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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Everton claim overdue home win as Bournemouth's struggles continue

Zouma's header and a late goal from Calvert-Lewin secure all three points for the home side

Kurt Zouma after scoring Everton's first goal in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth. Getty Images
Kurt Zouma after scoring Everton's first goal in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth. Getty Images

Everton manager Marco Silva said his side showed "big personality" to beat Bournemouth 2-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday and end a run of four Premier League matches without a home win.

Kurt Zouma's first Everton goal and a late strike from Dominic Calvert-Lewin eased some of the scrutiny on Silva but Bournemouth's miserable run of form continued.

The on-loan Chelsea defender's 61st-minute header was followed by substitute Calvert-Lewin sidefooting home in the sixth minute of additional time to secure only Everton's second Premier League win in nine matches, and their first home clean sheet since November 24.

Bournemouth's misery was prolonged, though, as their slump was extended to nine defeats in their last 12 league matches.

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At this week's Annual General Meeting Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, while backing to Silva, assessed the season as "not good enough".

Victory at least ensured they are three points better off than at the same stage a year ago when they were on their third manager of the campaign in Sam Allardyce.

Performances will have to improve, significantly, though to prevent Moshiri wondering just where his £250 million (Dh1.18 billion) investment is going.

Silva, though, was happy to see his team claim an overdue home win.

"They were an important three points for us," the Portuguese manager said. "We knew before the match it was important to turn the last few results back our way.

"Even if 2-0 is a tough result to take for them, we deserved the points and our players showed big personality and character as a team."

Bournemouth, meanwhile, just need to find a way of stopping the rot, although their good start means they are still nine points above the bottom three.

A meeting of two of the Premier League's three most out of form teams did not bode particularly well combined with strong winds and intermittent, heavy rain.

Not long into the first half the watching England manager Gareth Southgate must have wondered if the later kick-off at Wembley between Tottenham and Manchester United would have been a much better option.

He was there, presumably, to check on the form of Jordan Pickford primarily, but the England No 1's unconvincing handling of Junior Stanislas's low free-kick midway through the first half, plus some nervy moments with the ball at his feet, will not have offered much reassurance.

The player who did catch the eye was Bournemouth's 21-year-old Wales international David Brooks, who had the only real chance of the half.

Zouma was muscled off the ball by Josh King and Brooks fired an angled shot past Pickford but against the far post.

The only other player to look lively in the opening 45 minutes was Everton's 21-year-old Ademola Lookman on only his second league start of the season.

His cross saw Bernard's stooping header fly wide and he would have been clean through had Richarlison not hit his pass straight at defender Nathaniel Clyne in a two-on-two counter-attack.

Zouma's first goal in 14 months eventually broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute when he nodded home Lucas Digne's cross.

Bournemouth's response saw King drill a fierce shot into the side-netting on the counter but Everton now had the impetus and energy so lacking before with Richarlison's diving header flying wide.

Nevertheless, it was far from a comfortable finish until Calvert-Lewin made sure right at the end.

Despite another dishearetning defeat, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe insisted his players can take plenty of encouragement from their performance.

"I thought we played well today, we started the game well and we had a good chance with David Brooks but that's how it is going for us," he said. "A lot of elements were really strong but ultimately it goes against us.

"It will change for us if we continue to hit those levels we were at today, but when you're in that moment, that win seems elusive."

Updated: January 13, 2019 10:36 PM

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