Everton 4 - 0 Manchester CityAlarms set early for a Sky bonanza featuring Liverpool v Manchester with Everton hosting Man City and being the early k.o. The lengths broadcasters will go to hype up the viewing figures without ever stopping to think how it might inconvenience fans always gets to me. It doesn’t affect me to any degree but those long distance fans I feel for. It was a dull dank day with drizzle and showers as we convened and as there is no good or bad time for a pint it was ordered and juniors were dispatched to Makie D’s for breakfast fayre.
Not many had much hope for us after witnessing that cup exit but with the delivery of the teams and the sight of our two new men on the bench spirits were raised. The walk up was quiet mainly due to January weather but the fan zone and all the eateries were well populated.
The teams entered the arena and captain Gareth Barry and today’s mascot Bradley Lowery the little Sunderland fan who is terminally ill was carried on by Romeu Lukaku. Everton had helped to get treatment. He carried out his duties well and a message of thanks from his parents was put up on the big screen and got a grand round of applause. He then scampered off to join in a kick about with some other youngsters and it was heart-warming to see him so full of it and lively. Everton do this stuff so well.
The game started on the whistle of today’s ref Mr Clattenberg who is not unknown to us. The first actions were mainly City pressing forward with Everton looking not to give them an edge. Right away you could see that words had been said over the week as we were quick into the tackle and looking to break at speed when we could. Our first scare came when from a City clearance Aguero was found out left and he sent a good pass for De Bruyne to head for the dead ball line and cross for the speedy Sterling to find himself unmarked in centre of the goal. Breath was held as the worst was feared but as he took a touch Robles slid out and blocked just as Baines slid in from the other side and between the two of them the threat was no more plus no interference from the ref much to City’s chagrin. Du Bruyne found Sterling down the left and the ex-red found Silva free in the six yard box with just Joel to beat, we feared the worst but Joel was out fast and blocked Silva’s effort but the ball squirmed loose and before Silva could get a shot the defence were back and Williams got a good clearing hoof to it. It was noticeable we were operating at a much quicker pace this week and our pressing of the man on the ball was admirable to the extent that City were now less of a threat whilst we were more of a threat.
Everton were ever ready to press forward as they moved the ball with pace and with some 15mins to the break Tom Davies picked up the ball on half way and strode forth and released a peach of a pass to Mirallas who took it on at pace down the right, looked up and fed a perfect cross to Rom’s feet and the big Belgian hit a left footer that left the keeper flat footed and the net bulging to the sound of a Goodison Roar. We were in front and deserved it as we had weathered their early threat and had now hit back.
We had one more scare before the break when from a City cross Davies did a defensive header that only found Sterling just outside the area and his shot although powerful was a tad too high. That man Davies was to the fore again when he headed a looping header off our line, some record that made one and saved one in short order.
Many said the same thing in that a second goal to us would be handy as we were sure Pep would have given them a Pep talk.
The second half started and within a minute, to our astonishment and glee we doubled our lead when the ball bounced of Rom and went loose but Barry was quick to go in hard and win it and prod it forward to Ross who ran at their defence and had them backing away before feeding Mirallas who took it to the right of the keeper before firing it back across him and into the street onion bag. Cue mayhem. Then a loud – very loud chant of ‘Who are yer’ ‘Who are yer’ directed at the once rowdy away end.
We now settled into a Koeman trade mark tactic by playing deep but breaking with pace when we could and the shift put in by all the players in really pushing themselves bodes well for the future. Imagine that with consistency and a large dose of the camaraderie shown today. City were no longer getting behind us and although they had the lion’s share of the ball it was all played out in front of us which is always a good sign that with no lapses in concentration the goal will stay intact and that is how the half went on. We did have a couple of raids that had them scurrying. On the hour Pep sacrificed Zabaleta in favour of Ieanacho to try to get more threat in his teams attack, it didn’t work,
We were looking decent now and the atmosphere a bit more relaxed so much so that the manager decided to give Schneiderlin his debut in place of Mirallas. Both players got good applause as they crossed.80 mins arrived and Tom Davies still full of running raced with the ball from his own half and on nearing the area played a ball into Rom who miscued it to Barkley who saw Davies who had fallen over get up again and feed him in. he took the ball up to the keeper and then with a cheeky dink left keeper grounded and ball netted. His first Everton first team goal and boy did we all celebrate with everyone’s man of the match.
