Bournemouth 3 Everton 1: Cherries relegated despite comfortable win as Aston Villa survive by a point

BOURNEMOUTH crashed out of the Premier League as their final day win over Everton failed to save them after a miserable year on the South Coast.

Eddie Howe’s side did what they needed to as they dispatched Carlo Ancelotti’s woeful Toffees, but it was the damage that was done earlier in the campaign that proved too much to overcome.

Aaron Ramsdale leaves the field in tears after Bournemouth were relegated

Diego Rico also showed his emotions on a tough final day

Aston Villa’s point at West Ham might have been decisive here but it was the 22 defeats over the course of the past 11 months that ultimately ended Bournemouth’s five-year stay in the top flight.

They now face an important summer where the futures of boss Howe and some of their senior players are unclear, but for now it is just a case of licking the wounds of relegation.

Whatever the outcome of the day, Howe was not going to finish it wondering if his side should have been more attacking.

The Cherries went bold with an attacking quartet of King, Solanke, Callum Wilson and David Brooks as the team selection set the tone for the game.

Right from the off the strugglers hit their straps, pouring forward at every opportunity and refusing to let Everton settle on the ball in any way.

The signs were there within six minutes that Bournemouth might get reward for their attacking intent as the Toffees failed to clear their lines from a corner and King dug out a shot from a narrow angle which Jordan Pickford held.

News then filtered through that Watford had fallen a goal behind down at Arsenal, adding a spring to the step of those on the touchline and out on the pitch.

Junior Stanislas secured the win for Bournemouth but it was not enough

They really should have opened the scoring on nine minutes when Solanke and King lined up to release Wilson through on goal but Pickford managed to stop the goalbound effort with his outstretched arm and the chance was gone.

As opponents in a must-win game, Everton were everything Howe and his players could hope for.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men were two yards off the pace, couldn’t string a passing move together and were physically second best right across the pitch.

All that was left was to gift a goal, and sure enough that came on 12 minutes when Richarlison stupidly lent across to control the ball with his arm in the area and ref Chris Kavanagh had no hesitation pointing to the spot.

King was the man who held his nerve by slotting into the bottom corner to open the scoring, drawing hardly a reaction from Howe in the technical area.

He knew the job was nowhere near done, and when Theo Walcott suddenly got in behind the defence Arron Ramsdale had to react well to block low with his legs.

Even so, there was a tinge of excitement filtering through on the Bournemouth bench as the news from the Emirates reached them. They knew one leg of the triple was pretty much wrapped up now.

But keeping clean sheets has been a terrible problem for the Cherries this season and once again they were undone by poor defending four minutes before the break..

Diego Rico was the culprit, offering the flimsiest of challenges to allow Seamus Coleman to burst forward and release Walcott who’s low cross found Moise Kean with the simple task of touching into the empty net.

It was an equaliser Everton hadn’t even threatened, let alone deserved, and now Bournemouth’s resolve was being tested for the first time on the day.

Dominic Solanke rose brilliantly to restore Bournemouth’s lead

Josh King kept his cool as he slotted home a spot-kick

But they came up with the perfect response, restoring their lead in first-half stoppage time.

Rico had a better impact this time, whipping in a free-kick from the left which saw Solanke climb to divert his header into the far corner past the despairing dive of Pickford.

What a time to score, for it sent the Cherries in for the break with the lead their excellent display had warranted.

They needed a third goal to really relax, and only a fine low stop from Pickford one minute into the second half denied Wilson.

And gradually the enormity of the occasion started to show in the visitors who suddenly looked nervous and allowed Everton to start to assume control of the game in midfield.

Moise Kean celebrates after finding the net for Everton

Ramsdale had to collect a Kean head low on his line, then only a last-ditch challenge from Solanke working back on the edge of the area stopped Andre Gomes a clear shot on goal.

That was the sign for Howe to protect the lead he had, sacrificing Solanke for an extra midfielder in Philip Billing, and when news arrived that Watford had somehow clawed it back to 3-2 down at Arsenal the nerves really started to settle in.

One positive was defensively they were not being tested by Everton, and ten minutes from time Bournemouth got the third goal they needed to settle the game.

Sub Junior Stanislas skipped past two challenges as he cut in from the left and aimed a low shot at goal, where Pickford allowed the ball to slip through his grasp and trickle over the line.

Now it was all about what was going on at the London Stadium where one goal from the Hammers was all they so desperately needed.

Instead, though, it was Villa who struck and though the Hammers levelled, Bournemouth knew their fate was sealed.


By: Duncan Wright
Title: Bournemouth 3 Everton 1: Cherries relegated despite comfortable win as Aston Villa survive by a point
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Published Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2020 16:55:23 +0000