Ever­ton weather the storm to see off Bournemouth

Zouma sets home side on their way as clouds gather on and off the pitch

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer - Andy Hunter

The im­pas­sioned re­ac­tion of Marco Silva to Do­minic Calvert-Lewin’s cool fin­ish said it all. Ever­ton had been un­der se­ri­ous pres­sure from Bournemouth, as had their man­ager after Farhad Moshiri’s com­ments at the club’s gen­eral meet­ing in mid­week, when the sub­sti­tute con­firmed a first home league win in five matches in stop­page time. Re­lief and joy poured from Silva on the side­lines.

Ever­ton over­came a quiet start to claim a hard-earned vic­tory cour­tesy of Kurt Zouma’s first goal for the club and the sub­sti­tute’s mea­sured fin­ish from Ade­mola Look­man’s invit­ing cross. The com­bi­na­tion of two young­sters for the win­ning goal could not have been bet­ter timed for Silva in a week when he spoke of lay­ing foun­da­tions for the fu­ture but the club’s ma­jor­ity share­holder voiced dis­plea­sure over the league ta­ble.

Their cur­rent po­si­tion of 10th will not be cause for cel­e­bra­tion given Moshiri’s level of in­vest­ment, but there was no over­stat­ing the im­por­tance of this vic­tory. Ed­die Howe’s vis­i­tors started and fin­ished strongly but de­parted only with re­gret.

Er­ratic dis­tri­bu­tion

Ever­ton took 31 min­utes to cre­ate a chance of note against a Bournemouth side that had lost 10 of its last 13 games. For the first half an hour they posed no threat what­so­ever to As­mir Be­govic’s goal and ap­peared to have no clear idea of how to do so. The vis­i­tors con­trolled the early ex­changes. Er­ratic dis­tri­bu­tion from Jor­dan Pick­ford and his de­fend­ers of­fered Bournemouth fur­ther en­cour­age­ment of the chance at first away win since Oc­to­ber.

Howe’s team could have been two goals ahead be­fore Ever­ton fi­nally stirred with a third of the game gone. Josh King failed to con­nect cleanly with Ryan Fraser’s cross and David Brooks’ shot struck the in­side of the post. Bournemouth con­tin­ued to test the hosts’ frag­ile rear­guard, one that had not kept a clean sheet in nine matches, and Ju­nior Stanis­las forced Pick­ford into an­other save with a low free-kick from 20 yards.

Ever­ton, their fans grow­ing in­creas­ingly rest­less and their man­ager in­creas­ingly an­gry, be­gan to match their op­po­nents for ag­gres­sion and ac­cu­racy in pos­ses­sion as the in­ter­val ap­proached. The per­for­mance was trans­formed as a re­sult. Bernard headed their first chance wide from an invit­ing cross by Séa­mus Cole­man and Michael Keane headed against the top of the cross­bar from an­other invit­ing cross from Lu­cas Digne.

The sec­ond half opened in a sim­i­lar vein with the grow­ing in­flu­ence of Bernard, Gylfi Sig­urds­son and An­dré Gomes end­ing Richarli­son’s iso­la­tion up front. .

Digne was re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the break­through with an­other per­fect left-wing cross. The left-back con­trolled beauti- fully to take him­self away from King and floated an invit­ing de­liv­ery to the near post where Zouma pow­ered a header in­side Be­govic’s top right-hand cor­ner.

Ever­ton en­dured a ner­vous fi­nale as Bournemouth pressed for an equaliser. It al­most came when King flicked on Fraser’s cor­ner, but Pick­ford held on. Sec­onds later their hopes were ex­tin­guished thanks to the per­se­ver­ance of Look­man.

The young winger re­gained pos­ses­sion from Adam Smith while grounded and was then sent clear down the left by Idrissa Gu­eye. Look­man sized up his op­tions and pulled the ball back for Calvert-Lewin who side-footed into the bot­tom cor­ner . Re­lief con­sumed Good­i­son – the tech­ni­cal area in par­tic­u­lar.

– Guardian

■ Marco Silva: man­ager re­lieved after a first win in five home league matches

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