Fortitude, Fortune and Finesse Lift Martinez to First Everton Win

Everton belatedly banked their first three points of the 2013-14 season with a hard-fought victory over highly-fancied Chelsea thanks to a goal in first-half injury time.

Lyndon Lloyd 14/09/2013 71comments  |  Jump to last

Everton belatedly banked their first three points of the 2013-14 season with a hard-fought victory over highly-fancied Chelsea thanks to a goal in first-half injury time by a player who might not even have been on the pitch were it not for a training ground injury to Steven Pienaar.

Steven Naismith was on target the last time these two sides met back in May on the final day of last season and he was the only man in Blue to penetrate the Londoners' much-vaunted back line this time as well, connecting with Nikica Jelavic's impressive header to convert what proved to be the winner from close range.

Though Everton rode their luck at times and, uncharacteristically under Martinez's fledgling tenure, were forced to cede the bulk of the possession to their opponents as Jose Mourinho's men tried to make their superiority tell, a stubborn defensive performance from the home side preserved the slender advantage to the final whistle. Remarkably, another clean sheet was the Blues' seventh in succession at home, their best sequence in that regard for 25 years.

Based on the manageable list of opponents for his first three matches in charge, Martinez would surely have expected to have his first win on the board by the time Chelsea came to town but three draws two of them frustratingly goalless affairs despite this team's league-leading dominance of possession had led to some uneasiness among supporters who were hoping to avoid a long bedding-in period for the new manager and his methods.

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And the Spaniard's task against an expensively-assembled team from the Capital looked even more daunting after Steven Pienaar a scorer for Everton on both of Chelsea's previous visits to Goodison Park suffered an injury in training that ruled him out, along with Arouna Kone who picked up a reported knee problem.

That meant Naismith playing on the right side of midfield and, with Romelu Lukaka ineligible to face his parent club the Belgian was, somewhat bizarrely, paraded in front of the Goodison faithful with his permanent employers in attendance instead Jelavic the automatic starter in attack despite his ongoing frustrations in front of goal. Gareth Barry made his debut in central midfield, however, in the slot vacated by Marouane Fellaini, while James McCarthy started on the bench.

The early going was mixed, with Everton lapsing into their now-familiar pattern of possession football across the back but, with few options ahead of him, Phil Jagielka resorting to a number of raking balls forward that cheaply handed possession to the visitors. And Chelsea's own debutant, Samuel Eto'o sounded the warning bell as early as the fifth minute when he headed Ramires's cross over the bar when he might have done better.

The Blues showed flashes of intent of their own on the first quarter of an hour, though; first, when Naismith collected Ross Barkley's inviting pass and his cross found Jelavic but, 10 yards from goal, he couldn't get enough power on his header to unduly trouble Peter Cech; and then when the Scot forced the 'keeper into batting the ball behind for a corner at his near post.

Overall, though, Everton weren't really able to find a consistent rhythm and, though Barry looked hugely impressive in his first appearance in a Blue jersey, Barkley appeared to be the more willing of the central midfielders to drop back and show for the pass from defence. Kevin Mirallas, playing wide on the left in Pienaar's absence, was once again a peripheral influence who looked wasted in Martinez's default system and his presence was seemingly limiting Leighton Baines's ability to raid forward, the left-back hardly crossing the halfway line in the first 45 minutes.

Nevertheless, it was so far, so good in the first half hour until a suicidal moment by Tim Howard nearly gifted Chelsea the lead. The American tried to find Sylvain Distin with an ill-advised pass to the left edge of the penalty area but the under-hit ball was easily intercepted by Andre Schurrle and he laid up Eto'o in the centre for what should have been a routine tap-in into the empty net. Barry came across superbly, though, and deflected the Cameroon international's shot over the crossbar.

After Naismith had knocked a first-time shot a yard wide under the attentions of David Luiz, Howard redeemed himself with an excellent two-handed save to push Ramires's goal-bound shot around the far post 10 minutes before the break. But profligacy with possession and poor decision-making in advanced areas from the likes of Leon Osman, Barkley and Naismith opened the defence up to unwanted pressure at times, Schurrle getting the chance to open the scoring when Ramires sprung the offside trap with only Baines scrambling back to hustle the Brazilian into an early shot that the German fired well over from 18 yards.

