Everton slumped to a second resounding loss to Bournemouth in the space of four days as a Jordan Pickford error set the hosts on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium.
The England goalkeeper was at fault as he failed to hold on to Dominic Solanke’s shot as Marcus Tavernier gleefully accepted the gift (18) before Kieffer Moore doubled Bournemouth’s lead with a close-range header (25).
Everton exited the Carabao Cup on Tuesday after being humiliated 4-1 by Bournemouth, and substitute Jaidon Anthony put the seal on another impressive home performance by heading in a third to compound Frank Lampard’s misery (69).
Pressure will now grow on Lampard, with Everton tumbling closer to the relegation zone after a run of one win in seven league games before the World Cup break.
They sit in 17th, one place and a point above Nottingham Forest while Bournemouth rise to 13th after ending their own four-match losing streak.
Lampard played down an altercation at the final whistle involving Alex Iwobi amid unsavoury scenes in front of the away supporters, choosing to focus on his side’s overall abject display.
“It was a poor performance and a poor result,” the Everton boss said. “It’s not good enough for Everton. The fans have a right to be disappointed as the fans have come here twice this week and have seen another poor performance. We have to understand they have a right to voice their opinions. They were right today.
“There was a misunderstanding. Alex had some friends that he was concerned about that were at the front of the fans [in the stands]. There’s nothing in that. The players just have to accept that the fans have a right to voice their opinions.”
Bournemouth: Travers (7), Smith (7), Zemura (8), Stephens (7), Senesi (7), Cook (8), Lerma (7), Tavernier (8), Billing (7), Solanke (7), Moore (7).
Subs: Christie (6), Anthony (7).
Everton: Pickford (5), Patterson (4), Mykolenko (5), Tarkowski (6), Coady (5), Onana (6), Gueye (5), Iwobi (5), McNeil (5), Gray (5), Maupay (4).
Subs: Gordon (6), Doucouré (5), Coleman (6), Cannon (6).
Player of the match: Jordan Zemura.
Can we play you every week?
Bournemouth had lost their previous two Premier League home games – only twice had they lost three in a row at the Vitality Stadium, doing so in April 2016 and December 2019 – but that never looked like happening on Saturday.
The Cherries did the league double over Everton the last time the sides met in 2019/20 – and they embarked on a second win over the same opponents in a matter of days when Pickford was unable to hold onto Solanke’s routine shot, allowing the alert Tavernier to prod home from close range.
- Mark Travers, Jack Stephens and Jordan Zemura were the only three Bournemouth players who started to feature from the off during Tuesday’s 4-1 Carabao Cup win over Everton. From last weekend’s 4-3 loss to Leeds, Ryan Fredericks and Chris Mepham dropped out.
- Frank Lampard unsurprisingly reverted back to nine of the 11 players who featured from the off in Everton’s last Premier League game – the 2-0 home defeat to Leicester. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was replaced by Neal Maupay up front. Nathan Patterson replaced Seamus Coleman at full-back.
It was Pickford’s first error leading to a goal in the Premier League since against Tottenham in March. Since the start of the 2017/18 season, he has made 14 in total – at least two more than any other goalkeeper.
Matters got even worse for the visitors seven minutes later despite Pickford leading the sense of injustice. James Tarkowski lay prone inside the penalty area following a challenge with Solanke but play was allowed to continue as Philip Billing dispossessed Nathan Patterson on the byline to force the save from Pickford.
Tavernier joined Billing in keeping the ball alive by heading goalwards and Moore rose above Vitalii Mykolenko to direct the ball into the roof of the net.
Both Moore and Mykolenko received treatment, and the goal stood – much to Lampard’s chagrin. Mykolenko was unable to continue as Seamus Coleman took his place but Everton improved very little before the break.
There was a review for a potential red card against Lewis Cook for a two-footed challenge on Amadou Onana that was not upgraded by referee Craig Pawson as VAR Tony Harrington deemed Cook had played the ball. Everton’s only shot on target came five minutes before the interval as Iwobi drew a comfortable save from Mark Travers.
Everton emerged determined to halve the deficit as Idrissa Gueye blazed over within a minute from Neal Maupay’s set up, but it was Bournemouth who ought to have stretched their lead when Pickford made saves in quick succession to keep out Solanke and Tavernier.
Tarkowski headed over before Patterson volleyed off target but it was Bournemouth who found the third to kill off their opponents. Just moments after replacing Moore, Anthony ghosted behind Iwobi to meet Cook’s free-kick and head home his second goal in a week against Everton.
Bournemouth fans crowed: “Can we play you every week? You’re not famous anymore”.
Everton have earned fewer away points than any other ever-present side in the Premier League (16) since the start of last season, winning just three of their 27 games on the road.
On this evidence, Lampard is no closer to finding the solutions but the chances are they do not exist from within a group of players that needs reinforcements at the earliest opportunity.
O’Neil thanks fans but remains coy over future
“It wasn’t too different to the Tottenham and Leeds performances. I’m pleased that we did a lot of work on how you see out a game of football when in front, what it takes. Having seen this one out so comfortably, it’s nice to be rewarded having put the work in.
“The lads showed heart and determination throughout. We talked about getting to 16 points before the break and the lads deserve those 16 points as they’ve been incredible. Thirteen points from 11 from me is a good total.
“I wish it could’ve been more with some of the situations we’ve put ourselves in. Plus a big cup win, we’ve scored a lot of goals as well. I wanted to show my appreciation to the fans as they are massive to us here. We’re underdogs for most of the games so when an interim is put in charge it’s important the fans stick with us.
