Bournemouth comfortably saw off the threat of Everton to record a well-deserved 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium and heap further pressure on struggling Toffees manager Frank Lampard.
Everton made a positive start to the game, enjoying lots of possession, but they found themselves behind after just 18 minutes when Dominic Solanke’s shot was saved by Jordan Pickford and Marcus Tavernier reacted quickest to poke home the rebound.
And things went from bad to worse for the Toffees minutes later, Tavernier heading the ball back across goal after a scramble in the box for Kieffer Moore to finish. Once again, Pickford was left ruing a lack of support from his teammates, as his initial save from Philip Billing was not cleared by the Everton defence.
If the two sloppy goals weren’t bad enough, Everton were then forced into an early substitution when Vitaliy Mykolenko sustained an injury while challenging for a ball, completing a chastening opening 30 minutes for Lampard’s side.
Things didn’t get much better before half-time, with Everton going in at the break having had 62% of possession but registering just one shot on target to find themselves deservedly behind.
Everton struggled to gain any sort of a foothold in the game as the second half wore on, and it was Bournemouth who looked more likely to score the next goal as Solanke and Patterson went close for the home side.
And sure enough, it was the Cherries who found a way through to score once again, substitute Jaidon Anthony finding the net with a header inside the six-yard box just two minutes after replacing Kieffer Moore.
It was a sorry showing from Everton, who scarcely tested Mark Travers in the Bournemouth goal and looked shaky at the back throughout.
Lampard was being credited with revitalising his side’s defence earlier in the campaign, but must now use the World Cup break to assess what exactly is going wrong for Everton and how he can avoid another relegation battle. His job could depend on it.
GK: Mark Travers (7); RB: Adam Smith (8); CB: Jack Stephens (7); CB: Marcos Senesi (7); LB: Jordan Zemura (7); RM: Marcus Tavernier (8); CM: Lewis Cook (8); CM: Jefferson Lerma (7); LM: Philip Billing (6); ST: Kieffer Moore (7); ST: Dominic Solanke (7).
SUB: Jaidon Anthony (7); Ryan Christie (6); Ben Pearson (N/A).
GK: Jordan Pickford (6); RB: Nathan Patterson (6); CB: Conor Coady (6); CB: James Tarkowski (6); LB: Vitaliy Mykolenko (6); DM: Idrissa Gueye (8); CM: Alex Iwobi (7); CM: Amadou Onana (7); RW: Dwight McNeil (7); LW: Demarai Gray (7); ST: Neal Maupay (6).
SUB: Seamus Coleman (7); Anthony Gordon (6); Thomas Cannon (6); Abdoulaye Doucoure (6).