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Bournemouth 3-1 Everton: Instant reaction - Toffees crumble to woeful defeat

Blues spurn the chance to go joint second in the Premier League

AFC Bournemouth v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Everton decided to give defending a miss this week as they conceded some of the worst goals you will ever see in their 3-1 defeat at Bournemouth.

Anyone suggesting the Toffees have top six ambitions will be laughed out of the room after a performance that suggested they have learnt no lessons at all over the past 18 months.

What made it all the more frustrating was that they played well in long spells but shot themselves in the foot.

You got the feeling early on that Cherries goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was going to have one of those games when he tipped away Gylfi Sigurdsson’s curling effort. The 21-year-old was then quick off his line to deny the onrushing Calvert-Lewin. Moments later Richarlison saw his dipping effort smacked the top of the crossbar.

So far, so encouraging, until Everton decided to forget how to defend set pieces again.

From a Bournemouth corner, the unmarked Dominic Solanke flicked the ball on from the near post, Josh King was then equally unattended at the far post and was able to help the ball into the middle, where Callum Wilson placed a simple close range header beyond Pickford.

The closest player to Wilson was teammate Nathan Ake.

As infuriating as it was predicable.

Richarlison planted a header just wide as Everton tried to rally, but they still looked vulnerable at the back, particularly from set pieces.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a surprising inclusion ahead of Moise Kean, had also been struggling up to that point, with wild swinger with his left foot evidence of his fragile confidence. I have to confess I was one of those calling for Kean to come on at the break.

But just as the Toffees looked to be heading into the break behind, they finally got it right in the final third and I was made to eat my words.

Seamus Coleman’s neat pass found Richarlison in some space down the right and the Brazilian sent in a looping cross for Calvert-Lewin, who towered above Steve Cook and planted a powerful header beyond Ramsdale.

An old, school centre-forward’s goal (Duncan would be proud) which will hopefully do wonders for his confidence.

AFC Bournemouth v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Everton began the second half on top, with Sigurdsson seeing a stabbed effort tipped over after good work by Lucas Digne and Alex Iwobi down the left. Calvert-Lewin than chased down Cook and forced the Bournemouth skipper into playing a short backpass, only for Ramsdale to do well and scramble the ball away.

It was looking good - until Everton shot themselves in the foot again.

A rash challenge from Richarlison gave away a free-kick down the left. Ryan Fraser’s delivery wasn’t great, but Fabian Delph made a hash of the clearance and deflected the ball beyond Pickford.

Woeful stuff.

Marco Silva reacted straight away (though it can be argued he should have done so sooner) and brought on Kean and Bernard for Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin. But they barely had time to make an impact before it was 3-1.

AFC Bournemouth v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

A routine ball from the left somehow evaded the entire Everton defence and gave Wilson half of Dorset to waltz through and loft the ball beyond an exposed Pickford.

One step forward, two steps back. Everton have been doing it for years.

We have seen this type of result and performance so many times, especially away from home, it makes you wonder what they need to do to finally eradicate it from their game.

They return to the safer confines of Goodison Park next week but you wonder whether our season aspirations need to be reassessed after a sobering afternoon on the south coast.