Ronald Koeman was beaming after his Everton side romped to their biggest Premier League victory under his stewardship to date — a 4-0 hammering of his former team-mate's team, Manchester City.
The Blues defended superbly to prevent the visitors from turning their 71% of possession into too many genuine chances while, at the other end they ruthlessly exploited title-chasing City's mistakes in midfield and defence for three of the goals.
Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas had Everton in the driving seat before five minutes of the second had elapsed with well-taken goals and Ademola Lookman came off the bench to turn a routine stoppage time run-out into a debut to remember as he fired the fourth goal through goalkeeper Claudio Bravo's legs.
The pick of the goals came from Davies, however, who started and finished a counter-attack 11 minutes from time that included a brilliant flick near the touchline that took out two opposition players and magnificently composed clip over the keeper once he had received a return ball in the box.
“I am really pleased with the team performance,” Koeman said. “It is a big day, a big win and a well deserved one. In the second half we were perfect in every aspect.
“We played well offensively and defensively, and had good organisation in the team. We were aggressive, and when we won the ball we played forwards and scored four goals.
Koeman was asked in his interview with BBC Sport whether he felt the game had gone completely to plan.
“You cannot plan a game like this. Everybody knows it's always difficult against City; they play some great football.
“But, I think the second half was perfect in every aspect of football. The first half we controlled it but they had some good chances.
“I think the difference was we scored at the right time in the first half and then also in the second half, to score straight after half-time, that made it very difficult for them.
"I think it is a big compliment to Everton today, how the organisation defensively was. That aspect was perfect in the second half.
The manager was asked about how pleased he was that two teenagers scored to put the game to bed late in the second half. It was the first time that two Everton players in their teens had scored in the same game since James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe managed the feat 10 years ago.
“Yes, that makes the final result and the way we played [in terms of] the team performance perfect,” Koeman continued. “Davies was outstanding in the midfield.
“He's not that kind of player who will score a lot goals but playing at home, scoring a goal…
“And also for the young boy (Lookman), to give him three or four minutes to make his debut and even scoring a goal, it's very special."
Reader Comments (43)
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1 Posted 16/01/2017 at 08:56:06
We've set a standard now and Leicester won the league with about 29% possession in every game they played. Let's get some momentum going and maybe then the media will give us the credit yesterday's performance deserved.
3 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:20:46
It was energetic, aggressive and clinical, it was similar to the performance his Southampton team put in last season beating Arsenal 4-0..
It will take Koeman time to mould this team and fans do sometimes forget the state this club was in last Spring before he took over, we were a club in crisis and turmoil both on and off the pitch.
I think next season we will see a team capable of making a serious top four challenge once Koeman has a full pre-season under his belt with better players at his disposal and the young lads with more experience.
4 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:33:06
At the very least, we should be looking to pull away from the chasing pack and take a few more top 6 scalps along the way.
5 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:36:24
Anyway just watched the 3 minute highlights on the official website and noticed Lookman's hunger to get in behind for his goal a gamble that paid off for the young man.
Buzzing at work this morning COYB!
6 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:41:35
Stekelenburg in goal, with Jagielka and Williams at centre-half and Barry in front of them doesn't give us a platform to play aggressively and with a high tempo.
Robles is a keeper I didn't fancy one single bit, but the lad deserves credit, he's quick and instinctive, he can use his whole area space as he's mobile enough to trust himself coming to the edges to claim the ball.
Holgate and Funes Mori both provide pace which allow Baines to push on, and Williams to be commanding coming out of the back line, knowing he has the personnel to cover him pace wise.
Davies simply brings the dimension we've all been shouting out for, a mobile midfielder who has more in his locker than passing side ways and backwards.
It's not fair of us to demand he bosses our midfield, but he will have Gana back soon; also McCarthy is back in contention, Schneiderlin has signed and Barry has a new deal, hopefully that's to be used sparingly.
Lookman may be one who can link the gap between the midfield and Rom, as Rom is often left isolated. The lad looks small, quick and tricky, something we have waited for Deulofeu to stamp into our make up, but hopefully Lookman can do it for more than 30 minutes.
