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AFP
January 14, 2019

Zouma leads Everton into top half with Bournemouth win

Sports

AFP
January 14, 2019

LONDON: Kurt Zouma’s second-half header and substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s stoppage-time strike saw Everton beat Bournemouth 2-0 on Sunday as they climbed into the top half of the English Premier League table.

This victory was just Everton’s second in nine league matches and the first time they had kept a clean sheet at their Goodison Park ground since November 24.The deadlock in an often frustrating match was eventually broken when, with Everton having had just one shot on target and south coast visitors Bournemouth a mere two, Zouma — on loan from Chelsea — scored his first goal for Everton in the 61st minute.

An Everton setpiece was cleared by the Cherries’ defence before Lucas Digne kept the ball alive on the left. His flighted cross left Nathan Ake kicking at fresh air and, with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic not coming to collect, the onrushing Zouma leapt to power in a header that delighted the home crowd.

It was the 24-year-old French centre-back’s first goal since he scored for Stoke in a 2-2 draw with Brighton in November 2017.A nervous Everton then had to survive concerted Bournemouth pressure at the end of a rainswept encounter before, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, the Toffees put the result beyond doubt.

Ademola Lookman did well to win the ball back and then, rather than just run it into the corner, he had the awareness to lay it back into the path of Calvert-Lewin, who had only been introduced into the action by Everton manager Marco Silva in the 87th minute.

Calvert-Lewin, who had replaced Richarlison, still had work to do but his low strike from some 16 yards out arrowed into the corner of Begovic’s net.Despite their ninth defeat in 12 league matches, Bournemouth remained in mid-table safety and the result might have been different for Eddie Howe’s men if David Brooks’s shot had not rebounded clear off a post in the 18th minute.

On Saturday night, Mohamed Salah’s second-half penalty moved Liverpool seven points clear at the top thanks to a 1-0 win away to Brighton.Chelsea now lead Arsenal by six points in the race for Champions League qualification after beating Newcastle 2-1.

Pedro Rodriguez’s early opener was cancelled out by Ciaran Clark’s header for the visitors, but Willian’s fine 57th-minute strike secured all three points for Maurizio Sarri’s men.Defeat allied to results elsewhere saw Newcastle slip into the bottom three as 10-man Southampton held out to win 2-1 at Leicester.

James Ward-Prowse’s penalty gave the Saints an 11th-minute lead before Yann Valery was sent off.Southampton still doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time through Shane Long and withstood a second-half fightback from the Foxes when Wilfried Ndidi pulled a goal back.

Fulham remain in the relegation zone as Burnley won 2-1 at Turf Moor despite not even having a single shot on target.Craig Cathcart scored at both ends as Watford beat Crystal Palace 2-1 thanks to Tom Cleverley’s volleyed winner with 16 minutes left at Selhurst Park.Huddersfield are still rooted to the foot of the table following a goalless draw at Cardiff.

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