Everton 1-0 Bournemouth: Abdoulaye Doucoure goal seals Toffees’ survival on dramatic final day

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning second half strike sealed Everton’s Premier League’s status for another year as they beat Bournemouth 1-0 on the final day of the season.

Leicester’s 2-1 win at home to West Ham was immaterial in the end, as Sean Dyche’s side kept their fate in their own hands with a dramatic but deserved three points.

It was a nail-biter for the Goodison Park faithful, but they won a hard-fought encounter, with the full-time whistle prompting a pitch invasion amid puffs of blue smoke from flares.

Everton made most of the early running in front of a cacophonous home crowd and crafted decent first half openings for Demarai Gray and Idriss Gueye, who both fired over the crossbar. At the other end, however, they almost fell behind to ex Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke but his effort was bravely blocked by a diving Yerry Mina.

If Everton started the day knowing they were in control of their destiny, Harvey Barnes’ goal for Leicester against West Ham prompted a wave of worry around Goodison.

At half-time, they were headed down to the Championship – unless they could summon a goal.

Gray wasted another huge chance just after the break, heading tamely at keeper Mark Travers with the goal gaping. But the Toffees kept pushing and their moment came when Doucoure volleyed home beautifully from the edge of the box after a headed knockdown, to swing the survival pendulum back in their favour.

They then defended stoutly to see out the win, with Conor Coady clearing crucially off the line at one stage.

Leicester saw out a win at the King Power Stadium, but Dyche’s men held on to relegate the Foxes – who go down with Leeds, who lost 4-1 at home to Tottenham – and clinch their own Premier League spot for 2023/24.