Everton’s run of four Premier League home matches without a victory was halted at Goodison Park on Sunday as Bournemouth were beaten 2-0.
The Toffees also recorded their first clean sheet since November on an excellent afternoon for owners of Everton’s defensive assets – in particular, Lucas Digne and Kurt Zouma.
We round up the key Fantasy talking points, manager quotes and injury updates from a fifth defeat in seven top-flight fixtures for Eddie Howe’s side.
Everton 2-0 Bournemouth
- Goals: Kurt Zouma (£5.0m), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.3m)
- Assists: Lucas Digne (£5.2m), Ademola Lookman (£5.1m)
Since establishing himself as Everton’s first-choice left-back in Gameweek 4, Lucas Digne (£5.2m) hasn’t gone more than two Premier League matches without delivering an attacking or defensive return.
That sequence was kept alive on Merseyside earlier today as Digne supplied the assist for Everton’s headed opener, teeing up Kurt Zouma (£5.0m) with a delicate cross from the left flank.
No FPL defender has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than Digne (five – three goals, two assists) over the last seven Gameweeks.
Digne’s attacking appeal has never been in question, of course: the French left-back has supplied ten more key passes than the next-most creative FPL defender in 2018/19 and has provided more “big chances” than any other player in his position.
Digne created two more of what Opta deem clear-cut opportunities on Sunday: one being the delivery for Zouma’s goal and the other a cross that resulted in Michael Keane (£4.9m) clipping the Bournemouth bar with a looping header.
The former Barcelona defender also ranks fourth for attempts on goal among defenders this campaign and had another two efforts (a blocked free-kick and a follow-up shot) at Goodison Park against the Cherries.
Reservations about Digne as a Fantasy option mostly surround Everton’s defensive fragility, which is understandable after an eight-match run for Marco Silva’s side without a Premier League clean sheet.
Only Huddersfield Town have conceded more big chances than the Toffees since the start of December, meanwhile.
Many of Digne’s current and prospective owners will be willing to overlook those deficiencies at the back but those who like the bread and butter of clean sheets probably will need more convincing than this first shut-out since Gameweek 13.
Bournemouth began this match much the better of the two sides, with David Brooks (£5.1m) striking the post with the best of the Cherries’ opportunities after running clean through on goal.
Brooks was also denied a possible penalty when Idrissa Gueye (£4.8m) dived in on the Welshman in the Everton box.
Ryan Fraser (£6.1m) created two half-chances for Joshua King (£6.3m) from the left as the visitors bossed the opening half hour, with the natives getting increasingly restless at Goodison as Everton floundered at both ends of the pitch.
Silva’s side didn’t register a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, either, though there was a gradual improvement as the first half drew to a close and Everton were arguably the better side after the break.
Still, the half-chances came for Bournemouth, with Steve Cook (£4.4m) nodding a Fraser corner onto the top of the net and Jordan Pickford (£5.0m) having to rush out to deny Dan Gosling (£4.7m)in stoppage time.
The Cherries forced Pickford into seven saves overall, while Asmir Begovic (£4.4m) didn’t register a single stop.
The England goalkeeper looked uncertain in the opening stages of this encounter before recovering some composure, though Seamus Coleman (£5.2m) still seems to be a weak link at right-back.
Keane and Zouma, at least, looked a solid partnership at centre-half with Yerry Mina (£5.4m) left on the bench.
Silva gave his opinion on the game:
It was tough but to be honest, we deserved the three points. We didn’t start the match well in the first 20-25 minutes. It was different in the last 15 minutes of the first half, we controlled the game a bit better and started to create some chances.
Even in that first 25 minutes they only had one clear chance and it was a foul on Zouma, I don’t understand how the referee didn’t see that foul. All the people in the stadium can see that but that the referee and his assistants didn’t see that is strange.
In the second half, we started better and faster and breaking more of that first pressure in a different way.
Richarlison (£6.9m) was back up front for this match and was anonymous in the first half, though had a bit more of an impact after the break: the Brazilian was only denied a goal when his close-range shot on 48 minutes was cleared off the line by Nathan Ake (£5.0m).
There was a sufficient lack of menace for his owners to be slightly concerned, however, and the Brazilian is averaging only three FPL points per appearance in the last six Gameweeks.
Paul Pogba (£8.4m) is the only FPL midfielder to have attempted more shots than Richarlison in that time, however.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m) was similarly invisible before the interval but improved slightly after half-time and on 75 minutes delivered a sublime ball into Richarlison, who could only head the Iceland international’s delivery wide.
Bernard (£5.9m) and Ademola Lookman (£5.1m) were preferred on the flanks and Lookman was Everton’s only bright spark early on, producing a couple of teasing deliveries in from each wing before gradually fading as the game wore on.
It was Lookman, however, who teed up Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.3m) for the hosts’ second goal and the youngster may have impressed enough to keep Theo Walcott (£6.1m) out of the side when Everton visit Southampton in Gameweek 23.
The Cherries have only collected four points from a possible 21 in the last seven Gameweeks but Eddie Howe was reasonably happy with his side’s efforts:
It’s a difficult one to take and one that is similar to our recent run. Personally, I’m really pleased with our performance.
We started strongly, created chances, defended well and then we switched off for a second and got punished. The game is then more difficult. We penned them in but couldn’t get that goal.
At the time, I thought the first penalty shout on Brooks probably was a penalty. I haven’t seen it back, so I may be wrong. At the end, I’ve then been told there was a stonewall, but that’s the way things are going for us at the moment.
We saw a really committed team performance today and both individually and collectively we were very good. I think we have to take a lot of confidence from the performance, not the result. If we play like that again, we can take confidence the points will come.
Fraser’s owners could have been rewarded with an assist on another day: the Scottish winger, who was playing on the left of a front three alongside King and Brooks, created more chances than anyone on show at Goodison Park and indeed all other midfielders bar James Maddison (£6.8m) in Gameweek 22 (so far).
King and Fraser were passed fit to play after recovering from illness and injury respectively but Callum Wilson (£6.6m) was unavailable and was arguably missed up top, with King lacking the conviction of his sidelined team-mate.
Howe commented on Wilson’s problem ahead of kick-off:
Callum’s hamstring strain isn’t serious but enough to keep him out of this game.
Howe added that he “didn’t know” if Wilson would be fit to recover for the match against West Ham next weekend.
Nathaniel Clyne (£4.4m) made his Premier League debut for the Cherries at right-back while there was a surprise return for Adam Smith (£4.3m), who had initially been ruled for three months with a knee injury in November.
Howe said of the full-back’s recovery:
I thought Adam Smith performed well today. He’s been doing a lot of fitness and running and I think that showed today. He didn’t look rusty and performed strongly.
Everton XI (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gueye, Gomes; Lookman, Sigurdsson (Mina 90′), Bernard (Walcott 78′); Richarlison (Calvert-Lewin 87′).
Bournemouth XI (4-3-3): Begovic; Clyne, S. Cook, Ake, Smith; Stanislas (Mousset 68′), Lerma, Gosling; Fraser, Brooks (Ibe 83′), King.
Become a Member and access our data
Memberships for the 2018/19 campaign are now available for the price of just £10.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 130+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.