Everton dominated a distinctly average Bournemouth side on Saturday afternoon as Eddie Howe’s side’s form continues to dip at the worst time.
Recent defeats to both Arsenal and Stoke have left the Cherries in a precarious position and they were completely played off the pitch by an Everton side that could have started with a lot more attacking line-up on a different day. Roberto Martinez knows that his best chance of turning this season into a perceived success is to build a cup run and they are now in the quarter finals, just one victory away from Wembley.
Eddie Howe rotated his squad significantly and Everton’s experience at a higher level showed as they held out for the last half an hour with intelligent game management and allowed Romelu Lukaku a brief rest as Oumar Niasse tries to make his way in English football.
Here we have the FIVE things we learned from the game..
Barkley (correct me if I’m wrong) seems to have a knack for scoring deflected goals, in a Frank Lampard-esque manner.
Yet again today Barkley saw another effort take a dramatic reflection and end up in the net…
Eddie Howe made several changes to his last XI and it showed. The depth isn’t there in the Bournemouth squad, but Howe seemed unphased by the dominance that Everton had for much of the game.
Allowing Iturbe to settle and keeping some of the rotation options match fit is as useful as anything as they look to avoid the drop.
Ramiro Funes Mori and Phil Jagielka looked secure for much of the game today and, as talented as Stones is, the defence benefited from him being left on the bench.
His brilliance is likely to attract attention from the big boys again this summer and Everton could just be preparing for life after him.
Sylvain Distin gave a relatively assured performance against his former club and the Frenchman is the very definition of an evergreen footballer.
The former Everton man has been a class act for years and Bournemouth’s decision to sign him is one of the shrewdest signings this season.
Kevin Mirallas has been out of favour with Roberto Martinez for some time and the Belgian was pushing for a move away in January.
His work rate has been under question at times and Martinez looks to have placed faith in him momentarily to keep him at the club and given up once more.
The Belgian is hugely talented and could surely make a big move in the summer.