1-0, min. 1, Lukaku. 2-0, min. 23, McCarthy. 3-0, min. 30, Lukaku. 3-1, min. 59, King. 3-2, min. 70, King. 4-2, min. 83, Lukaku. 5-2, min, 85, Lukaku. 5-3, min. 90, Arter. 6-3, min. 90+3, Barkley.
Everton 6-3 Bournemouth: Lukaku hits four as Everton demolish Cherries in nine-goal thriller

Everton 6-3 Bournemouth: Lukaku hits four as Everton demolish Cherries in nine-goal thriller

Romelu Lukaku put in one of the individual performances of the season as the Toffees hit six past Bournemouth to claim their fifth win in seven league games

sam-france
Sam France
EvertonRobles, Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines, Schneiderlin, Barry (Holgate, min. 80), McCarthy (Davies, min. 61), Lookman (Mirallas, min. 71), Barkley, Lukaku.
BournemouthBoruc, Francis (Smith, min. 45), Cook, Surman, Mings, Wilshere, Gosling (Ibe, min. 45), Arter, Fraser, Pugh (Afobe, min. 84), King.
SCORE1-0, min. 1, Lukaku. 2-0, min. 23, McCarthy. 3-0, min. 30, Lukaku. 3-1, min. 59, King. 3-2, min. 70, King. 4-2, min. 83, Lukaku. 5-2, min, 85, Lukaku. 5-3, min. 90, Arter. 6-3, min. 90+3, Barkley.
REFEREEMike Jones (ENG). Booked: Arter (min. 14), Schneiderlin (min. 50), Robles (min. 74), Davies (min. 76).

A stunning four-goal performance from Romelu Lukaku saw Everton dismantle Bournemouth to make it five wins from seven unbeaten games and keep the pressure on the top six of the Premier League.

Two from Lukaku and another from James McCarthy put the home side three goals up inside the first half an hour, before a Josh King brace threatened a familiar comeback from the Cherries in the second half.

But Lukaku struck twice more in the last ten minutes to make the game safe, in a performance of pace, power and technique which will have Everton fans dreaming of a positive end to the season despite Harry Arter's late consolation.

Ross Barkley's breakaway goal in stoppage time was the icing on the cake for the home side, who made clear their intentions of a top six finish or above with a frighteningly fluent attacking performance.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, continued their winless start to 2017, and are now without a victory in five league games.

Lukaku stuns Cherries in first minute

Without a win in 2017, Bournemouth were looking for a positive start but found themselves a goal down within a minute thanks to Lukaku's early strike. 

He picked up the ball towards the right corner of the penalty area after some scrappy play in midfield, cut inside onto his left foot and curled a powerful effort around the helpless Artur Boruc and in off the far post.

Ademola Lookman was handed his first start for the club after scoring on his debut against Manchester City in January, and the teenager looked unfazed in his new surroundings.

He went close to doubling the Toffees' advantage after ten minutes, twisting between two defenders at the edge of the area and firing a low shot across goal from the left, but Boruc watched it wide of the far post.

A quarter of an hour had been played by the time the visitors got their first real sight of goal, as King was played in behind down the right channel. 

He looked well placed to fire a shot at goal but opted instead to take the ball on and square for a supporting team-mate, but his pass was cut out by a covering defender and cleared to safety.

Quickfire double flattens Cherries

Lukaku was clearly in the mood for more goals and his typically physical display was complimented by some excellent footwork to create the second goal.

His piece of skill at the byline on the right-hand side of the penalty area saw him skip in between Tyrone Mings and Marc Pugh and, while his pass wasn't turned in by the outstretched foot of Morgan Schneiderlin, McCarthy was well placed to scramble the ball over the line with Boruc wrong-footed.

If the first two goals were the result of Everton brilliance, the third came from a horrific lapse in concentration from Bournemouth captain Simon Francis.

Under some pressure in the right-back area, he looked for Boruc but found Lukaku with a loose pass into the centre, and the forward lobbed the ball over the keeper to bury the Cherries before the half-hour mark.

By the time Eddie Howe's side had begun to grow into the game in the last ten minutes of the first half, the match looked to be over as a contest and the visitors threatened only sporadically.

A low, long-range Jack Wilshere free kick was deflected wide and there were faint penalty calls for handball from the resulting corner, but Joel Robles had only one real save to make as he reacted quickly to block a goal-bound effort from close to the penalty spot.

The visitors did come out with a little more intent in the second period and Wilshere saw an effort deflected wide and just beyond the reach of King early on in the half, but defender Steve Cook's speculative blocked effort from 35 yards said much about their lacklustre performance.

However, a theme throughout the match was Everton's ease in finding a way out when Bournemouth did apply pressure. With Lukaku and Lookman remaining upfield against a defence at times comprised of just three men, the home side generally had little trouble finding a ball out of defence and making it stick.

King kicks Bournemouth into gear

Despite this, the Cherries got themselves back into the game with half an hour to play in surprisingly basic fashion. Wilshere picked the ball up around the middle of the Everton half and lifted a simple ball over the top for King, who got between the two centre-halves and finished under Robles.

The game seemed to be drifting by with only half-chances either way before King grabbed his second of the game on 70 minutes.

After his initial lob was well saved by Robles after bearing down on goal, a corner was taken short and the ball delivered in low by Ryan Fraser, with King well-placed at the back-post to slide in his second.

Anxious Everton saved by Lukaku

The second goal worried the home fans and kicked the visitors into life, with a powerful effort from Pugh flying just wide of goal. The anxiety in the stands was clear; with the referee pointing for a goal kick and Robles booked for time wasting, some sections of the crowd erupted with fury as they seemed to think a penalty had been given.

Referee Mike Jones provoked Evertonian ire once again moments later after failing to give a free kick their way, with Robles saving his teammates' blushes twice in quick succession with strong parries from long-range efforts.

However, their worry was put to bed with two goals in two minutes from the superlative Lukaku. He volleyed home a cross from close range to make the game safe with seven minutes to play, beforeing through on goal and finishing confidently just a few moments later to return the Toffees to their three-goal lead.

Arter bundled home a comically scrappy goal on the stroke of 90 minutes to give the Cherries hope of a revival, but Everton hit back once again in stoppage time as Barkley went through on goal, rounded keeper, celebrated and then tucked the ball into the empty net.

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