Saturday, 4 February 2017

Everton and the Cherries serve up a 6-3 thriller

Match Description
Everton 6 v 3 AFCB
4 February
Attendance: 39,026

Anyone who was afraid of not getting their money's worth in the Premier League, it would be hard to be able to say that after this nine-goal thriller at Goodison. The scoring started as early as the first minute, when Romelo Lukaku strolled through the Bournemouth defence. James McCarthy made it 2-0 when he got the benefit of a deflection and scored from six yards, then Simon Francis made a poor pass to present Lukaku with his second goal. The second half was surprising though, as Bournemouth came back with two goals from Josh King. Man of the match was Lukaku though, who put the game further out of reach when he scored Everton's fourth on 83 minutes. When it went to 5-2 after another Lukaku run and finish the game seemed to be done. Yet, Arter had time to grab his first goal of the season while doing a jig with the post, before Ross Barkley had the final say with Everton's sixth goal. It may have been AFCB's biggest defeat in the Premier League, but it also showed they don't give in and that attitude will keep them up this season.
AFCB make a few changes as they search for form.
The Cherries had a bit of a shake up but there was no place for youngster Sam Surridge who travelled with the first team to Everton, even if Baily Cargill did make the bench. Adam Smith was curiously missing from the squad perhaps after receiving a bad tackle from Andros Townsend against  Crystal Palace last weekend. Into the team came Marc Pugh,  Harry Arter, Dan Gosling and Tyrone Mings. Stanislas and Brad Smith were on the bench, as well as Benik Afobe. There was some questioning as to how AFCB would line up, but three at the back was presumed before kick off in a 3-5-1-1 formation.

Everton made three changes. Out went Holgate, Davies and Mirallas and they were replaced by Barry, McCathy and Lookman who made his Premier League debut.

Match Description
Everton made an amazing start down AFCB's left wing with McCarthy and Lukaku who sized up the goal and bent his shot round Steve Cook and Artur Boruc to make it 1-0, top right corner, in the first minute. Tyrone Mings had just missed his tackle, and from then on the Cherries just could not get near Everton as they broke. Gosling and Arter missed tackles too, in the build up to the goal, and the passing of Everton was looking slick and AFCB were now aware that they had a big task just to get into this game.

Everton continued to push forward quickly and were settling into their stride. AFCB's problem was trying to keep Josh King involved higher up the pitch. AFCB were starting to show a bit more calm with nine minutes gone, but were not keeping the ball in the final third. Everton were finding time on the ball and Lookman was getting the better of Simon Francis.

Lookman almost made it two when he dragged the ball back passed Harry Arter and hit a left foot shot just wide of the left upright o 11 minutes.

AFCB not finding it easy pushing on from midfield and even when King did get down the line, he was having to come back to find some support. Arter picked up a yellow card, presumably for dissent after Tyrone Mings fouled Ross Barkley.

AFCB's passing remained slow and ponderous which was allowing Everton to keep their shape quite easily. Wilshere almost put King in a great position to shoot, but the forward had his shot blocked on 16 minutes. At least Wilshere and Fraser were starting to see the ball. As soon as Surman would lose the ball up field though it was always a race for another player to get back. Wilshere and Arter were starting to play better, but there was still no shot on target from the Cherries with 20 minutes gone.

Mings was now doing better at holding up Lukaku, Cook and Francis were also busy putting in the tackles. Lukaku did brilliantly again, storming down the left and taking on Mings and Pugh at the byline, and he pulled the ball back to McCarthy who had two goes at passing the ball past Boruc, as the ball came off of Steve Cook, before he had another go to put it into the net, 2-0 on 23 minutes.

Josh King won a corner as AFCB tried to find a way back. Everton were in the mood and AFCB needed something to go for them. Fraser won a second corner as Ross Barkley could not keep Ryan him from the ball. The keeper punched and lost the ball, but even then Everton broke and Francis had to cover to keep Ashley Williams away from goal.

Simon Francis made a poor square ball then back across the box, looking for Steve Cook, and Lukaku was left with a gift of a back pass to make it 3-0 on 29 minutes. Francis was guilty of not looking. It was a replica of the goal Steve Cook gave away at the Emirates earlier in the season.

AFCB were looking like being embarrassed now as Lukaku steamed up the pitch chasing a long ball, but Boruc just got out in time.

With 10 minutes before half time, it was difficult to see how the Cherries could get back into this, and Bournemouth's back three were getting pulled about every time Everton came forward. There was too much space for Lukaku to run in behind on the wings and early balls were devastating in this game against Bournemouth.

A good clip to the far post by Tyrone Mings won a corner with Josh King and Funes Mori battling for possession. Corners were the only small victories that Bournemouth were getting though. Arter was pushing up ever higher in trying to close down the ball, but is was a solo performance.

A quick free kick into Coleman was sharply saved by Boruc. But this was Everton, thinking quickly and eager to take any chance on. Bournemouth were frustrating to watch and were taking ages to get any crosses in.

Just on half time Arter picked up a free kick some 25 yards out off Ashley Williams. Everton lined four up in the wall and Wilshere struck a shot that deflected wide from a Harry Arter lay off. The corner came out to Mings who shot, but right at Joel. Another corner followed but Everton cleared to be 3-0 up at half time.
It's all looking very difficult now at Goodison.
Half time stats
AFCB 49% possession, shots 3, shots on target 1, corner 5, fouls 3
Everton 51% possession, shots 6, shots on target 4, corners 0, fouls 5

Second half
Jordan Ibe and Brad Smith came on in the second half for Dan Gosling and Simon Francis. Francis felt his hamstring, it was heard later. Wilshere had an early shot that he just drove wide with a deflection off of Williams. But this was better from AFCB.

