I hate to term him a “Sean Dyche player” but he epitomises everything you would expect for that category. He’s selfless for the team, works very hard and is productive with the ball, as he showed with his goal of course. The team seems to be shaping up. 8 Abdoulaye Doucoure: I think we just have to accept Abdoulaye’s limitations in comparison with the great work he brings to the team, especially given the fact he is coupling this with goals too. He makes some poor decisions which frustrate, but does a lot of good too which is why he will stay in the team. And if he’s popping up with goals, who can really complain? 8 Dominic Calvert-Lewin: With three wins coming in the last four games it’s probably not a coincidence that this has arrived with Dominic’s return. He leads the line very well and can cause problems for any team when fit. For the first time probably since he was managed by Carlo Ancelotti, he now looks fully fit. If he can stay so throughout most of the season, we will be in no trouble whatsoever. 7 Nathan Patterson (for Jack Harrison): He settled into the game pretty nicely. 6 Beto (for Dominic Calvert-Lewin): He did okay and showed some glimpses of what he can do, but has a bit to go yet. The good thing is that if Dominic is not available, he is an adequate replacement. It’s great this competition for places malarkey! 6 Youssef Chermiti (for Abdoulaye Doucoure): Though not on long I was made up to see him for a few minutes and kept a close eye on him. He got involved well, and at one point chased back into our penalty area to try and win the ball back. A small sample, I know, but he looks handy. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop. 6 Paul Traill top Match Preview Everton head into the second international break of the season needing a tonic to settle the mounting anxiety over their Premier League form which has them level on points with Burnley, the highest placed club in the bottom three in 18th, after seven games. This weekend sees fellow strugglers Bournemouth come to Goodison Park for the first time since the drama of the final day of last season when Abdoulaye Doucouré's solitary goal kept the Blues in the top flight. Everton's continuingly poor results mean that it's also the latest home game to have taken on outsized significance, with last Saturday's unfortgivable home defeat to Luton Town ratcheting up the pressure on Sean Dyche to finally oversee a win on home soil in 2023-24. When asked about the importance of this clash with the Cherries, Dyche insisted that every game in must-win but with difficult trips to Anfield and the London Stadium on the other side of the break, the manager cannot escape the imperative to start picking up victories. With Seamus Coleman and Dele Alli still a way away from being able to return and André Gomes close but unlikely to be fit for this weekend, Dyche will have the same squad from which to select a line-up capable of not only fashioning chances — that hasn't been the big issue this season — but, more importantly, converting them. Everton spurned some gilt-edged chances to take the lead against Luton before the Hatters scored twice at the other end but though Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back shortly before half-time, the hosts failed to find the net again in the second period. Just as he did at Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup and last time out in the Premier League, Calvert-Lewin is likely to start against Bournemouth, with Beto likely to be on the bench again. Dyche's experiment with both strikers on the field at once was not a successful one against Luton so it's doubtful he'll try it from the off. "He's getting there, to true total fitness" Dyche said of Calvert-Lewin who appears to be reaping the benefits of his patient rehabilitation over the past few months. "The closest and best I've seen him was arguably at Brighton last season, in terms of his all-round game. It was excellent. He is showing signs of that recently, scoring goals is obviously a good habit. "I think he is getting to the endpoint in terms of being totally fit, clear of mind, clear of body and doing what he does best which is creating and scoring goals. He is showing really strong signs of that." What changes, if any, he does elect to make remain to be seen. Nathan Patterson is pressing his case for a starting berth in place of Ashley Cole at right back and Jack Harrison has made two encouraging cameos off the bench in the last two games, suggesting that he could be due a full debut wide in right midfield. That could come at the expense of James Garner, however, who has been deployed in that wide right role up to now and been one of Everton's most influential players so far. Moving the 22-year-old into the middle would require one of Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye to step aside, however. Rather ominously, given how accommodating Everton can be to visiting teams who haven't won for a while, Bournemouth are winless so far this season, having drawn three and lost four of their opening seven League games. Andoni Iraola looks set to be without six players for this one, with new signing Tyler Adams likely ruled out until late November with a thigh injury and Ryan Fredericks, Lloyd Kelly, Chris Mepham, Emiliano Marcondes and Alex Scott all expected to be sidelined until the other side of the international break. Like the Toffees, the Cherries have found goals difficult to come by but they are a capable side with players, some of them tall and physical which will make them a threat from set-pieces, a new Achilles heel of Everton's that Luton exploited last weekend. Dyche will feel that as long as his team keep creating chances, they must surely start going in and if his side can get off to another fast start and grab an early goal, it should settle things down and hopefully breed some confidence. Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 7 October 2023Referee: David CooteVAR: Simon HooperLast time: Everton 1 - 0 Bournemouth Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Harrison, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin Lyndon Lloyd top * Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.