Everton are safe after beating Bournemouth.
On an afternoon of nerve-wracking anxiety at Goodison Park, Everton achieved the result they needed against Bournemouth to ensure Premier League survival.
Sean Dyche’s team knew that a win would ensure their safety regardless of what happened elsewhere, but they were in danger for a while as they failed to break down Bournemouth and Leicester City were defeating West Ham United.
After 57 minutes, Abdoulaye Doucoure caused an explosion of elation and relief inside an emotional Goodison Park with a thunderous right-foot effort from 20 yards that Bournemouth keeper Mark Travers had no chance of save.
Everton survived a couple of Bournemouth near misses and an agonizing 10-minute stoppage time before confirming they would be extending their 69-year stay in English football’s top flight.
Everton have escaped yet again.
Everton fans’ joy at the final whistle was justified, having been put through the wringer yet again by being forced to wait until the season’s final game to ensure Premier League survival – they only got over the line in the penultimate match last season.
It didn’t take long for chants of “sack the board” to reverberate across Goodison Park, as the club’s fragile relationship with its hierarchy came to the surface once more.
The brief moment of elation and relief at full-time did not mask the underlying dissatisfaction, with the Everton board not attending a home game since January, citing safety concerns.
The game itself was a predictable scrappy affair on an occasion fraught with tension, with Everton facing the bottom after Leicester won and Bournemouth held tight.
It took Doucoure’s moment of magic to keep Everton in the Premier League, but unless substantial changes are made at the top of the club and Dyche can somehow strengthen a squad that has suffered so much this season, there is every potential they could face similar challenges next season.