Accounts from matches by our editorial team and featured correspondents
Everton under Koeman are simply dull. They’re boring to watch, easy to defend against and too easy to score against if you attack them enough within a given 90 minutes.
This was Everton showing commitment, decent tempo and tenacity – in the early going, at least – and it still wasn’t enough. Not by a long way.
The Senegalese striker helped bail Koeman out of another uncomfortable post-match inquest with a two-goal blast in the space of five minutes that turned this match on its head and delivered three points that seemed unlikely before he entered the fray 10 minutes into the second half
The largely one-dimensional approach to recruitment this summer has led to Everton’s uninspiring start to the new season, one which has, over the past two games, lurched from concerning into the realm of deeply demoralising.
With just six shots on target in the opening three games, the problems that were laid bare today can’t be explained away by mere fatigue alone, even if it was undoubtedly a factor for those who did play in all three matches in just six days. The same nagging deficiencies remain despite massive expenditure on upgrading the team.
It’s a shame that Dominic Calvert-Lewin's impressive assist for Wayne Rooney in the 35th-minute of this early-season tussle between Manchester and Merseyside at the Etihad didn’t end up serving up a precious winner.
The Prodigal Son brought all his experience to bear against Stoke, scoring the winner and helping Everton dictate much of the second half to hold on for a 1-0 victory.