Oumar Niasse scored two late goals as Everton claimed their first Premier League victory since the opening day of the season.
Bournemouth had taken a second-half lead through Joshua King and looked set to make it back-to-back victories. However, Toffees boss Ronald Koeman’s decision to send on substitute Niasse paid handsome dividends, as he scored twice in five minutes to help the hosts climb out of the bottom three.
For the Cherries, meanwhile, this was their fifth defeat in six games. Here are three things we learnt from a topsy-turvy encounter at Goodison Park.
The heat eases on manager Koeman
Three successive top-flight reversals, plus a dismal showing in the Europa League, had led some pundits to speculate that Koeman’s job was under serious pressure, even at this early stage of the campaign.
Everton spent upwards of £140 million in the summer in a bid to be transformed into Champions League contenders, but instead found themselves mired in the relegation zone before this win.
One good result doesn’t solve their problems (particularly in the goalscoring department) and their performance in general still left much to be desired. However, the character the Toffees exhibited to come from behind will have delighted Koeman. It gives them a platform on which to build.
Fragile Bournemouth collapse once more
Of their five defeats this season, this one will frustrate Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe the most. His side were good value for their lead and, in truth, never looked like they would leave Merseyside empty-handed. However, their late collapse, inspired by Niasse, was nothing new.
The Cherries have lost 28 points from winning positions since the start of last season – more than any other Premier League side in that period. Their performance was an improvement on recent efforts, but Howe knows it is points that matter when you are at the wrong end of the table.
This was an opportunity missed and one that will have left the Bournemouth boss scratching his head.
Everton require a proven goalscorer
When you consider the millions of pounds Everton spent in the summer, Niasse was an unlikely hero.
Farmed out on loan last season, his Everton career looked uncertain. The Senegalese’s late brace will give him confidence that he can force his way into the starting XI, but it also amplifies Everton’s need for a proven goalscorer.
Romelu Lukaku’s departure has left a massive void and it is no wonder the Toffees have struggled to find the net. Indeed, before Niasse struck they had gone 401 minutes without a Premier League goal.
Koeman is sure to return to the transfer market in January, but in the meantime Niasse may have to step up on a more regular basis.