Bournemouth’s five-year stay in the Premier League came to an end despite beating Everton at Goodison Park as Aston Villa’s draw at West Ham meant they were relegated to the Championship.
The Cherries needed a win, and for Watford and Aston Villa to both lose against Arsenal and the Hammers respectively, if they were to retain their top-flight status.
The Hornets lost 3-2, but a 1-1 draw for Aston Villa ensured survival for Dean Smith’s side.
It was a disappointing outcome for Bournemouth, who had done all they could in their game to give them hope of staying up.
Eddie Howe’s side looked determined to fight for their survival right from the outset and deservedly went ahead when Joshua King scored from the penalty spot after Richarlison handled inside the area.
Bournemouth could have had a second penalty soon for a handball by Lucas Digne but neither the referee or the video assistant referee felt there was an infringement.
Despite all their dominance, the visitors conceded an equaliser as half-time approached when Moise Kean tapped in Theo Walcott’s cross.
But Bournemouth restored their lead just before the break as Dominic Solanke headed in from Diego Rico’s delivery.
The second half was a nervy affair as the Cherries looked to hold onto their slender lead, but they grabbed a third and much-needed breathing space in the final 10 minutes after Jordan Pickford let a tame Junior Stanislas shot slip under his gloves and into the back of the net.
The visitors had done all they could to ensure survival, meaning all eyes were on events at West Ham, but a point was enough to keep Aston Villa in the top flight at Bournemouth’s expense as Howe’s side finished 18th.
Bournemouth have been relegated from the Premier League for the first time, ending a run of five seasons in the top flight
Bournemouth’s players walked off the pitch at full time with their heads bowed in disappointment as news came through that a crucial result elsewhere had gone against them.
It was a bitter blow for the visitors after putting in a battling display at Goodison Park, but ultimately they paid the price for failing to show similar fight in previous games this season.
A promising start to 2019-20, in which they lost only three of their first 11 games, proved to be a false dawn. But their form nosedived and a run of 19 defeats in their last 25 games meant they plummeted into trouble.
Injuries have not helped Bournemouth’s cause, with the likes of Charlie Daniels, Joshua King, David Brooks, Nathan Ake and Callum Wilson having had significant spells on the sidelines.
But the disappointing form of players who have been available did not help. Ryan Fraser provided 14 assists in 2018-19 – only Eden Hazard managed more – but was a shadow of his former self this season and has not played since the restart after rejecting a short-term extension to his expiring contract.
Meanwhile, big-money signings Solanke and Jordan Ibe, who was released this summer, ultimately failed to deliver.
Solanke and his team-mates all stepped up on the final day of the season to give Bournemouth a chance – they were first to every ball in a determined first-half display and looked much more like the Bournemouth of previous seasons.
But ultimately that show of fight came too little, too late as they now contemplate a first Championship campaign since 2014-15.
It was hard to read too much into this performance from an Everton side that were largely going through the motions.
Their season had effectively ended some weeks ago and they could not finish higher than 11th, even if they had managed to beat Bournemouth.
But the Toffees’ display will still have been disappointing to Everton fans, who were perhaps hoping they would show signs that they could develop into a team that could fight for a top-six finish next season.
Kean was handed a chance to impress Carlo Ancelotti as he made his first start since 21 January and he repaid his manager’s faith with a goal and an overall positive display, with the striker one of the few home players willing to chase down lost causes and make attacking runs.
Jarrad Branthwaite, Everton’s 18-year-old defender, started for the second game in a row and once again did not look out of place, but too many other players put in distinctly average performances.
The defeat meant Everton finished 12th – their lowest placing at the end of a season in 16 years – and Ancelotti knows plenty of work will need to be done over the summer if he is to get the Toffees challenging higher up the table.
You might also like – Manchester City 5 – 0 Norwich
Manchester City legend David Silva made his final Premier League appearance but Kevin de Bruyne stole the show as his side brushed aside already-relegated Norwich.
Silva, who has won four league titles during a glittering 10-year spell at City, was desperate to mark the occasion with a goal, but his best effort was kept out by Tim Krul’s flying save. continue reading
Source – BBC