All the songs and chants now. Stonesy, Stonesy what’s the score was well belted out. That was game over and probably Man City’s title hopes. Four mins of added time and the manager felt easy enough to give our latest ‘one for the future’ his debut. Our young man Lookman looked as though he had just left school but boy what a debut as Stones fired a clearance that hit Coleman and the ball bounced loose in the box and Lookman pounced, controlled it and then slammed it between keeper’s legs and home. A boy’s entrance to the game and a man’s finish to the game. He looks a Gud UN that one.
Final whistle and the rendition of ‘If yer know yer ‘Istory’ was deafening. In that second half the bear pit was back at Goodison.
MotM – Tom Davies
On the walk back someone said it was raining – I never noticed I wondered today whilst watching if this was the style Koeman is seeking. It looked to me like you need some very fit and fast players to chivvy and harry all game and if we can keep the clinical finishing going who knows where it could take us. Although Davies was MotM today I wonder where he will stand in the pecking order when Schneiderlin is match fit and Gana is back from ACN? Still a nice problem to have for the manager I reckon.
Looking at our fixture list if we can put games together like today then seventh should be ours or even better if anyone above us collapses. So still something to play for. See you soon.
UP THE BLUES
Reader Comments (61)
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1 Posted 16/01/2017 at 03:22:42
2 Posted 16/01/2017 at 03:31:52
That is a brilliant piece of pithy-ness! Great work, Ken.
3 Posted 16/01/2017 at 04:26:02
His overall showing v City was magnificent I thought, full of hard work and putting it about for the team. Took his goal superbly.
It was great to see so many smiles on the pitch, this is one game to hang our season on because there is real belief from go to whoa! COYB.
4 Posted 16/01/2017 at 04:30:06
Hope they bottle that team spirit it's what the mid-80s team had in spades.
5 Posted 16/01/2017 at 04:31:15
Davies was incredible and is definitely going to get time while Gana is away, however, I could see him bombing down the wing (as he did today) when Gana returns and Schneiderlin is playing regularly.
Today seemed to be a pivotal moment when the future took the front seat and showed that we are heading in the right direction and Koeman's plan can work!
Thanks for a great report as usual. I get to see every game live on the telly, but it is always great to read about the walk- up to the ground and the atmosphere that you so eloquently describe.
6 Posted 16/01/2017 at 04:31:25
Why oh why can't we play like this more often? The fire in their bellies should never disappear even if we are playing badly. Great performance, slick football, tenacious tackling, quality goals. When this happens, Goodison Park is the best place on the planet, the old lady rocks.
Feet on the ground time; We still played some sloppy casual passes, I'd like to see some little dinks over defenders instead of the on the ground slide-rule passes that keep getting intercepted. More of the same, Blue Boys.
7 Posted 16/01/2017 at 04:43:13
If as you suggest, Ken, Koeman is responsible for the improvement from the previous game at what passes for Maine Road these days, then more power to his elbow. Oh, and the kids.
8 Posted 16/01/2017 at 06:23:47
Davies deserved MotM with a very mature performance. I also thought Robles had a good game too.
9 Posted 16/01/2017 at 07:04:45
I am savouring the result from yesterday, honest. But I just want to see a couple of decent performances in a row before I start dreaming again.
10 Posted 16/01/2017 at 08:22:04
Stones best game for Everton.
11 Posted 16/01/2017 at 08:25:30
Barry has to use his nous and experience which has served him well. Is it me, or does Barkley seem a lot fitter as well?
12 Posted 16/01/2017 at 08:49:28
13 Posted 16/01/2017 at 08:55:42
So many fans were calling for Koeman to be sacked not too long ago, seems a bit of a joke after yesterday.
Amazing what effect a couple of new faces in and old faces out can have on a club. With the likes of Holgate, Davies and now Lookman, Koeman has also brought the average age down some and added much needed energy and enthusiasm.
Just imagine when Gana is back and Schneiderlin match fit! Proper midfield shaping up. Can see Barry slowly stepping down over the next month or two, after Gana is back. Also no need for McCarthy really so £15-20M in the bank for him would do nicely.
14 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:10:14
15 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:21:38
16 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:22:11
17 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:54:32
Then, when Gana returns, Koeman will have great midfield choices with Davies certainly featuring as an attacking, not just a defensive, option.
18 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:04:24
19 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:38:07
Ken Buckley - a wordsmith much loved in this parish.
20 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:39:41
21 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:03:08
Gana, Schneiderlin and Davies are keepers. Barry is fine for now but the end will suddenly come. Gibson... the end has come (shame because he was a good player). So that means we keep either Besic of McCarthy or replace one of them and let them both go.
