Most of this recap was already written by the 55th minute. It seemed that Ronald Koeman had gotten his lineup selection wrong yet again, and Martin Atkinson had spent the afternoon insisting that the Goodison faithful were there to see the referees perform.
I had to erase my work.
- Due to injuries to Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka (severity as of yet unknown), Mason Holgate received a start next to Ashley Williams at center back. It wasn’t pretty, as Holgate was largely at fault for Josh King’s opening goal.
- For the most part, Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin bossed the midfield. Schneiderlin picked up a yellow card early on, but the duo were calm and composed, even when Everton had no end product.
- There were several instances of Atkinson’s incompetence, but Wayne Rooney was on the end of the most egregious. Rooney went up for an aerial duel with Simon Francis, and the Bournemouth defender threw an arm into Wayne’s face, leaving the Everton forward bloodied and on the ground. No card, no whistle.
Here is the no-call by Martin Atkinson on the Simon Francis arm to Wayne Rooney’s head. pic.twitter.com/CcONbsdqcJ— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 23, 2017
- Despite their midfield dominance, Everton remained without any sort of end product. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen do not seem to work well together, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin was the only attacker on the field with any sort of pace.
- None of it mattered. We have Oumar Niasse, and that’s enough. He scored on Wednesday, and upon replacing Rooney today, he scored again. And then again.
- The Niasse narrative is nearly too much to bear. You’ve heard it all - the exile, the loan, the botched sale to Crystal Palace - but it’s still unbelievable. Ronald Koeman can no longer keep the Senegalese striker out of the team.
- Koeman’s continued refusal to include pace and direct attacking play in his sides is troubling, but the Dutchman did get his substitutions right today. Tom Davies provided the ball for Niasse’s first, and Jonjoe Kenny whipped in the cross that resulted in Niasse’s second.
There are still concerns from the match today, and those will be discussed in due time. For now, though, that’s two wins in a row, and jubilation abounds. Back into Europe on Thursday, and Oumar will lead us.