Former Everton manager David Moyes has told BBC Sport that the impact of Ross Barkley proved to be the difference as Toffees recorded a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth in the FA Cup clash.
The 22-year midfielder Barkley netted Merseyside Blues opening goal before Romelu Lukaku sealed the win during the closing stages to help the Merseyside outfit move through to the last eight of the competition.
Toffes goalkeeper Joel Robles had kept his team on level terms by saving Charlie Daniels’s penalty in the first half, but former Toffees boss Moyes feels that Barkley’s influence was the telling factor.
Moyes said on BBC’s live coverage, broadcast on Saturday, February 20 at 4.55pm: “I thought Barkley had a couple of shots in the first half, one over the bar and one into the keeper’s hands, but he kept taking a go at it and next time, it takes a deflection and loops in and I think that changed the game at that time. For me, on the night, Everton deserved to win the game.”
Last term, Ross Barkley was often criticised for his distribution and decision-making, but throughout this campaign, he has contributed goals and assists on a regular basis.
Barkley’s goal on the South Coast was his 12th goal for Everton in all competitions this season, while he also netted twice for the England national side as they secured qualification for Euro 2016.
Everton don’t return to action until March 1 when they travel to the West Midlands to face Aston Villa.