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Everton at Bournemouth: Blues 2-0 first half lead slips away as they draw 3-3 on the road

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Everton was able to get goals from Ramiro Funes Mori, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, but it was not enough to take three points from hosts Bournemouth.

Steve Bardens/Getty Images

It was a tale of two halves at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday as Everton and Bournemouth played to a 3-3 draw, ending with a flurry of goals.

It was a slow start for the visitors, who were on the back foot for the better part of the opening 10 minutes, allowing Bournemouth to keep control and have a shot or two from outside the box. But the Cherries couldn't finish and their threat ended as quickly as it began.

The rest of the first half belonged to the Blues. They grabbed their first set piece goal of the season, which came off of the head of Ramiro Funes Mori on a corner delivered by Ross Barkley in the 25th minute.

Ten minutes later, Romelu Lukaku doubled the lead as he gathered a beautiful pass from Gerard Deulofeu (of course) in stride and put it past the Bournemouth keeper with his right foot.

It was a completely different story in the second half as Everton started to look like the away side that they were. The hosts dominated the action in all facets, keeping nearly two-thirds possession and having most of the real chances on goal.

The Everton defense played with a "bend but don't break" mentality until the 80th minute, but it just didn't last. Adam Smith, who came on as a halftime substitute, hit an absolute beauty from outside the Everton box. It hit off of the left post and into the goal.

Seven minutes later, things were tied. Bournemouth took a quick free kick to catch Everton off guard. Joshua King brought the ball down the right hand side and delivered it into the box where Junior Stanislas put it in the net to make it 2-2.

Things were quiet until the fifth minute of stoppage time. The ball wbounced around the Bournemouth box when Barkley took a swing at it and put it between Ryan Allsop's legs and into the net to make it 3-2 Everton. Surely, a win seemed imminent.

But the Premier League is a cruel mistress. Some of the EFC fans had burst onto the field in celebration. As order restored, Bournemouth was streaming down the field. The Everton players seemed to be anticipating the final whistle while Bournemouth kept going for goal. Before you knew it, Stanislas had headed in his second of the day off of a cross from the left-hand side and it was 3-3 in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

In the end, it is a fair result. Everton were the better team in the opening 45 minutes, but Bournemouth were in complete control in the second 45. A result such as this has to call into question Everton's ability to challenge for European competition, which is something they have come out and said is a realistic goal of theirs. They have to beat teams of Bournemouth's caliber, especially when up by two goals. It can't matter whether they are on the road or not.

It is a quick turnaround this week. The club travels to Middlesbrough on Tuesday for a Capital One Cup matchup. The Toffees return to the Premier League next Monday when they host Crystal Palace.