Everton 2 Bournemouth 1: Baines gives Toffees rare win, but pressure still on Martinez

30 Apr

Just a fortnight ago Martinez had said it would be a “bonus” if he played again for them this season because of his fitness levels but on this evidence he should change that assessment to “unthinkable” as he looked well off the pace.

Martinez’s decision to recall goalkeeper Tim Howard, who had not played since January 24 and leaves for Colorado Rapids in the summer, for his penultimate Goodison farewell also did not impress fans.

The American, at least, performed well enough although Pugh’s ninth-minute equaliser caught enough of his body before creeping over the line to raise questions among his detractors.

It was no surprise the visitors pegged Everton back, or did it so quickly, as confidence at home has been fragile and even Cleverley’s strike two minutes earlier – incredibly from Ross Barkley’s first assist of 2016 – failed to settle nerves.

The midfielder’s finish was a smart one but so was Pugh’s, who swept home Callum Wilson’s cross despite Everton complaining the striker had nudged 21-year-old Matthew Pennington, making his Premier League debut, in the back in winning the ball out wide.

Goodison’s atmosphere was less toxic than expected – rumoured protests failed to materialise – but still surreal as 20 minutes in Bournemouth fans sang ‘Sacked in the morning’ to Martinez and pockets of the home crowd applauded.


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