24th SEPTEM­BER 2017


IT was a bat­tle but Ronald Koe­man and Wayne Rooney came out on top at Good­i­son yes­ter­day.

And Ever­ton boss Koe­man even went as far as to say that mis­fit striker Ou­mar Ni­asse might have saved his job on Mersey­side.

The Sene­gal in­ter­na­tional’s late dou­ble strike ended the Toffees’ run of four de­feats in a row and lifted them out of the bot­tom three.

That was af­ter Ni­asse came on for Rooney, as Dutch­man Koe­man tried to pro­tect the ex-Manch­ester United man.

Rooney, mak­ing his 400th Premier League start, was flat­tened by Cher­ries skip­per Si­mon Fran­cis – and com­plained he had been on the re­ceiv­ing end of an el­bow.

The clash left the Ever­ton leg­end with an ugly gash above his left eye which was pour­ing with blood be­fore a spell of treat­ment on the side­lines.

But he opened it up again in an­other clash early in the sec­ond half and Koe­man took him off to save him from any fur­ther in­ci­dents.

The Good­i­son chief was not in the mood to un­der­play the im­por­tance of the 2-1 win against fel­low strug­glers Bournemouth and he said: “Ev­ery­body knew it was a must-win game and I’m re­ally happy with what the play­ers showed when we were one-nil down.

“If you win you are sure about your job, if you lose you are not so sure.

“Ni­asse is bring­ing more ag­gres­sion. We needed in the sec­ond half to have an­other striker to press a bit bet­ter than we did be­fore.

“All the credit to Ni­asse, that is all about life. If you get your chance you need to take it. He took it on Wed­nes­day and again to­day.

“It is a to­tally dif­fer­ent world af­ter win­ning. You have key mo­ments dur­ing the sea­son and this was a big win that will give ev­ery­one a boost.”

Koe­man also re­fused to call for fur­ther pun­ish­ment for Cher­ries ace Fran­cis – even though Rooney was livid about the penalty area clash. He added: “He was caught by Fran­cis’ arm but it was not with in­tent even though his eye was to­tally open.

“We knew it would be dif­fi­cult for the sec­ond half. It cost time in the first half but I had to change him. Hope­fully he will be okay for the next game.”

Bournemouth chief Ed­die

Howe said: “I haven’t seen it again but

Si­mon had his eyes on the ball and

there was no in­tent to in­jure the player although he did cut Wayne. “There were a lot of pos­i­tives to take from the game. I thought we were the dom­i­nant team.

“It is frus­trat­ing from our per­spec­tive to come here and put that kind of per­for­mance in and not get any­thing.” Burn­ley

Ever­ton Le­ices­ter

0 Hud­der­s­field 0

2 Bournemouth 1

2 Liver­pool

5 C Palace Southamp­ton 0 Man United Stoke 0 Chelsea Swansea 1 Wat­ford West Ham 2 Tot­ten­ham

Man City

WHACK! Rooney gets felled by Si­mon Fran­cis ■

ARE ROO JOK­ING? Wayne Rooney was un­happy with the chal­lenge

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