We also still have Liam Walsh in the U23s who could yet break into the side alongside his old mucker Davies (and was higher rated than Davies a couple of years ago).
Personally I think both Besic and McCarthy will likely leave McCarthy over the summer... Besic may hang on another year as we can't move him on until he gets back from his awful injury. Hopefully by then Walsh is looking the part and if not then I can see us going back to the transfer market.
22 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:14:33
I think the last week has shown that Koeman is the boss. Even Mirallas worked his socks off yesterday, and Lukaku was closing Stones down better than previously.
I'm sure there will be more ups and downs between now and the end of the season, because we are not the finished article by any stretch. But it seems after yesterday that we are all finally pulling in the same direction fans, manager and players and that is absolutely what we need.
24 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:40:58
25 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:05:14
Lukaku seems to have also taken Lookman under his wing too. Let's hope they both keep setting good examples for the even younger lads.
26 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:13:34
Two months ago we had lost 5-0 to Chelsea, drew at home to Swansea and lost 1-0 away to Southampton. Many of us looked at the fixtures for December and thought possible defeats at home to Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and away defeat to Leicester with maybe a win over Watford and Hull.
Then after we beat Leicester away we probably thought we would beat them at home in the FA cup as well but wrong again and now we've hammered Man City 4-0 at home.
Also, who would have expected Koeman to dropped Jags & Barry so much and brought in so many young lads as he has of late. It's just disappointing that we are no longer in any cups as it would have given us something to look forward to.
As it is I really can't see us catching Man Utd or whoever is in 6th place but hopefully the teams who win the two cups finish in the top 6 so 7th place will be enough to get us into the Europa League qualifying round, like West Ham last season.
27 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:34:58
Just makes you feel so happy to be a Blue.
28 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:52:56
I thought Mirallas was outstanding and a superb finish for the second, and after a bit of criticism both Funes Mori and Williams managed a very skillful, pacey and clinical throng of attacking players very well indeed.
29 Posted 16/01/2017 at 13:44:26
If Koeman can get them playing positively with quick passing, players running at defenders, getting early ball and players into the box while staying compact when we need to defend, there is no reason why we cannot start beating the likes of Palace and Stoke.
If however we revert to safe, slow and sideways passing in front of the opposition, our results will probably be as disappointing as they were in the autumn. With Davies, Holgate and Lookman now in the squad, surely we have the energy and ambition not to let that happen.
30 Posted 16/01/2017 at 14:00:16
31 Posted 16/01/2017 at 14:11:42
I know it was only one game yesterday, but if and it is a big if, Everton can carry on playing with the energy and movement of the game they played against City then we can certainly catch them.
Anyway it was great to see Goodison Park rocking, rolling, cheering and singing Everton to a great performance and victory yesterday.
I bet you typed out your report, Ken, with a huge grin on your face; I had one on mine reading it.
32 Posted 16/01/2017 at 14:15:13
Michael Kenwright - 9
Lyndon Lloyd - 9
Ken Buckley - 9
Paul Traill - 9
Just watched the Davies goal for the 1,000th time. On the edge of my seat anxiously willing it to go in.
33 Posted 16/01/2017 at 14:28:22
A great result yesterday and what a joy to see one of the local lads making an impact. Hopefully by the end of the season, another member of under-age brigade will make a breakthrough into the first team.
It should be interesting to see who occupies the midfield slots at Palace next weekend!
Let's keep the top six honest for the rest of the season and put a major gap between ourselves and the 8th placed team.
34 Posted 16/01/2017 at 14:49:44
Outstanding game, and with all the hullabaloo about the youngster (and rightly so), his experience shone.
One more point did you see the state of Bainsey's legs? I've never seen him moan or cut out of a challenge.
35 Posted 16/01/2017 at 14:51:07
This team, along with more signings this window and summer window, has got the potential to challenge top 6 next season. Koeman will get it right.
36 Posted 16/01/2017 at 15:59:43
37 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:17:00
For me it was probably the finest moment at Goodison since Wayne Rooney's goal against Arsenal.
38 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:25:37
39 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:28:48
I am the luvvie's spawn incarnate.
40 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:33:08
I will go as far as to say that Gueye's last few games have seen him drop-off his early-season form. perhaps his imminent mission for his nation was on his mind, or else he was a bit frazzled from his workload.
However, I think that, as long as Davies is strong enough, I would have him on the teamsheet before anyone else at the moment. Quite a compliment for one so young.
41 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:34:52
Not like back in the early eighties on pre-season tours. Bunking trains all over Europe was the order of the day. Some great times.