Barkley and Rom are also young lads, we forget that, they are both still improving, and with the new lads around they will start to feel the need to step up as leaders in the team; were already starting to see that.
I'd like to see Mirallas given more time centrally, in and around Rom and Ross as he looks more comfortable when he's allowed to move freely across the front line.
For me I'd make Seamus captain, he's just a natural leader, he's first into everything and he leads by example.
Anyways, let's not get too excited just yet as we seem to win a game then lose one, let's just allow Koeman to keep building away, and see were it leads to.
Finishing 7th would represent an improvement on last season's league position, even if we have been poor in cup competition.
7 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:43:26
Let's build on this & win away at Palace (time to end their hoodoo over us).
So... how many of us Blues don't want the Europa League now?
8 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:06:52
It wasn't about the possession it was the aggression and speed of ball movement. 2nd half was great to watch.
Please Ronald - more of that!!!
9 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:27:37
Now let's do it against the Allardyce, Pullis and Hughes teams. The highly organised, physical, good-in-the-air, tough-tackling, "nick a goal and park the bus" teams.
11 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:46:30
Everything went right yesterday and long may it continue, but the jury is still out for me on Koeman. But IF he can keep us playing like that, then I'll be happy to admit I was wrong. Time will tell, but today is a bloody good day to be an Evertonian for once!!! Get in there! :):):):)
12 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:21:05
I loved Koeman's reaction to the 3rd goal yesterday (I think). He punched the air like all of us did. More of the same please!
14 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:38:44
We were very clinical yesterday as we scored every single shot we had on target. I was delighted for Mirallas as he played well and looked sharp and I thought his pass to Rom was excellent as he barely even looked up before he hit it. Great finish for his own goal under pressure.
We seem to play better when teams have all the possession and we sit back and play on the break. It seems much harder when we play the likes of Palace, Hull etc as they let us have the ball and we often get caught for pace at the back. If we had beaten Hull in December that would be 4 wins on the trot.
Crystal Palace and Stoke away next so hopefully we can keep up that intensity.
15 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:39:16
Too long we have been happy to accept the fact that, if we had a decent season finishing 5th, that we punched above our weight, it was always little old Everton fighting the big boys and it rubbed off on the majority of fans this underdog attitude.
Now with proper financial clout and a manager that as a player has won everything and been there and done that twice over we can finally shed the underdog mentality and start raising the bar for the better of this club's future.
Koeman strikes me as someone who won't tolerate slackers, he comes across as someone who will continue to demand high standards, he may not have always had them this season and he's not blameless himself, even Alex Ferguson made mistakes, but it's worth remembering that some of the players out there are even from the Moyes era let alone Martinez.
16 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:45:15
Liverpool and Utd. Klopp and Maureen. And of course the woes and tribulations of Pep.
And we were the stand out team yesterday.
Anyhow fine margins in this Premier League. We are sitting a good seventh. But had we not faltered against Burnley...Bournemouth...Watford. Then we would have been right in the mix. That's Everton for you.
But I'm already looking forward to next season ...Why not? Let the "project" continue.
I'm starting to believe NSNO.
17 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:49:44
I think the fact that Seamus doesn't have to worry so much about getting back to defend after a lung-busting run really helps him. He has always been better going forward than defending so this system suits him perfectly.
At last there is competition for places with Davies and Holgate showing they are both ready to slot in. I think if it had been Pogba or Courtinho that had scored the goal that Tom scored the pundits would be praising them as the best ever. But maybe not building it up will help Tom, and stop fans expecting that to happen every week.
18 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:52:56
From pessimism to optimism in a week.
19 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:56:23
And he does look like his uncle, a player whose impact I remember well.
Just wondering also how long before Utd or Chelsea come a-sniffing? NO SALE!
20 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:03:06
21 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:06:24
As written in football folklore, Brian Clough's philosophy to his central defenders was "Just head it and kick it anything else is a bonus".
