Bournemouth 1 Everton 0: Blues Humbled in First Defeat of the Campaign

Everton sleepwalked to their first Premier League defeat of the campaign as Junior Stanislas scored the only goal for Bournemouth in a 1-0 win for the Cherries.

In what transpired to be a throwback to the Toffees‘ more lacklustre performances at the back end of last season, the home side comfortably controlled the game from start to finish.

And in contrast to their encounters with West Brom and Middlesbrough, when Stanislas stroked the ball into the top corner, there was no fight in the Everton team. Leighton Baines missed out due to a hamstring problem and Gareth Barry struggled through his 601st Premier League appearance nursing an ankle injury.

Everton humbled in 1-0 loss away to Bournemouth

Bryan Oviedo came in at left-back and Tom Cleverley replaced Barry in the second half. But the humbling defeat to the Cherries exposed Everton’s lack of depth and lack of alternative options. Missing the stability of Baines and the sharpness of their most experienced player, Everton looked inept from the start.

Callum Wilson glanced a header wide before Seamus Coleman deflected Jack Wilshere’s attempt onto the crossbar. Despite the early warnings, there was no reaction from Everton. Bournemouth kept attacking at will and the space afforded to Stanislas for his first goal of the season only emphasised Barry’s lack of fitness and Everton’s lack of cover.

The 26-year-old, who scored twice in the 3-3 draw between the two sides in the fixture last term, had all the time in the world to set himself up for a 20-yard stunner.

Everton’s best chance of the game fell to  Romelu Lukaku, but his header was excellently saved by Artur Boruc. Ross Barkley would also go close with a header in the second half, but otherwise there was not much in the way of chances for the away side.

Man-of-the-match, Harry Arter, who had an effort of his own strike the woodwork, and Wilshere dominated Everton’s midfield as Barry, Idrissa Gueye and Barkley struggled to impose themselves.

Pitiful performances all round for Everton

It resulted in a pitiful display from Ronald Koeman’s team. Not one player could judge themselves to have had a good game. Nor could they put up a reasonable argument that they were hard done by. The Blues were simply out-fought.

Captain, Phil Jagielka was guilty of several moments of clumsiness, Coleman and Oviedo were vulnerable at full back and Yannick Bolasie continually delayed putting the ball in the box, performing one trick too many. Barkley put in another erratic display, while Kevin Mirallas simply remained anonymous. It culminated in an isolated Lukaku, feeding off scraps.

Their pressing off the ball was at times non-existent, while Bournemouth harried Everton for 90 minutes.

If their 2-0 defeat to Norwich in the EFL Cup third round was a reality check, this was proof that there is still some way to go before the damage left by Roberto Martinez’s reign is fully fixed.

Koeman himself claimed it would take two years for him transform Everton into the team he wants them to be. On this showing, that was no exaggeration.

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