LIVERPOOL – Everton saved themselves from a first-ever Premier League relegation on the final day of the season, as Abdoulaye Doucoure was the hero with his stunning winner against Bournemouth.
FULL MATCH REPLAY
At half time the Toffees were being relegated for the first time in the PL era and their hopes of extending their incredible top-flight active streak to 70-straight seasons were in real danger.
But Doucoure smashed home a stunning goal to send Goodison Park wild as Bournemouth pushed hard for an equalizer late on but Everton held on and got the win they needed to stay up.
Sean Dyche was a relieved man at the final whistle as Everton won five of his 17 games in charge to keep their pride top-flight history intact despite growing turmoil behind-the-scenes at the club.
Toffees shake off slow start to save themselves
They were set up with five at the back from the start and it was too negative. Dyche got it right though. All they needed was one loose ball to drop to the right onrushing central midfielder and it did in the second half as Doucoure hammered home. It was a brilliant finish in what wasn’t a brilliant game. But Everton and Dyche don’t care. With loads of injuries they found a way to get it done and the history books show that Everton have still never been relegated from the Premier League and only Arsenal have a longer active top-flight streak as they will be playing at England’s top table next season, their 70th consecutive at the top level. Off the pitch there are financial issues to solve which could impact them next season but Dyche has done his job and if Everton are smart they should give him the tools to rip things up and rebuild the squad. Just staying up like this can’t happen again to Everton. They said that last season but look what happened. This time they have to make sure they are never in the relegation scrap again. A club of Everton’s size should never be in this situation.
Stars of the show; Everton vs Bournemouth player ratings
Abdoulaye Doucoure: Scored a beauty to be the hero and was brilliant in midfield.
Mark Travers: Made some really good punches and clearances.
Alex Iwobi: Showed real leadership and character to dig in deep. Brilliant.
James Tarkowski: A man mountain at the back, clearing everything Bournemouth chucked at Everton late on.
How to watch Everton vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 11:30am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Everton vs Bournemouth live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright at Goodison Park
THEY HAVE DONE IT! EVERTON HAVE SURVIVED!
SAVE! Jordan Pickford makes a fine save to deny a volley from Vina.
10 minutes of stoppage time. 10!
Bournemouth have a free kick as the clock ticks into the 90th minute…
Everton are doing their best to hang out but they are dropping deep. Bournemouth having a go. After Pickford was down for a wild getting treatment, there will be a lot of stoppage time.
GOALLLL! Everton 1-0 Bournemouth – Goodison Park has gone bonkers. Abdoulaye Doucoure smashes home a stunner to put the Toffees ahead.
WHAT A CHANCE! A free kick is flicked on and it falls to Demarai Gray 6 yards out. He heads it straight at Travers. Then Bournemouth somehow scramble clear. The home fans can’t believe it.
The second half is underway. No changes for Everton. It is very tense here.
HALF TIME: Everton 0-0 Bournemouth – Half time here at their are loud boos from the home fans.
SAVE! Mark Travers with a good punch away and he then pushes over James Garner’s curling shot from the edge of the box.
BLOCK! What a block from Yerry Mina after Bournemouth made the most of some poor Everton defending. Excellent from David Brooks there.
You get the sense things were very defensive from the start from Sean Dyche as he stated with a back five.
CLOSE! Senesi squirms a shot wide of the far post after Bournemouth cause havoc in the box. The atmosphere is very, very quite here.
First, as it stands of today – Leicester City have gone 1-0 up against West Ham. With Everton drawing here at Goodison against Bournemouth, that means the Toffees are going down. Chants of “going down, going down!” from the Bournemouth fans in the away end. Everton’s fans are stunned.
BIG CHANCEEE! Idrissa Gana Gueye is played in but his shot is tipped over. Should be 1-0 to Everton. Moments later Travers tips away a shot from distance
A cross is whipped into the box but there isn’t an Everton player anywhere near it. Huge roars of discontent from the home fans. They want more attacking intent from their team.
The home fans are driving their team on. Everton seeing a lot of the ball but it is mostly from wide positions.
Demarai Gray with a half chance as he wriggles free but his shot/cross is cleared at the near post.
KICK OFF! We are underway and it has been a tense start. Everton’s fans are urging their team on but they’re in a back five. Bournemouth have had some good chances to whip it in from the right but the quality hasn’t been there on the final ball.
The nerves continue to build here at Goodison. 45 minutes until kick off. Everton fans just want to get this started. This has to be excruciating for them. Meanwhile in the away end the Bournemouth fans are having a lovely time in the sun. Completely opposite atmosphere.
As we sit in the press box in the main stand at Goodison, you can hear a wall of noise approaching the stadium from every angle. Great atmosphere building here.
Team news is out and there are two changes for Everton as Conor Coady comes in for the injured Nathan Patterson. Demarai Gray starts up top in place of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Looks like Coady is at right back and McNeil is at left back. Bournemouth are without captain and star goalkeeper Neto who misses out due to personal reasons.
Hello and welcome to Goodison Park, where the nerves are jangling, the sun is shining and the flares are plentiful! The equation is simple for Everton: win and they will stay up. Lose or draw and their safety is out of their hands. Get ready for an intense few hours.
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Everton have really been through it with injuries in recent weeks and the fact that Calvert-Lewin is once again struggling means that Dyche may play without a recognized striker on the final day. Defensively they have issues at full back but they have hung in there and the home crowd has inspired them on several occasions as they are within one win of safety.
Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto has been exceptional, so too has Dominic Solanke and Dango Ouattara at the other end of the pitch as there has been a really nice balance about the Cherries over the last few months as they stayed up without much stress in the end. In the reverse game in November Bournemouth beat Everton 3-0 to spark ugly scenes in the away end as the Everton fans turned on their players and demanded and were hugely disappointed with the display.
Everton team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Seamus Coleman (hamstring), Dele Alli (groin), Ruben Vinagre (achilles), Andros Townsend (knee), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (thigh), Nathan Patterson (thigh), Tom Davies (thigh), Vitalii Mykolenko (thigh), Ben Godfrey (groin)
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Antoine Semenyo (leg), Ryan Fredericks (calf), Junior Stanislas (other), Joe Rothwell (thigh), Hamed Traore (ankle), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Neto (personal reasons)