Steve Cook was ploughing forward and a better touch from Josh King could have seen him have an eye on goal. Arter then had a snap shot that was hit hard but far too high.

Schneilderlin picked up a yellow card for a stud-leading foul on Harry Arter. Leighton Baines then committed a foul as AFCB kept pushing Everton back.

Everton were just waiting for their moment though and that looked to have come, when Ross Barkley blasted through on a run and saw his shot deflected to miss by a whisker, having beaten three or four AFCB payers on a 20-yard run. That led to Everton's first corner of the game.

On 56 minutes Everton had a free kick, and it came out to McCarthur who watched it before hitting a drive at the feet of Boruc. Baines was also getting crosses in now, and Boruc was again brought into the action with a second attempt grab at the cross.

Jack Wilshere continued to try and pop balls over the top and one that reached Josh King left Williams and Funes Mori on their heels, with Josh King letting the ball come off his chest before beating Joel to make it 3-1 on 59 minutes.

McCarthy then missed a golden chance to wrap up the game on the break, Boroc waited and saved with his feet, having already been committed to the ground and Lookman hit the follow up into the side netting.

Everton then subbed McCarthy for Tom Davies to come on. There was just over an hour played, and you just wondered if this could be another famous comeback against Everton. The momentum was still with the Cherries.

How much more running King could do though was questionable. He was running flat out for any half chance to get on the ball. AFCB were throwing bodies forward now and Davies was the danger on the break. Most of the time, it was just Cook and Mings at the back now.

Bournemouth were starting to dominate and King found away in again in behind Williams but Joel saved it. Fraser put a ball across the box though from the resulting corner, and King beat Coleman to the ball to make it 3-2 with 20 minutes to go.

Mirallis was brought on for Lookman as Everton looked to take back control. A break from Brad Smith was met by Pugh's run and he chopped back inside the box and left Schneiderlin on the floor before hitting his hard shot across the goal and just over the bar on the angle from his right foot.

Arter takes a shot on and just sees the keeper touch it behind. Joel is carded. From the corner Arter hits a great shot but Joel saves again.

Meanwhile, Brad Smith holds off Lukaku and Tom Davies gets a yellow card for a handball in the middle of the pitch. Everton are wobbling. Mirallis takes a shot, but it's straight down Brouc's throat.

Everton are hanging on here. This is like two boxers slugging it out. King puts in a great cross and Joel claims it well. Even Fraser is putting in big tackles now.

Gareth Barry is subbed for Nathan Holgate with 10 minutes left. Everton are just trying to keep possession now.  AFCB wait to get Afobe on. A big build up Lukaku out to Coleman on the right and it's chipped back, and Lukaku gets on the end of the move to make it 4-2 to Everton on 83 minutes.

Afobe comes on for Pugh. Lukaku has been a real menace he runs through the middle and Mings and Cook just can't keep him out it's 5-2. There was a back heel from Barkley, and Lukaku was on his way with Mings unable to take him down.

The game's over as a contest, but the Cherries are still trying to score goals. Arter goes on a run but is just held up in the box. No hope of these two teams slowing down now.

Fraser comes forward and Arter again hits a shot that he pulls wide. Afobe and Arter are stringing passes together in the box. Arter wriggles through, when Afobe goes down, and Arter puts it in off the post to make it 5-3. The ball looked out before Arter tucked it away, but who cares? This is like a school playground match.

We are into four minutes of added time. Arter wins a free kick. The ball hits the wall and Barkley's break is cleared by Brad Smith before Lukaku could get to it. Barkley is in after the ball is lost by Josh King going forward. Funes Mori makes the long pass, and Barkley beats Mings in a foot race. He rounds Boruc and makes it 6-3.

Ibe is caught by Baines in the box, no outside. Free kick, perhaps it should have been a penalty. Wilshere hits it but Joel makes a clean save.

The Cherries looked beaten and totally outclassed by the time they came off at half time. The confidence had drained out of them, and yet whatever galvanised them at half time should be bottled. It was a complete turnaround that they achieved at the start of the second half as they played with grit and determination to haul themselves back into the game. At 3-2, it was AFCB that were looking favourites to go on and get at least a draw, if not win it. Although, the comeback was not completed it was a tremendous effort to try and get back in the game. The scoreline will seem cringeworthy, but the second half was more about what this Cherries side are about. They have found where they need to be in games again, but this match was just too much to pull back.

Full time stats
AFCB 54% possession, shots 18, shots on target 8, corner 8, fouls 4
Everton 46% possession, shots 15, shots on target 10, corners 4, fouls 14

Joel, Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines, Schneiderlin, Barry (Holgate 80), Barkley, McCarthy (Davies 61), Lookman (Mirallis 71), Lukaku

Everton Subs
Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Mirallas, Gueye, E Valencia, Davies, Holgate

Boruc, Francis (B Smith 45), Cook, Surman, Mings, Arter, Gosling (Ibe 45), Fraser, Wilshere, Pugh (Afobe 83), King

Allsop, Cargill, B Smith, Stanislas,  Mousset, Ibe, Afobe,

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 5, Francis 4, Cook 6, Surman 5, Mings 5, Arter 7, Gosling 5, Fraser 6, Wilshere 7, Pugh 6, King 8

Referee: Mike Jones- Not sure how he kept up with this game - good effort 6/10. He certainly let the game flow - would have liked a penalty for Jordan Ibe's late run into the box, but Arter's goal was perhaps lucky, too.

1 comment:

  1. Great report. I thought Mings was completely outclassed by Lukaku and was effectively a boy trying to do a man's job -- smaller, slower and unable to anticipate.