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Super sub Niasse saves Everton and eases the pressure on Koeman

Elsewhere, there were wins for Man City and Watford.

Image: Barrington Coombs

OUMAR NIASSE CAME in from the cold to lift Everton as the Senegal forward’s second half brace clinched a 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Ronald Koeman’s side were heading for a fourth successive Premier League defeat when Josh King put Bournemouth ahead after the interval at Goodison Park.

But Niasse, frozen out for much of last season by Koeman, came off the bench to score twice in his first appearance for Everton in the Premier League since May 2016.

Thanks to Niasse’s heroics, Everton won for the first time in five league games to climb out of the relegation zone.

After spending over €152 million on new signings during the close-season, Everton have been struggling under the weight of increased expectations and this was a vital three points for the under-fire Koeman.

Bournemouth remain in the bottom three after their fifth defeat from six league games.

Routed 6-3 at Everton last season, Bournemouth were on the back foot again as Gylfi Sigurdsson appealed in vain for an early penalty after tumbling under pressure from Dan Gosling.

Rooney was furious after an elbow from Bournemouth’s Simon Francis left him prone on the turf with blood pouring from a gash just above his eye.

Adding insult to injury for Rooney on his 400th Premier League start, the challenge went unpunished by referee Martin Atkinson, who turned down Everton’s penalty claim and took no action against Francis.

Rooney left the pitch to change his shirt and clean up his blood-stained face, but the former Manchester United star was able to return to action before half-time.

Bournemouth hadn’t scored an away goal all season, but King ended that barren run in spectacular fashion, taking Charlie Daniels’ pass and drilling home from 20 yards in the 49th minute.

Jermain Defoe should have doubled Bournemouth’s lead moments later when he ran clear, but Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made the save.

Koeman responded by sending on Tom Davies and Niasse for Rooney and Davy Klaassen.

Everton v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League - Goodison Park Niasse and Idrissa Gueye celebrate. Source: Barrington Coombs

It proved an inspired change as Davies set up Everton’s 77th minute equaliser with a precise cross that his fellow substitute Niasse slammed into the net.

Niasse wasn’t content to settle for his first Premier League goal for Everton and he bagged the winner in the 82nd minute.

Asmir Begovic saved Niasse’s initial header but the rebound fell perfectly for the forward to steer home.

Meanwhile, free-scoring Manchester City added to Crystal Palace’s mounting misery with a 5-0 win at the Etihad Stadium, a result that sent Pep Guardiola’s men top of the Premier League.

Palace are the only team without a goal in Europe’s five major divisions this season after a sixth straight top-flight defeat, and the scale of the task facing the recently appointed Roy Hodgson is thrown into a stark light by a fixture list that places Manchester United and Chelsea next on their agenda.

Contrary to the final scoreline, Hodgson’s men acquitted themselves well in the first half and should have led through Ruben Loftus-Cheek before a splendid opener from Leroy Sane arrived a minute before half-time.

Raheem Sterling’s quickfire second-half brace put the result beyond any semblance of doubt and an overworked Wayne Hennessey in the Palace goal was unable to keep out Sergio Aguero’s 79th-minute header from Sane’s cross.

The goal moved Aguero to within one strike of Eric Brook’s all-time club scoring record of 177 and an excellent fifth from substitute Fabian Delph extended the goal-difference advantage Guardiola’s side enjoy over Manchester United at the summit to four.

Manchester City v Crystal Palace - Premier League - Etihad Stadium It was all too easy for City this afternoon. Source: Nick Potts

Elsewhere, Burnley extended their unbeaten run to four Premier League matches in a dour 0-0 draw at home to Huddersfield Town.

Both sides were looking to respond to midweek EFL Cup defeats but showed little life in attack as they settled for a share of the points.

Chris Wood, a scorer against the Terriers in each of the past two seasons, had the best opportunity of an otherwise forgettable first half when he nodded wide from close-range.

And the Clarets were made to rue that miss as they created few openings against a defence marshalled confidently by Christopher Schindler.

Tom Ince gave Sean Dyche’s side rare cause for concern early in the second half, but the visitors were largely content to remain compact as they recorded a third league draw.

The combined absence of creativity ultimately proved too much for either side to overcome in what was their first top-flight meeting since March 1971.

Finally, a late goal from Richarlison continued Watford’s 100 per cent record away from home this season as they edged past Swansea 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

The Brazilian took advantage of a poor attempted tackle from Alfie Mawson in the 90th minute to break through and fire past Lukasz Fabianski.

Andre Gray had earlier given the Hornets the lead in the 13th minute with his first goal for the club before substitute Tammy Abraham equalised for the Swans 10 minutes into the second half.

Richarlison’s late strike means that Paul Clement’s side have now lost all three home games this season.

Swansea will need to pick themselves up for the trip to West Ham next weekend, while Watford will look to build on their impressive start to the campaign when they visit West Brom. 

© AFP 2017

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