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Swansea City v Everton

By Chris Walford   ::  22/09/2012 Everton's trip to Wales resulted in triumph yet again, as they maintained their formidable record against Swansea, as well as their early season form. With Everton missing key players to injury, such as Nikica Jelavic and Darron Gibson, a trip to high-flying Swansea seemed a difficult task.

Michael Laudrup named a slightly surprising Swansea starting XI, opting to not include Leon Britton and Nathan Dyer, but similarly David Moyes chose to rest Sylvain Distin, replaced by Everton's 2011-12 Player of the Season Johnny Heitinga; Victor Anichebe got his chance due to Jelavic's absence, whilst Seamus Coleman got a shock start at right-back with Hibbert missing – out due to a knock.

Everton imposed themselves on the game immediately with Vorm having to produce a series of saves in the 3rd minute. Early pressure was maintained by the Blues as they consistently produced some extremely pleasing football. Baines and Pienaar typically illustrated their understanding on the left-wing along with Anichebe getting into some promising positions and holding the ball up to great effect.

As Everton's dominance was not being rewarded with that all-important goal, the fans' anxiousness was eased as Fellaini dubiously forced the ball to Anichebe with a sly arm movement, who fired home in the 21st minute.

The Merseyside team's attacks seemed endless and the statistics were heavily weighted in their favour; however, with only one goal to show for it, this game was far from comfortable for Everton. Around the half-hour mark Swansea suddenly found a way into the game. They showed glimpses their free-flowing style of football; however, with poor finising to match it, they couldn't make the most of their chances.

Everton in clinical fashion made the Welsh outfit pay by doubling their lead in the 43rd minute. After a glourious move down the right from Everton, Pienaar's early cross fell to Kevin Mirallas to hit the bar with his shot, only for the ball to drop back down for him to nod home the rebound.

With Everton also missing an abundance of opportunities, they would be dissappointed to go in at the break not leading by three or four. Laudrup attempted to change the rythem of the game by withdrawing Spaniard Pablo Hernandez at half-time and on came Nathan Dyer.

Laudrup's tactic backfired however 12 minutes later, as Dyer, already on a booking, produced a rash challenge on Baines after the left-back beat him to the ball after his initial flick. Referee Anthony Taylor had no option to show him a second yellow and Swansea were reduced to 10-men in the 58th minute. This spelt an end of any hope Swansea had gained during their improved start to the second half.

Everton continued to miss chances with Fellaini and Anichebe missing the target from close range. Another impressive performance from Mirallas came to an end as he was replaced by another one of Moyes's summer signings, Steven Naismith. Everton's continuous onslaught saw another goal for Marouane Fellaini, his 3rd of the season, to put the visitors 3 - 0 up in the 82nd minute. This gave Moyes the opportunity to get Magaye Gueye and deadline-day signing Bryan Oviedo some minutes under their belts; they replaced Man of the Match Marouane Fellaini along with Steven Pienaar. Everton made sure they saw out the game and in the process keep a clean sheet to record a 3-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.

This win pushed Everton up into 2nd place in the Barclays Premier League, 3 points behind table-topping Chelsea. With 10 points from their first 5 games, the start to this season as been in complete contrast to previous seasons for The Toffees. With the squad, management and fans oozing confidence, an away game to Leeds Utd in the Capital One Cup and a home fixture against Southampton are games that the club will expect two comfortable wins from.

Reader Comments

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Kevin Thompson
469 Posted 23/09/2012 at 10:39:26
I expect a changed line up for the Leeds game:

Howard;
Coleman, Heitinga, Duffy, Garbutt;
Geuye, Mirallas, Naismith, Oviedo;
Anichebe, Vellios

Subs: Mucha, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Osman, Fellaini.
Sam Hoare
535 Posted 23/09/2012 at 19:01:43
I certainly don't expect comfortable wins in the next 2 matches but if we do get them then that will definitely constitute a good start to the season.
Billy Bradshaw
560 Posted 23/09/2012 at 21:11:28
Mirallas and Naismith in the centre of midfield??? Now that is putting square pegs in round holes... Moyes will have to play either Osman or Neville in the centre and play Fallaini in a deeper role alongside one of them, with Naismith behind The Sulk.

Please, Mr Moyes, keep Coleman at right back so we can attack down the two flanks.

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