Two second-half goals gave Everton an edgy victory over Bournemouth that lifted them into the top half of the Premier League table.

Kurt Zouma powerfully headed in his first goal for the club from Lucas Digne’s cross following a corner in the 61st minute, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin added the second in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Everton had been outplayed in the opening 30 minutes but Bournemouth failed to capitalise on their bright start.

David Brooks hit the post when through one-on-one with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and had a strong penalty appeal turned down early on, while Joshua King also had a good chance saved.

Everton, who had not won any of their previous four home league matches, failed to have a first-half shot on target for the second successive league game at Goodison Park.

They improved after the break, with Richarlison having a shot cleared off the line by Nathan Ake and coming close with a header from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross.

Bournemouth pushed hard for an equaliser in the final minutes, with Michael Keane producing an excellent block to deny Dan Gosling before Calvert-Lewin sealed the three points.

Everton win in the FA Cup against Lincoln last week was just their second in their past nine games.

When asked about any pressure that form had put on his team, manager Marco Silva admitted his side must improve in the second half of the season. Any murmurings of discontent among fans will not have been eased by his side’s start.

Everton struggled to create any real momentum in attack and were edgy in passing the ball out from the back.

They were better from the closing stages of the first half with Ademola Lookman lively as he made just his second league start of the season.

Bournemouth struggled to maintain their performance of the opening 30 minutes but their late pressure resulted in mounting tension around Goodison.

The crucial block from Keane and strong defending at corners helped Everton keep a first clean sheet for two months.

At full-time, the relief was evident both in the dug-out and the stands.

The Everton fans had seen their side lose to Leicester and Tottenham and draw with Watford and Newcastle during their winless home run but this time they held on and are now within three points of seventh-placed Watford.

They are a place lower in the table lower than at this stage last season, when Sam Allardyce was manager, but are three points better off.

Comments

comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here