That's what you get from Williams.
23 Posted 16/01/2017 at 13:04:54
Having defenders now that just simply defend has coincided with a far more stable home record.
Last season, we were shipping goals at Goodison at an unbelievable rate, I think we'd conceded 26 goals at home by New Year so it makes for far more comfortable reading seeing this place become a hard venue for opponents to visit.
Williams is a old fashioned defender: what you see is what you get. I've said all along a defenders job is to defend and we've missed that over recent season's.
It would be good to see a younger athletic body partnering Williams next season... Van Dijk? Maybe eventually Mason Holgate?.
25 Posted 16/01/2017 at 13:29:40
26 Posted 16/01/2017 at 13:33:28
27 Posted 16/01/2017 at 13:49:05
The next Bobby Moore! My arse.
28 Posted 16/01/2017 at 15:01:32
It was great to see Davis and Barkley playing midfield and complementing each other perfectly. Like others have said on this thread It is just one game however the challenge for this tactical approach is when the opposition also sit deep and play a counter attacking style themselves or are just plain negative (particularly at Goodison) .
What we did yesterday (when done well) will work against footballing sides who like to have the ball but I'm not convinced it will work against teams who have a more pragmatic approach.
29 Posted 16/01/2017 at 15:31:20
This is Everton though, so what's the chance that they screw it up at Palace! We have been here before and its happened too many times. Big Sam who I rate highly, will have a cunning plan waiting for us no doubt. They can't beat the blind school at the moment so guess what!
Not trying to be a misery, it just feels like a déjà vu situation.
30 Posted 16/01/2017 at 15:33:43
But I'm not shy from criticizing the fellow but neither will I shy away from the improvements made in the recent weeks.
I credit him more for balance he's gone for, it is reflected in the comfort shown in players' performances. None more than Baines. For whatever reason form, injury, age our penalty taking left back is on the wane physically.
Playing him as a wing back gets him 20yards further up the field. No longer committed to significant lung bursting runs, his passing quality is beginning to reassert itself.
3-5-2 is the way to go with the squad we have at the moment.
I wonder how Koeman will handle The midfield three when Gana comes back.
I hope, he is clever. Personally I believe Gana and Morgan will nearly always play. The question is how he handles Barry n Davies at opposite ends of the careers?
I still think this means McCarthy is on the outside looking in.
Same too for Barkley, albeit very good yesterday, in a game I thought would pass him by, he was shorn of the defensive side of his game, he got the ball high up the field.
I think though a better established Number 10 will be bought. Can he stand up to the competition?
Apart from the visit of Chelsea we should be aiming for an unbeaten record at Goodison for the remainder of the season.
Well done, Ron lad.
31 Posted 16/01/2017 at 15:35:27
32 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:04:07
Appreciate your touch of realism re the visit of Chelsea but, as was said yesterday on the live forum by a fellow Toffee Webber before the game: 'Let's beat the crap out of them'...
Worked yesterday. We can turn Chelsea over... not sure we can do the same against the rest of the league's teams.
33 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:17:16
34 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:19:03
I think we should be aiming to win every game, including Chelsea. The FA Cup exit didn't end our season, and there are 51 points up for grabs. We've done okay against the top sides ironically, barring 5-0 at Chelsea, which we need to avenge.
Maybe Koeman reads TW, judging by the fact that he's eventually played the youngsters, a la repeated calls on here.
35 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:22:15
In a 3-5-2 formation, Coleman and Baines have more freedom to get forward, while Mirallas links up well with Lukaku, by not being restricted by playing wide on the left. Yet, Koeman does have a habit of changing winning formulas and teams.
36 Posted 16/01/2017 at 17:20:44
Not a complaint, just an observation and I wonder if this is why he keeps referring to 'Everton' instead of 'us'?
37 Posted 16/01/2017 at 17:23:07
38 Posted 16/01/2017 at 17:34:36
It's true that on my home from chilly Albany in Upstate NY, fuck only 2/7 losses from the teams above us.