“I want to thank them for being incredible for the boys during some sticky moments.”
On reports of Marcelo Bielsa taking over permanently, O’Neil added: “I don’t want to speak about things that haven’t been confirmed by the club. I don’t think it would be fair to comment on things that haven’t been confirmed. There will be conversations with the club like there are after every game, but I couldn’t possibly answer when a decision might be made.”
On his future: “I don’t really want to get into my future. If the boys put in a performance like today, the noise should be about the lads. I’m really comfortable with where I am.
“I have huge respect for him. There’s been noise in the past couple of days. The reputation and the work he’s done has been fantastic. I’m sure if Marcelo Bielsa was to come here, he’d do a very good job.”
FPL Stats: Bournemouth 3-0 Everton
|Goals||Tavernier, Moore, Anthony.|
|Assists||Solanke, Cook, Tavernier.|
|Bonus points||Tavernier (3), Smith (2), Travers (1)|
Lampard irritated by lack of consistency
Everton boss Frank Lampard: “This is the Premier League, and you need to have intensity in your games. It generally aligns itself to better results and if you drop it, then it’s not enough and that one is on the players. Ultimately, I take responsibility but there’s never a moment when I ask for a drop in intensity – the players didn’t deliver that today.
“I wasn’t comforting anybody [when asked if he was comforting his players at full-time in front of the fans]. What was important today was that the players go over to the fans because they have travelled down so they have to all go over.
“The players, albeit the performance wasn’t good enough, they’re not bad lads. They’re disappointed and so there are things we have to speak about on a footballing level. It’s not a nice moment but it’s not a moment to ‘speak to the fans’. We have to suck it up and be humble about the fact the performance wasn’t good enough.
“It’s not a moment to clap and cheer – we get that. It’s a moment to go over and show the fact they’re there and that we weren’t good enough. Every footballer has been through those moments – I’ve been there many a time, and it was important the players went over. The rest was pure emotion, which is understandable.
“The performance was poor and below par. In the Premier League, you get beaten for that. In simple terms, there is a lack of consistency.”
Analysis: Everton should prepare for January now
Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds at the Vitality Stadium:
Ask any Evertonian, and they will tell you how regularly the club leave it until the final day of the January transfer window to complete the biggest chunk of their mid-season business.
But there can be no excuse this time. This time, it cannot pass by as a window remembered for the business that was not done.
This result peaks the anxiety among supporters. It is a squad weak on the ground and it is a group that looks jaded just 15 Premier League games into the season.
Lampard has worked through the thirds. He has a world-class goalkeeper behind a new centre-half pairing that look like they have been playing together for years. It is a defensive triangle to rival most top-half teams.
The new midfield three – Amadou Onana, Alex Iwobi and Idrissa Gueye – are combative, tireless and mobile – in stark contrast to the lightweight imitations of previous years – but it lacks goals.
That would not be such a problem if the front three were scoring, but that is Lampard’s next act.
He has stabilised his side’s core but both he and director of football Kevin Thelwell spent the run-up to the summer deadline day looking for difference-makers in the final third. Unusually, Lampard now has six weeks before business can officially be concluded to get ahead.
Ben Brereton Diaz, a name mentioned in the summer, has continued scoring at Blackburn, but their elevated position as Championship title challengers makes the Chile striker attainable but only at a premium.
Mohammed Kudus’ Champions League exploits and Cody Gakpo’s season in general with PSV prior to his World Cup call-up for the Netherlands mean the ship has sailed on those two targets.
The sprinkle of stardust on top should not wait until deep into January when significant strides can be made in these dormant World Cup weeks.
With Dominic Calvert-Lewin allowed to recover between now and Boxing Day, among others, the break has come at the right time for Everton. Now, Lampard has to put it to good use.
‘It was nothing that represents Everton Football Club’
Everton defender Conor Coady:
“It’s nowhere near good enough from our point of view. I don’t want to speak about the referee. We speak about referees after every game so I’m not going to do that after we just put out a performance like that against Bournemouth.
“It was nothing that represents Everton Football Club or represents our supporters. A long, hard look in the mirror for every single one of us who plays for this football club.
“We have to set standards every day in training. It’s not just about today. It can’t be anything to do with the manager or anything like that.
“It’s up to us as players to set standards and take pride in what we do every day. We don’t have that at the minute and we need to make sure that’s happening because things like [today] will happen.
“We need to look at ourselves long and hard in the mirror. We have to be better in the second half of the season. We can’t go into the second half of the season like this.
“We’ve had a long talk in the dressing room in terms of what’s going on and what needs to be done. We need to look at ourselves. Nothing to do with the manager, or the staff, it’s up to us to give our best every single day.”
Sticky time for Toffees on south coast – Opta stats
- Everton have never won in six league visits to Bournemouth (D2 L4), making the Cherries the side they’ve faced the most on the road without ever winning in their league history.
- Bournemouth secured their biggest Premier League victory since a 4-1 win over Leicester back in July 2020, while today’s win also ended their four-game losing streak in the competition.
- Everton are winless in their last eight Premier League games against promoted sides (D3 L5), their longest such run in the competition.
- Since the start of last season, Everton have earned fewer away points than any other ever-present side in the Premier League (16), winning just three of their 27 games on the road (D7 L17).
Bournemouth visit Chelsea at 12.30pm on December 27 in the Premier League after the World Cup as Everton host Wolves at Goodison Park on Boxing Day at 3pm.