Match ends, Everton 6, Bournemouth 3.
Everton 6-3 Bournemouth
Romelu Lukaku helped himself to four goals as Everton extended their unbeaten Premier League run to seven games with a thrilling victory over Bournemouth at Goodison Park.
Lukaku curled home an exquisite opener after just 30 seconds to equal the record for the fastest league goal of the season set by Chelsea's Pedro against Manchester United.
Lukaku's trickery set up James McCarthy for Everton's second before the Belgium striker doubled his tally when Simon Francis' suicidal back pass gifted him the opportunity to loft the ball over Artur Boruc for a 3-0 half-time lead.
Joshua King's brace gave Bournemouth hope but Lukaku added two more inside the final 10 minutes to put the game to bed, although there was still time for Harry Arter to add a third for the visitors and Ross Barkley to slot in Everton's sixth.
The result was a fitting way for Everton manager Ronald Koeman to celebrate his 100th Premier League game, and takes the seventh-placed Toffees to within two points of Manchester United.
For slumping Bournemouth, meanwhile, defeat drops them to within six points of the relegation zone.
Eddie Howe's men - winless in 2017 - are now on a run of one victory in eight and have conceded 34 goals in their last 13 games - shipping at least three goals in nine of those.
Brilliant Lukaku steals the show
"We said we wanted to come out flying, we worked on it all week," Lukaku said as he held the match ball at full-time. "There's no lack of confidence."
There certainly wasn't.
Everton completely bullied the opening period, helped of course by taking such an early lead when Morgan Schneiderlin broke up play in midfield and Lukaku exchanged passes with McCarthy before stroking a lovely shot beyond Boruc.
Lukaku then breezed past two markers to set up McCarthy to make it 2-0 - the midfielder scoring at the second attempt - before adding his second of the contest with a cool finish when Francis inexplicably played the ball into his own area.
He very nearly got in once again to complete a 30-minute hat-trick only for Boruc to crowd him out, but he was not to be denied his treble as the game became stretched in the second half.
With the score at 3-2, he completed his hat-trick with a simple side-foot volley to kill off Bournemouth's hopes of completing an unlikely comeback, while his 17th goal of the campaign followed just moments later when ran on to a Barkley backheel, shrugged off his marker and found the corner.
A heavy defeat, but Cherries show fight
Given their recent form, Bournemouth might have been expected to roll over after conceding after just 30 seconds, yet despite shipping six goals they will surely take some positives from this match.
Their three-man defence of Francis, Steve Cook and Tyrone Mings was ripped to shreds in the first half, but the switch to a four-man defence after the break paid instant dividends.
With former Liverpool youngsters Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith introduced for the second period, Bournemouth looked sharper from the outset.
They created a host of openings before King's brace - the first a nice chest down and finish from Jack Wilshere's lofted pass, the second a poacher's strike from Ryan Fraser's centre - set up a grandstand finish that was only derailed when Lukaku bagged his third.
"The start of the game killed us. You can't concede so quickly, it gives you a mountain to climb," said Howe, whose side have now lost five of their last six away league games.
"We got right back in the game, then conceded the fourth to knock the stuffing out of us."
Man of the match - Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
'If we keep this up, everything is possible'
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku: "It's disappointing we conceded the goals, but we showed mental resilience.
"We need to see the clips again because if you want to improve we need to get rid of the little problems.
"We have to believe that we can catch the teams ahead of us. We need to keep on winning and working hard for each other."
Everton manager Ronald Koeman: "That's not a normal result. It was a crazy game.
"Both teams changed systems - it was a tactical battle. They made it really difficult for us. We dropped in intensity after half-time, but the reaction to them getting back to 3-2 was good.
"We scored great goals. Romelu showed that he is one of the best finishers in football. Scoring is one of his big qualities. We need to support him, to create. We can improve, but he showed his best today. I'm not surprised because we see it in training.
"We are getting closer to the top six. We have momentum and we are confident. It's a long way to go until the end of the season. If we keep this up, everything is possible."
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "We tried to do something different today, but it didn't work. Three injuries to defenders have made it difficult.
"We have been looking over our shoulder all season. We want to get to 40 points as quickly as possible."
Everton better 2015-16 tally - match stats
- Everton have already won more points at home this season (25) than they managed in the whole of 2015/16 (23).
- Romelu Lukaku has scored the 300th hat-trick in Premier League history.
- Only Duncan Ferguson (60) has scored more PL goals for Everton than Lukaku (59).
- Lukaku has scored six goals in his last three Premier League appearances at Goodison Park, after a run of four league games without one there.
- This was the first time that the Belgian striker has ever scored four goals in a Premier League match.
- James McCarthy scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the first time in his career.
- Joshua King scored his 11th and 12th Premier League goals for Bournemouth; making him the Cherries' highest scoring player in the competition.
- This was just the second match in Premier League history at Goodison Park to witness nine goals, after Everton 3-6 Chelsea in August 2014.
Everton return to Premier League action on Saturday, 11 February, when they make the trip to Middlesbrough for a 15:00 GMT kick-off. Bournemouth are back in action on Monday, 13 February, when Manchester City visit the Vitality Stadium (20:00 GMT).
- 1RoblesBooked at 74mins
- 25Funes Mori
- 16McCarthySubstituted forDaviesat 61'minutesBooked at 76mins
- 18BarrySubstituted forHolgateat 80'minutes
- 2SchneiderlinBooked at 49mins
- 31LookmanSubstituted forMirallasat 71'minutes
- 19E Valencia
- 2FrancisSubstituted forB Smithat 45'minutes
- 3S Cook
- 8ArterBooked at 14mins
- 4GoslingSubstituted forIbeat 45'minutes
- 7PughSubstituted forAfobeat 83'minutes
- 14B Smith
- Mike Jones
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Everton 6, Bournemouth 3.
Attempt saved. Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is saved in the centre of the goal.
Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Leighton Baines (Everton).
Goal! Everton 6, Bournemouth 3. Ross Barkley (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ramiro Funes Mori following a fast break.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Brad Smith.
Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jack Wilshere following a set piece situation.
Harry Arter (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton).
Goal! Everton 5, Bournemouth 3. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Benik Afobe.
Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Brad Smith.
Offside, Everton. Ramiro Funes Mori tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.
Andrew Surman (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ross Barkley (Everton).
Goal! Everton 5, Bournemouth 2. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ross Barkley.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Benik Afobe replaces Marc Pugh.
Goal! Everton 4, Bournemouth 2. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Seamus Coleman with a cross.
Substitution, Everton. Mason Holgate replaces Gareth Barry.
Attempt saved. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Davies.
Tom Davies (Everton) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Hand ball by Tom Davies (Everton).
Attempt saved. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.
Joel Robles (Everton) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Joel Robles.
Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Everton).
Attempt missed. Marc Pugh (Bournemouth) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Brad Smith.
Offside, Everton. Ross Barkley tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.
Substitution, Everton. Kevin Mirallas replaces Ademola Lookman.
Goal! Everton 3, Bournemouth 2. Joshua King (Bournemouth) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ryan Fraser with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Joel Robles.
Attempt saved. Joshua King (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marc Pugh with a through ball.
Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ashley Williams (Everton).
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jordon Ibe.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Tyrone Mings.