Is it a more open game that allows us to counter, yesterday case in point? Or do we raise it against the big boys, Rom totally does!
Record v Chelsea in recent years is okay. I think they play the system much better than us. What Koeman must do, for me anyhow, is introduce a more attacking angle to midfield when Burnley or West Brom come to Goodison Park.
I would prefer to see a triangle. But it must be high up the field. Gana at the base, Tom and Morgan central but high up. As Holgate gets regular game time in a three, I think Lennon, despite the paucity of performance, would do well at right wing-back versus a stubborn side at home.
We must play three at the back v Palace; Williams can take Benteke, and they have no Zaha. Playing a back four would be a mistake in my view, Coleman and Baines look poor now in that set up.
Our fixture list becomes more benign in the next few weeks. I would hope we see much bigger improvements as we only play once a week, and he has plenty of time with the players.
Goose bumps on the Davies goal. Any one else think he looks too much like his uncle, Alan? 👀
39 Posted 16/01/2017 at 17:40:30
I know full well it's just ONE game but, in these days of instant this and instant that, and the fact that a lot of today's players have the attention span of a goldfish suffering from the early onset of dementia, we should get in there before we have a chance to fuck it up, or the goldfish players visit the Twattersphere, Sky, Facebook, Instagram...
40 Posted 16/01/2017 at 18:00:13
41 Posted 16/01/2017 at 18:04:23
It should have given the plaudits to Tom Davies for destroying Guardiolas party and highlighting how poor Bravo and Stones were and how Pep (the world's greatest coach) has got it wrong at the back.
I saw an interview with Kevin Ratcliffe the other day talking about Stones and he was right. He's not convinced Stones is even a centre-back and I'd have to agree with him.
42 Posted 16/01/2017 at 22:12:02
43 Posted 16/01/2017 at 23:33:51
44 Posted 17/01/2017 at 00:13:57
46 Posted 17/01/2017 at 02:00:27
Let's hope Koeman knows how to set up his team against the likes of Palace.
Alan Shearer was gushing over Tom Davies and lambasted John Stones but the Daily Mail only reported what he said about Stones.
47 Posted 17/01/2017 at 09:25:55
Add the above 15 to Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman, and no other team has more teen scorers than the Blues.
I thought Jose Baxter was one too, but he made 7 appearances with no goals.
48 Posted 17/01/2017 at 09:28:57
I got this from an article from the red echo:
Another occasional Squawka Stats update and comparison (14 key aspects) between Dele Alli, said to be having a blinding season (no arguments), and Ross Barkley who has endured endless grief for generally and apparently having a stinker.
Mins: RB 1476; DA 1534
Pass Completion: RB 83pc; DA 81pc (Barkley)
Key Passes: RB 43; DA 27 (Barkley convincingly)
Assists: RB 4; DA 2 (Barkley)
Goals: RB 3; DA 10 (Alli more than convincingly)
Shots: RB 44; DA 51 (Alli)
Shot Accuracy: RB 52pc; DA 56pc (Alli)
Tackles Won: RB 12; DA 21 (Alli convincingly)
Tackles Lost: RB 35; DA 49 (Barkley convincingly)
Aerial Duels: RB 24; DA 4 (Barkley by a mile)
Aerial Duels Won: RB 53pc; DA 25pc (Barkley convincingly)
Take-Ons: RB 24; DA 27 (Alli)
Interceptions: RB 5; DA 7 (Alli)
Blocks: RB 2; DA 1 (Barkley)
Clearances: RB 16; DA 10 (Barkley)
49 Posted 17/01/2017 at 18:49:45
One or two excellent recent goals aside, what stands out about Alli versus Barkley to me, is his presence. He's a strutting, upright, aggressive character that gets involved, and moves quicker around the pitch off the ball (which is important and not captured by stats). I don't see the same level of easy natural talent and movement with the ball that Barkley has.
If Ross can firm up his self belief and relax, he could leave Alli trailing IMO. Not so easy to get the media love when you play for Everton of course. Those of us with the eye know how special Barkley is, though.