Ake leveller seals Cherries comeback against Everton

AFCB vs Everton

Report by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20) at Vitality Stadium

Comeback kings Bournemouth came from two goals down to earn a share of the spoils against Everton.

In a pulsating clash at the Vitality, Cherries created the clearest openings in the first half but were unable to find the back of the net. Toffees’ top goalscorer, Richarlison, saw red soon after the interval before Theo Walcott and Michael Keane fired the visitors into a commanding lead.

Both sides were reduced to ten men after Adam Smith’s red card on the hour mark, but Cherries once again cemented their title as the Premier League’s comeback kings. Josh King’s penalty and Nathan Ake’s tap-in earned a deserved point for the South Coast side.

Manager Eddie Howe had once again named an unchanged XI after victories against Cardiff and West Ham.

£25 million record signing Jefferson Lerma was included among the substitutes for the first time, following a run out for Cherries’ under-21 side in midweek.

Callum Wilson once again partnered King up front, with the ex-Coventry striker already boasting two goals in two.

The visitors’ manager, Marco Silva, made one alteration to his side, Morgan Schneiderlin’s injury setback ruling him out. Youngster Tom Davies was restored in central midfield.

Summer signings Kurt Zouma, Lucas Digne and Bernard were named on the bench.

Cherries dominated the opening five minutes, but it was the visitors who could have edged into the lead on six minutes. Everton captain Leighton Baines picked the ball up just outside the penalty area and lashed a shot goalward which was turned away by Steve Cook.

Keane was the next to trouble the Cherries goal, but his flicked header inside the six-yard box was hacked away by Adam Smith.

Two chances fell in quick succession around the quarter hour mark. First, Cenk Tosun stabbed a Seamus Coleman cross over the bar and then Cherries pieced together a slick move down the right touchline, which resulted in Fraser slotting through Wilson. But the striker, unmarked and 12 yards out, leant back and sent his effort over the crossbar with only Jordan Pickford to beat.

King also had chances to fire Cherries into the lead, but diverted a header at the far post wide of the target before weakly stabbing into the arms of Pickford from close range.

The first piece of drama took place five minutes before the interval. An off-the-ball incident between Smith and Richarlison saw the Brazilian lean his head toward the Cherries full back, with the latter being shown a straight red card by referee Lee Probert.

But despite the man advantage, Cherries fell behind ten minutes after the interval. Cenk Tosun released Walcott into the penalty area, and the ex-Arsenal winger smashed a shot towards goal. Despite the tight angle, the ball whistled beyond Asmir Begovic at his near post.

The afternoon took another turn for the worse for Cherries on the hour mark, when referee Lee Probert produced his red card for the second time. Walcott looked set to burst through on goal, before Smith came across and tripped the attacker on the edge of the box.

Despite there appearing to be covering defenders, Smith received his marching orders and both sides were reduced to ten.

From the resultant free-kick, Baines curled a magnificent strike around the wall which looked destined to nestle in the far corner. However, Begovic was on hand to superbly palm the strike wide of goal and partly atone for his error.

King then went close again as Cherries searched for an equaliser, but it was Everton who found the back of the net again to double their lead.

The ever-dangerous Gylfi Sigurdsson hung a looping delivery towards the far post, which was met by the rising Keane. The English centre-half nodded into the ground, and the ball agonisingly squirmed beyond Begovic.

Just a minute later, Wilson should have immediately halved the deficit for the home side. But after being slotted through from King’s incisive pass, the former Coventry man could only spurn his effort straight at Pickford.

The striker would haul Cherries back into the game on 72 minutes, however, after he was bundled to the floor by Baines. Referee Probert duly pointed to the spot, and King coolly slotted beyond the visiting goalkeeper from 12 yards.

And then, with ten minutes to play, Cherries completed their comeback once again. Wilson met an in-swinging corner, but glanced his header across the face off goal and off the woodwork. The ball fell to Ake, who tapped home into the empty net and levelled the scores.

Wilson then went close in the final ten minutes, after guiding a header narrowly wide, before Dan Gosling crashed a volley narrowly over the bar.

Deep into stoppage time, following a nasty head injury for Keane, Everton were gifted possession dangerously by Lewis Cook on the outskirts of the box. The ball ran loose to Sigurdsson, but the Icelandic international bent his strike wide of goal.

Neither side could find an elusive winner in the closing stages, ensuring a share of the spoils.

Cherries remain unbeaten in their first three games, a complete contrast to their fortunes at a similar time last season, ahead of an away clash with Chelsea next weekend.

Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, S. Cook, Ake, Daniels, Brooks, Gosling, Surman, Fraser, King, Wilson

Substitutes: Boruc, Francis, Lerma, Mousset, Ibe, L. Cook, Defoe

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Baines, Gueye, Davies, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Tosun

Substitutes: Stekelenburg, Zouma, Digne, Dowell, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse

Referee: Lee Probert