42 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:41:47
Michael, I like to think I've got thick skin, but hats off to yer there mate, the way you have just took that off Brent!
43 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:43:43
I would like to mention the 3-5-2 formation which seems to suit Seamus and Bainesy who I thought both had a brilliant game. It gives us defensive solidity and a much greater attacking threat. To see Bainsey throwing challenges in in their half was a joy to watch.
A special mention for Ross too who threw a few sliding tackles in and was chasing down much more than usual. So much for the naysayers who said Koeman is destroying and demotivating players.
44 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:44:12
45 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:44:51
46 Posted 16/01/2017 at 18:15:13
My sincere apologies, Bill. Michael!! Michael!!
47 Posted 16/01/2017 at 19:16:32
All players and staff need a sincere thank you, for the effort during the week prior to the game, plus the game itself, for knuckling down after the previous weeks collapse with no response, to provide such a good performance. .
The two things that stood out for me that makes me proud to be a supporter (from 1953) was Lukaku carrying the young Sunderland boy out as mascot, and the same player going to the touchline to give encouragement to the young player Lookman before he got on.
These are just small instances that other people may not notice, but to me it shows what makes Everton that much better than other clubs.
48 Posted 16/01/2017 at 20:00:43
That said we were not good at all before the goal... The game could have been lost before super kev got on the end of Davies through ball to pull it back to Lukaku.
I'm pleased we won, but improvement is needed. We played like an early Moyes team with linderoth and carsley.
49 Posted 16/01/2017 at 20:01:39
50 Posted 16/01/2017 at 20:31:20
51 Posted 16/01/2017 at 20:42:27
May he take the right route, be well advised and (above all) be lucky with injury.
Lookman, too, a very self-possessed young man, no false modesty, and to take that goal required nerve.
52 Posted 16/01/2017 at 20:48:36
So many fans were calling for Koeman to be sacked not too long ago, seems a bit of a joke after yesterday.
Is that necessary?
53 Posted 16/01/2017 at 20:54:07
That same squad beat City 4-0. So which is it? How could a squad that is so terrible that we should not be expecting them to beat Norwich is able to be celebrated for beating City?
Maybe, just maybe, those of us saying that Koeman should have been getting more out of these players were right?
54 Posted 16/01/2017 at 21:50:33
Just look at Barkley it seems obvious to me we are seeing a different Barkley now to what we were a couple of months back, he's much more aggressive now, tackling and closing down.
So it takes time for the players to adapt and change their style. We are beginning to see the impact of Koeman's management, but it's just the beginning. Too many fans were way to quick to judge Koeman, he isn't a miracle worker, and they simply ignored the reality that he can't change things in a few months.
So I think it's unrealistic to expect Koeman to have come in and within just a few weeks suddenly transformed the current players, Barkley being the prime example for me. Judge him in a year's time is my thinking.
55 Posted 16/01/2017 at 21:51:08
More talent to come from our batch of youngsters. David the ideal link for their next step.
Next season will be a defining time for our club.
56 Posted 16/01/2017 at 22:03:47
If you are correct about Unsworth being promoted to first team duties, it would leave a large hole in the development of the youngsters which has been very successful, so far, in helping those youngsters be ready for the first team when they have been chosen.
David Unsworth, believes that his young side may have six or seven or even eight players who are capable of forging a career at Everton. That's an unbelievable claim, but who are we to argue with his assessment. His young charges won another match earlier tonight and now lead the league by four points. If Unsworth is correct and we do have that calibre of players in the junior side and the money to buy in talent, the future could be very bright for the club – let's hope so anyway.
A link to his interview on Talksport earlier today.
57 Posted 16/01/2017 at 23:55:59
What makes you think David Unsworth will be promoted?
58 Posted 17/01/2017 at 00:13:29
I hope David Unsworth is correct with his assessment of the talent coming through the ranks at Everton, I'd slow down a bit if I was him, or maybe he has been misquoted.
If he is right, Everton's future will be better than The Busby Babes of the fifties or Fergies Fledglings of the nineties, so we are all in for a terrific few years in the near future.
59 Posted 17/01/2017 at 14:45:11
He has less defensive work to do safe in the knowledge the back 3 (instead of 4) are covered by a midfield 4. Yes, Davies does a lot of his leg-work, but it's the system that free's Ross to do more attacking, and less defending rather than Davies per se.
60 Posted 17/01/2017 at 16:12:10
Hopefully better than when Harvey stepped up Darracott and Lyons after Howard left in '87!
61 Posted 17/01/2017 at 16:43:27
62 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:08:10
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