Bournemouth: Five Things We Learned

After Everton’s come-from-behind 2-1 win over Bournemouth at Goodison Park on Saturday, picks out five talking points from the come-from-behind victory over the Cherries…

Oumar Offers Something Different

“Oumar, Oumar, Oumar” reverberated around Goodison Park after the Senegalese striker first levelled the scores at 1-1 then bundled home his 81st-minute winner, a clear indication that he has become a big favourite in the terraces. 

And that’s thoroughly deserving of a man who never gave up on making it at Everton

Evertonians love a trier and the remarkable story of Niasse took anther turn on Saturday afternoon. Ronald Koeman spoke of the “aggression and direct play” that the former Lokomotiv Moscow man brings and that was certainly on display in his second half cameo.

After Baines’ pass was intercepted by Dan Gosling, Niasse refused to give up and won it back when nipping in to steal it back off the former Everton man. He then played it forward before darting straight for the box. Meanwhile, the Blues cleverly worked the ball around the Bournemouth rearguard to Tom Davies, who delivered the perfect pass for Niasse to control and lash past Asmir Begovic.

“Nobody can stop him at the moment!” joked Koeman in his post match press conference. Long may it continue. 

Kenny Comes Into Right Back Picture

Jonjoe Kenny gained his first taste of senior football for the season when he played the full 90 minutes of the midweek Carabao Cup win over Sunderland, but could well have missed out on Saturday had injuries not played their part.

As they say, when one door closes, another opens, and foot and hamstring injuries to Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka respectively forced Koeman into a defensive reshuffle, with Mason Holgate moving to centre back and Cuco Martina operating on the flank.

That meant a spot for Kenny on the bench, and it was to him that the Blues boss turned to in the 76th minute.

And while he didn’t have a hand in the first goal, he did with the second. A pinpoint cross into the feet of Dominic Calvert-Lewin allowed the striker to set up Davies for the shot that was eventually tucked in by Niasse. The Senegal man has taken his opportunities of late and so has his young defensive teammate.

Jordan Continues To Impress

Just how big a save was the 23-year-old’s instinctive block with his right leg to deny his former Sunderland teammate Jermain Defoe?

The veteran striker has been slotting those in for fun across a goal-laden career but perhaps seeing him on the training ground day in, and day out gave Pickford an edge.

He didn’t have a lot to do but Pickford’s contribution proved critical – the Blues went on to turn the game on its head thanks to Niasse’s brace.

Blues Show Stomach For The Fight

After three straight losses, the need to return to winning ways was growing around Goodison Park. A morale-boosting win over a Championship side is a step in the right direction but even Koeman admitted the game against the Cherries was “must-win”.

But his players answered his call and even after going 1-0 down to Joshua King’s strike, refused to roll over. There was blood – after Wayne Rooney’s cut following a challenge from Simon Francis – sweat and tears on show at the Grand Old Lady, and suddenly Everton have two wins on the spin. "It is a totally different world after winning," said Koeman. "You have key moments during the season and this was a big win that will give everyone a boost.”

Flexibility Could Be Key

Koeman spoke after the game of his side’s ability to adapt to changes midgame after swapping systems seamlessly with the introduction of Niasse and Davies. 

The change to two up front eased the burden on Calvert-Lewin, operating as a lone striker in the first half, and gave Bournemouth more to think about, especially with the emphasis on playing more direct.

Everton were clearly buoyed by Niasse’s leveller and looked far more positive going forward, so much so that Cherries boss Eddie Howe swapped forward King for defender Steve Cook to try and secure a point.

But there was no stopping the Blues – signalled by Niasse ignoring the fact he netted his first Premier League for the Club and sprinting straight for the ball after scoring to get the game back underway – and they were rewarded for their character with a late winner.

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