Everton had made a fine start to the season under new manager Ronald Koeman, and sat second in the fledgling Premier League table ahead of their trip to South Coast to face Bournemouth; a side that had never won in six meetings with the Toffees throughout the respective histories of both clubs.
All that was about to change, however. It was a splendid team performance from the Cherries overall, but the difference was a bit of brilliance right out of the top drawer of Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas. His brace had helped the last gasp Cherries deny Everton in a thrilling 3-3 draw in this fixture last season, and his 25-yard wonder strike this time round would be enough to earn Eddie Howe’s team all three points for the first time ever against the Merseysiders.
It was Stanislas’ first Premier League goal in 17 league games, since he netted in December 2015 against Manchester United, and ensured the Cherries won back-to-back Premier League games for only the second time in their history.
The 26-year-old’s effort gave Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg no chance and it was the very least the Cherries deserved after producing an electric display throughout to dominate against Ronald Koeman’s side. Besides his wonder goal, Stanislas was at the heart of the action as he proved Everton’s nemesis once again, completing 71% of his passes to link Bournemouth’s forward play from his position on the right flank.
He was a constant presence in getting down the wing and providing balls into the box against left-back Bryan Oviedo, Stanislas racking up a total of six crosses throughout the game and completing three dribbles beyond his opponents as he ventured inside to help wreak havoc.
His one bit of brilliance was the difference however in breaking down what was a stern Everton resistance despite the manner in which they were outplayed, Stanislas’ goal coming from Bournemouth’s only effort on target throughout the game. It was also Stanislas’ only effort on goal on or off target throughout the entirety of the contest.
He only managed to win a quarter of his tackles overall, but that was just as important as those won by every other member of the team as the Cherries set about bullying Everton with constant closing down and pressure. Bournemouth outplayed the visitors in every department and their pressing game disrupted the Toffees in developing any fluidity in their play.
Towards the end however, when the visitors pushed to try to force an unlikely point, Stanislas played his part in defence for Howe’s team as they dug in and got behind the ball, with one clearance from inside his own box and three crucial blocks. Lukaku’s downward header from a Ross Barkley ball in would be the only clear-cut chance that the Toffees would enjoy in Dorset.
Manager Eddie Howe was quick to declare that his Bournemouth side must maintain that level of intensity every week and look to set the tempo of the game as such if they are to stay in the Premier League, and although his goals may not be as spectacular every week, after ending his barren spell in style, Stanislas’ contribution of goals may well play a big part in their survival bid. For now, they move up to 13th place, and can travel to Watford full of confidence next week.
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