Nine goals. These two teams scored nine goals between them. Luckily, Everton scored six of them at Goodison Park as they smacked Bournemouth 6-3 on Saturday afternoon.
Romelu Lukaku was the star of the show from kick off. His four goals scored today give him a Premier League-best 16 for the season. The man truly is world class. If you are one of the best strikers in England, which he is, then you are one of the best in the world. End of discussion.
It started right from kick off. Less than 30 seconds in, he put a powerful left-footed strike past poor, poor Artur Boruc in the Bournemouth goal. Boruc, it would turn out, was in store to see a LOT of Everton shots fly past him.
But we won’t get into every single goal. On a day like this, that would take all day. Over in the Fanshot section, you can find a handful of them. Instead, let’s focus on the pros and cons to a performance like this.
Lukaku was the big positive today. The man has a nose for goal. He can sense when the pressure is mounting and Everton are looking likely to score. In those moments, he increases his tenacity and tries to create chances. In addition to the four he scored, he also set up James McCarthy’s goal. This was Rom at his best.
Speaking of McCarthy, he had a nice day as well. It seems he has done something to get back in the good graces of Ronald Koeman. The Irishman was given the start today in place of Tom Davies and impressed. Pressure he put on Bournemouth in the match’s opening minute led to Lukaku’s first goal. He did start to tire and wasted a really good chance right before being subbed off, but it’s unlikely he is up to 90-minute fitness just yet.
A couple of other guys had decent days. Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman both started and had an impact. Schneiderlin was a steadying force in the middle of the park. And Lookman is impressive with his quickness and creativity. And a quick shout out to Joel Robles. Giving up three goals is far from an ideal day at work, but he made a couple of big saves at clutch moments and his passion is always nice to see.
It was the backline, specifically the centerback partnership of Ramiro Funes Mori and Ashley Williams, that was more at fault for the trio of goals allowed. Funes Mori regularly looks panicked and oddly positioned. Williams, today at least, looked old and slow. Joshua King was having him on toast. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Mason Holgate of Phil Jagielka get the start next time out.
These difficulties further show that one of Everton’s big objectives over the summer will be to bring in some competition and depth at the position. At the moment, Koeman doesn’t have many options. That will certainly change.
But the biggest disappointment was the entire team’s approach to the first 30 minutes of the second half. Everyone knows Bournemouth is a plucky team with a fighting spirit. When they are down, they need to be kept down. Instead, the Toffees let them back into the match with a relaxed formation that welcomed the Cherries into the Everton box.
We saw what happened in the final 10 minutes when Everton hung onto the ball for an extended time. It stretched the Bournemouth defense and exposed them for a couple of more goals. Everton is not exceedingly more talented than all of the teams in the Premier League, but they are when compared to Bournemouth. Use that advantage!
Next up is a trip to Middlesbrough next Saturday. This is another match where Everton will feel like anything but three points is a disappointment. Depending on the result of Sunday’s Manchester United/Leicester City match, a win could put the Blues into the top six.