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Football News: Premier League Sunday Review

Just the two games took place this Premier League Sunday, with no Europa League games in the week preceding it, but there was still plenty of goals and action in those two games.

Everton 6 - 2 Sunderland

Following on from Everton's capitulation to Manchester United the previous weekend, this was surprising only for the size of the victory. Clearly last weekend's aberration was as much down to the club being hit by the news of the legendary Howard Kendall's death on the morning of the game. Still very much a large part of the club, and Liverpool as a city, the loss of not just one of the club's best players ever, but their greatest manager, was a massive setback, which they were just unable to lift themselves from to concentrate on the game itself. Sunday was different, following the great man's funeral in the week, Everton were able to focus and use the loss to lift themselves and give him a send off he would have enjoyed.

While Sunderland, even with Sam Allardyce now at the helm, are not the strongest defensively, especially yesterday as their first choice centre half pairing, John O'Shea and Younes Kaboul, were absent, this was still an outstanding result for an Everton team that fully deserved the win. Allardyce will no doubt be alarmed at the way his team just folded in the second half after initially promising so much. Allardyce's attempt to be clever with his formation, going in with a back three of Billy Jones, Wes Brown and Sebastian Coates, initially caught the Toffees out and led to the left wing back, Patrick van Aanholt hitting the post as he drove forward. Unfortunately it was clear that the defenders were not comfortable and Everton's first came as Jones was caught too central and Gerard Deulofeu was able to exploit the space in behind van Aanholt to race in and open the scoring in the 19th minute.

 

There was bad news for Bryan Oviedo, who once again succombed to injury and had to be taken off in the 25th minute. The Costa Rican has often impressed in his time with the Goodison Park club, only to suffer serious injuries and it is only to be hoped this injury is not as bad. Sunderland were still in the match at this point and causing Everton's defence a few problems, but then, in the 31st minute they were hit by a hammerblow as Everton again exploited the space behind the full backs and once again the wide centre back, this time Sebastian Coates, was caught out of position covering the centre as Arouna Kone opened his account for the afternoon. Worse was to come as not long after the restart Lee Cattermole suffered an injury and was taken off to be replaced by Jack Rodwell, with the ex-Everton player receiving a warm reception from the Goodison faithful.

The Mackems were not done yet though and right at the death of the first half, in the 4th minute of added time, Jermaine Defoe was able to pull the score back to just a one goal deficit and the half ended 2-1 to Everton. The second half saw Sunderland hit Everton once again, as Steven Fletcher took advantage of some weak defending to score a header, the equaliser, in the 50th minute. Both defences were not exactly covering themselves in glory, with all four goals being as much a product of poor defending as they were quality attacking play.

 

This was as good as it got for Sunderland, and the Wearside club imploded, first giving Everton the lead courtesy of an own goal by Coates, then all but giving up on the game, allowing the blue half of Merseyside to slice them apart at will. Five minutes later Romelu Lukaku doubled the Everton lead, then, just a couple of minutes later, Arouna Kone got his second of the game to make it 5 - 2 with nearly half an hour left to play. It was not until the 76th minute that Kone nipped in to finish his hat trick and the scoring for the day, as the game faded out.

Allardyce will have a huge job on his hands if he is to keep Sunderland in the Premier League, confidence is non-existent and the defending is hopeless. This was a massive setback to their hopes, and only the number of other weak sides in the league will give them hope of hanging in there once again. Everton, on the other hand, are looking much better, but it is difficult to judge them properly against such a weak side as the one they faced. Certainly they will need to tighten up defensively if they are not to be punished by the better sides in this league. Still, the important thing is the three points were won in style, a style that Howard Kendall would have enjoyed watching.

 

Southampton 2 - 0 Bournemouth

The first ever time this particular South Coast derby was played in the top flight led to as routine a victory as Saints have ever had in the Premier League, even with the sending of Victor Wanyama in the second half. Bournemouth look utterly out of their depth, a real lack of quality is leaving them toothless following the early season loss of their main goal threat Callum Wilson to a season ending injury. Without him leading the line, the Cherries are, despite their pretty football at times, simply do not offer enough going forward to really frighten a side as defensively well drilled as Ronald Koeman's side are.

Steven Davis was on hand to score the opener after half an hour of play, with some good movement exposing the Cherries defensive deficiencies. Five minutes later Graziano Pelle added a second to make the lead a very comfortable one for Southampton. Both goals came courtesy of good crosses into the box. Eddie Howe did try and change the game at half time, making a double substitution to bring on a pacey wideman in Junior Stanislas and the even more pacey Joshua King up front. Southampton made a change of their own at half time, as injury forced captain Jose Fonte off to be replaced by Maya Yoshida.

 

Nothing really changed though, Bournemouth were being well contained by Southampton and the game was petering out as a contest, despite all the hard work from the Premier League new boys. Then, in the 78th minute, Wanyama made a bad, needless, foul, to pick up a second booking and head off for an early bath. While the game was all Bournemouth after that, they never really seemed to have any belief in their chances of pulling the result out of the bag. Real clear cut chances were almost non-existent, as Saints held firm to play out the final minutes of the match.

Southampton were by far the better side, but Koeman will need to speak to Wanyama, who turned a walk in the park into a tense final few minutes. While Saints are now up to 7th, they will not be able to get away with those silly fouls against the better sides. Bournemouth just looked completely out of their depth and offered very little of substance. Their football is very pretty but they lack the quality required to stand any real chance of doing any more than fighting relegation. How different things would be if they still had Wilson available!

Written by Tris Burke November 02 2015 11:02:37