Everton stumble into the World Cup break following two losses in a week to Bournemouth.
After losing 4-1 in the Carabao Cup in the midweek with a rotated side, Frank Lampard sent the blues back out with nearly a full-strength side at the weekend. Following the news that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been nursing several injuries, he was announced unavailable for Saturday’s match and will look to get back to full fitness over the break. Nathan Patterson made his first start since his ankle injury and seems to be back to full fitness which is a bit of good news for Everton.
Neal Maupay nearly scored in the 4th minute of the match after Demari Gray cut inside and put in a low cross, Maupay connected well but blazed his early effort over the crossbar. It would be one Everton would rue as Bournemouth would strike first in the 18th minute via Marcus Tavernier. Dominic Solanke sent a curling effort towards goal, and Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal was unable to secure the effort leaving Tavernier to slot home the rebound and put the toffees behind early once again.
Bournemouth would score a massively controversial goal in the 25th minute, and this time it would be Kieffer Moore for the cherries. An initial cross was headed away by James Tarkowski, who went down with what looked to be a knock to the head, however the referee allowed play to go on. Pickford would save an effort from Philip Billing before the ball eventually found its way to Moore would score to make the score line 2-0 despite massive protests from Everton for a goal that certainly should not have stood after a VAR check confirmed the goal. To make matters worse, Mykolenko picked up a knock in the fray leading up to the goal and would be replaced by Seamus Coleman on the half hour mark of the match. On the stroke of halftime, much to the annoyance of the blues, Everton looked to have a counter attack after Tarkowski dispossessed Tavernier, but this time the referee would blow play dead for a potential head injury, halting the Everton counter and sending Bournemouth into the half with a 2-0 lead.
The second half would start in a slog for Everton with Bournemouth continuing to control the match and trouble Pickford in goal. The first real chance fell to Nathan Patterson in the 63rd minute following a free kick. James Tarkowski leapt to meet the free kick in the box with his header being deflected by the Bournemouth defense, it fell Patterson outside the box who unleashed a thunderbolt with his right foot that just narrowly missed the target. It would go from bad to worse for the visitors as substitute Jaidon Anthony, who had entered the field of play only two minutes earlier, met a free kick and headed home past Pickford to put the match truly out of reach at 3-0 with 20 minutes to go. Tom Cannon, Anthony Gordon, and Abdoulaye Doucoure would all come on in the 75th minute as Lampard looked to make any impact on Everton’s fledgling attack, but there would be no goals for the visitors and Everton would fall once again to Bournemouth, leaving the two matches losing by a combined score of 7-1.
Everton’s truly mind boggling road form continued on Saturday, with the blues being the worst away team in the Premier League since the start of the last campaign winning only 3 of their last 26 matches away from Goodison Park. It truly seems to be souring for Frank Lampard at the moment and momentum seems to be fading fast as Everton continues to lack any serious goal threat to trouble their opponents. Lampard’s side sits 17th and only one point off the relegation zone now, and it will be a busy World Cup break as the toffees look to get right and come out of the blocks strong on Boxing Day against Wolves to begin to get away from the dreaded relegation fight.