Everton earned a vital three points for Marco Silva in front of a nervy Goodison crowd. Kurt Zouma and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goals capped a strong second-half performance that extended Bournemouth’s poor run of form, with the Cherries now without an away win since a 3-0 victory over Fulham in October.
The first half was a fiery affair, with Bournemouth starting the better of the two sides and their best chance came from a counter-attack that saw David Brooks hit the post. A quiet Goodison Park created a frosty atmosphere and the only time noise was made was due to dismay at referee Anthony Taylor’s decisions. Everton did go on to end the half the better of the two sides as Michael Keane’s header bounced off the top of the crossbar.
Everton looked the better of the two sides in the second half and Kurt Zouma’s powerful header in the 61st minute saw his side take the lead. Bournemouth came close to an equaliser in the last five minutes as Jordan Pickford raced out to prevent Ryan Fraser from having a shot at goal.
Everton allowed Bournemouth too much time on the ball in the last 15 minutes and a barrage of late corners were defending resolutely. Everton then went on to doubled their lead with virtually the last kick of the game. Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin expertly finished his chance with the assist coming from Ademola Lookman.
The win was vital for Marco Silva who has been facing increasing pressure and sees them earn their first win since beating Burnley 5-1. The win also sees the Toffees keep their first clean sheet in eight games.
A quiet Goodison sets the tone for Everton
In a week in which majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, has criticised Everton’s performance this season, Marco Silva will have wanted the fans to be the twelfth man at Goodison but they were far from that. Spectators were quiet from the off and only made noise when Everton created a chance or the referee made a decision that did not suit them.
Any mistakes were met were jeers and Brooks’ effort that hit the post in the first half was met by a chorus of boos as Everton were walked over by a counter-attacking Bournemouth.
The lack of atmosphere created tension at and it was clear to see. The crowd are nervous and with Everton’s last Premier League win before the game coming against Burnley, it is clear to see why they were quiet.
Nikola Vlašić, who is on loan at CSKA Moscow this season, said that last year he felt that the team feared the fans and it could be a case of this statement holding truth. When Goodison is rocking it is a ground that any player would like to play in, but when they are not playing well the fans will let their side know.
Everton’s new signings are key
The first goal for Everton came from loanee Kurt Zouma who headed home Lucas Digne’s cross to open the scoring. Whilst Everton have been criticised this season there have been promising displays and often at the heart of these displays is Marco Silva’s new signings.
Lucas Digne has arguably been one of the best left backs in the league this season. If not for his defending, his attacking capabilities help cement his place ahead of Leighton Baines. He justified his involvement once again posing a constant threat to Bournemouth down the left hand side and earned an assist.
Youngsters shine at Goodison
In a first half of very little chances, the standout players on the pitch were Bournemouth’s David Brooks and Everton’s Ademola Lookman. Both men were involved in most of their sides chances.
Brooks is a player who Eddie Howe has had faith in all season and the Welshman has proved why. He has become part of the starting lineup week in week out and is proving why he is valued so highly. In a game of little chances for Bournemouth, he came closest, hitting the post and causing problems in his central role as well as the wide role he was used in towards the end of the game.
Ademola Lookman has yet to earn the faith of Marco Silva to see him start every game for Everton. However, today he showed why perhaps he should play ahead of the likes of Theo Walcott.
Lookman had a strong game in which he was involved all over the pitch whether it be the left or right hand side but also showed a defensive discipline that young players do not often possess. It was capped by an assist that allowed Everton to double their lead. Marco Silva showed his faith in the youngster as he played him for a full 90 minutes, substituting Bernard for Theo Walcott. It might be time to give the youngster a run of games in the starting lineup to build confidence and put an end to transfer speculation.
Bournemouth’s poor form continues
The loss today extends Bournemouth’s poor run and although Eddie Howe’s job is under no pressure, he will have been hoping for a result to help turn his side’s fortunes around.
The Cherries have now only picked up seven points since the start of the December and are yet to win in January. They did have a difficult fixture list over the Christmas period but will have hoped to have done better than they did.
Howe will be hoping that his side’s poor form does not continue when they host West Ham then Chelsea in their next two games. They will have to perform very well if they are to beat two in-form sides in the coming weeks.
How important is the win for Marco Silva?
In a week in which Silva’s job has been criticised by Moshiri, the Portuguese manager will have felt a win was vital and perhaps it was. The fans were quiet from kick off and offered no backing to their manager.
Everton had not won at home in the league since the 24th of November against Cardiff and had not kept a clean sheet for eight games.
The win at home also saw Everton keep the clean sheet and was a crucial performance to Marco Silva’s tenure. If they had not won today he may not have had long left as Everton’s manager. However, the team seem to have faith in his playing style and in a period of development, how much sense does it make to change their manager mid-season?
Man of the Match – Ademola Lookman
The youngster thrived in his opportunity in the starting lineup. He was the best Everton player on the pitch and played on either wing. His assist at the end capped a strong performance.