Diego Rico

Bournemouth relegated despite solid win at Everton

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Everton – Bournemouth: Eddie Howe’s Cherries were relegated to the Championship but went out on a winning note with a 3-1 win over Carlo Ancelotti’s unsteady Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Joshua King had a goal and an assist to join Junior Stanislas and Dominic Solanke on the scoreboard as Bournemouth’s 34 points are one point shy of safety.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Bournemouth finished with better goal differential than the surviving Aston Villa.

Everton finishes on a down note, Moise Kean scoring the Toffees only goal to seal 12th place for the hosts.

WATCH EVERTON – BOURNEMOUTH FULL MATCH REPLAY


Two things we learned

1. Too little, too late for Howe’s oft-skidding Cherries: Eddie Howe is a Bournemouth legend, even if it turns out that his plan has become stale (We’ll find out next season in the Championship if he doesn’t opt out of the Vitality Stadium). But after losing just three times through 11 matches this season, the Cherries had three losing skids of four matches or more, one of which came inside of a nine-match winless run between February and July (that’s a weird sentence. Thanks pandemic).

2. Ancelotti gets out the checkbook: Everton’s legendary boss would’ve wanted to see his players respond to some poor results down the stretch and they barely mustered that. There are pieces worth liking but the Toffees’ aims are much higher than even midtable and they need massive help in midfield and an upgrade in goal. Big chances are coming to Goodison.

Man of the Match

King — Playing wide he was the MOTM but this is so bittersweet as he just did not finish his chances this year. Just one more might’ve been enough.


Everton – Bournemouth recap

Richarlison handled the ball in the Everton box and King converted the penalty to make it 1-0.

Aaron Ramsdale made a huge save to keep it 1-0 when Theo Walcott stormed into the box in the 17th.

Kean ran to the back post to meet a Walcott pass before halftime, but Solanke headed a Diego Rico free kick home to restore the Cherries’ lead heading into halftime.

King assisted substitute Stanislas with 10 minutes to go but West Ham would do Bournemouth no favors and the Cherries will go to the second tier.

Ranking every Bournemouth player

Bournemouth
Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images
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The Cherries of Bournemouth have struggled this season, beset by injuries to promising players like David Brooks and Chris Mepham as well as a sea of defenders.

There still have been stars of the show, including an imported midfielder and a second-year man bouncing back from a tough debut season at the Vitality Stadium.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Below we give each Bournemouth player a grade, ranking and group them together based on their season(s) so far.

If a Bournemouth player is listed in this ranking it is because they’ve played in more than five games in all competitions.


A-GRADE

Philip Billing: A wrecking ball who’s in danger of manning the midfield in a relegated team for the second-straight season. And, again, it would not be his fault. Team-leading 65 tackles for the club’s easy POTY.

Nathan Ake: We’re still stunned Chelsea didn’t activate his buyback clause in January. A complete defender who’s completed more than 88 percent of his passes.

Diego Rico: A down season in 2018-19 did him no justice, as Rico’s been very good and replicating numbers he turned in for Leganes between 2016-18.

Steve Cook: Has done a good job considering the myriad injuries at the back for Eddie Howe’s Cherries.


B-GRADE

Chris Mepham: Lots to like about the 22-year-old’s step forward before a long-term knee injury. Leads team with 5.6 clearances.

Aaron Ramsdale: First-year starting goalkeeper has had some strong displays.

Harry Wilson: Liverpool loanee scored seven times before December including a brace versus Spurs but has cooled off considerably.

Joshua King: It’s finishing not creation that’s the problem for the four-goal man, who leads the club in dribbles per game with 2.2

Simon Francis
Jack Stacey

Joshua King of AFC Bournemouth (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

C-GRADE

Jefferson Lerma: Was trending upward when the season paused in March, getting a goal versus Chelsea and assist at Liverpool (though those followed a red versus Villa).

Callum Wilson: Still had his finishing boots shined up for eight goals, but dipped from nine assists to zero.

Dan Gosling: Memorable goals against Arsenal and Chelsea for the former Newcastle man who missed the first 11 matches of the season with a hip injury.

Lewis Cook
Arnaut Groeneveld
Adam Smith


D-GRADE

Ryan Fraser: Mighty disappointing. It’s like his head was turned in the summer and got stuck. Does lead team in key passes per game with 1.6, but to dip from seven goals and 14 assists to 1+4 is… (tugs on collar).

Junior Stanislas: Nothing much yet after missing half of the season with a knee injury.

Dominic Solanke: One goal from 28 matches in all comps is not legendary for a center forward.

Andrew Surman


INCOMPLETE/FAILED TO MAKE MIN. APPEARANCES

Mark Travers, Sam Surridge, Jack Simpson, Charlie Daniels, Jordon Ibe, David Brooks.

David Brooks (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)