BOURNEMOUTH, England (Reuters) – Bournemouth thumped Everton for the second time this week as goals from Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and substitute Jaidon Anthony gave them a 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday in their final Premier League game before the World Cup.
The hosts had snapped a run of four straight losses by knocking Everton out of the League Cup with a 4-1 home victory on Tuesday and they outclassed the Merseysiders again, condemning them to a fifth league defeat in seven matches.
The result lifted Bournemouth up to 13th on 16 points and piled the pressure on Frank Lampard, with his Everton side hovering one point above the relegation zone in 17th after an alarming slide in form.
“Excellent with and without the ball. Defended well and created a lot of chances. The boys maintained it for 90 minutes,” interim Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil said.
“Today was a completely different challenge and the boys nailed it on Tuesday and tonight. We wanted to get to 16 points before the break and that is the least they deserve… Thirteen points from 11 (games) from me is a good total.
“I don’t really want to get into my future. If the boys put in a performance like today, the noise should be about the lads. I’m really comfortable with where I am.”
Dominic Solanke won an aerial duel with James Tarkowski and lifted a shot goalwards which Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford punched away but could not clear and Tavernier was on hand to poke home from close range in the 18th minute.
Seven minutes later, Pickford parried Philip Billing’s volley and Tavernier nodded the rebound back across goal, where Moore out-muscled Everton defender Vitaliy Mykolenko to power it over the line.
Pickford led Everton’s protests as Tarkowski had gone down with an apparent head injury after a collision with Solanke in the build-up and referee Craig Pawson did not stop play, but the goal stood after a VAR check.
Everton improved after the break and went close through Idrissa Gueye but offered little going forward overall, and ultimately failed to score for the fifth time in their last six league outings.
Bournemouth had given up two-goal leads in their last two league games, losing 4-3 at Leeds United and 3-2 at Tottenham Hotspur, and were relentless in search of a third, with Solanke firing wide twice and Pickford denying Tavernier with a fine save.
They finally added their third when Anthony made an almost instant impact and headed past Pickford from Lewis Cook’s free kick in the 69th minute, two minutes after replacing Moore.
Solanke had a goal disallowed for offside and Billing fired wide in the closing stages as Bournemouth, who had been without a league win since beating Leicester City 2-1 at the start of October, earned their biggest victory of the league campaign.
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond and Clare Fallon and Christian Radnedge)