Chelsea were well in control of the game as the first half drew to a close and Everton were relieved when Branislav Ivanovic despatched a free-header from Juan Mata's free kick over the bar. The home fans were already restless when Phil Jagielka elected not to follow suit and put the ball into the box from an Everton free kick in the other half, playing it short to Barry in midfield instead. But when that attack was snuffed out by Cech, the Blues capitalised on a slip by Ramires to win the ball back and set up the move that would send them into half-time a goal to the good.

Osman and Barkley exchanged passes on the edge of the box before the former whipped the ball to the far post to Jelavic who, craning his neck, diverted it back across Cech and onto the head of Naismith who couldn't miss from a couple of yards out. A goal from a partnership forged in Glasgow and one only given fleeting opportunity to be rekindled in the Premier League on Merseyside.

Chelsea were stung into action and they began the second half in determined and even more dominant fashion. The first 10 minutes were all Mourinho's men and the visiting fans thought they had scored a quick equaliser within a minute of the restart but Schurrle's clipped shot over Howard only found the side-netting.

Howard then did well to parry Hazard's stinging drive, Eto'o scuffing the inviting rebound wide, and the former Barcelona striker was foiled by the American a few minutes later when he planted a header into his arms.

Chelsea were griniding away with plenty of possession but they found Everton increasingly difficult to break down; had it not been for some disappointing choices by Barkley and Naismith in advanced areas, the Blues might have punished the Londoners at least once on the counter attack. Barkley, in particular, elected to hold onto the ball for too long and ran into a cul-de-sac with Blue shirts better placed ahead of him on two or three occasions but every game brings more experience and his decision-making will undoubtedly improve.

Everton's attacking threat increased and the game opened up, though, following Jelavic's removal in favour of McCarthy midway through the second half, a move that pushed Mirallas up front and gave Chelsea a lot more think about at the back. The Belgian was chopped down by his compatriot Hazard outside the box with 20 minutes left, Mirallas forcing Cech to push the resulting free kick away from the base of the post, and was then dragged down cynically by David Luiz on the halfway line to prevent a potential goalscoring opportunity later on. In between, Mirallas had cut in in familiar fashion and seen a driven shot beaten away by the 'keeper as Everton started to fight fire with fire a bit more. Baines would later whip a trademark free kick off the top of the bar after Seamus Coleman had been flattened by Hazard.

Though the visitors threw Fernando Torres and Oscar on in a desperate attempt to rescue the game late on, they had seemingly run out of ideas and the Blues' defence was standing firm, allowing Martinez to run the clock down in the final minutes with a couple of late substitutions and close out his first win in the Goodison hot-seat.

With Chelsea being so highly fancied for a tilt at the title under the returning Mourinho, this was an excellent result for Everton and should serve as a terrific shot in the arm to a Martinez side that has yet to see the introduction of Lukaku who will be in the frame for the visit to West Ham next week.

Credit should go to Naismith who was as important in preserving the three points at times as he was in winning them with tenacious tracking back, while Barry allowed for a seamless transition from Fellaini as a defensive midfielder and Osman had arguably his best game of what has thus far been a slightly disappointing start from his point of view.

Importantly, it was a victory earned with the kind of patient attacking play that carved out the goal as well as the defensive and midfield doggedness forged under the old regime. Yes, there was an element of fortune that should not be casually ignored Chelsea had twice as many shots as Everton and Howard's moment of madness would surely have been punished had it not been for Barry's presence of mind but the points and the way in which the defence appeared to get stronger and more impervious the longer the game went on are more important in the final reckoning.

The need to be quicker and more ruthless in attack is still there... but that will hopefully come as progress continues incrementally under the new management. The key was getting the first win on the board; the next step is to build on that with the two upcoming trips to the Capital.

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Reader Comments (71)

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Andy McNabb
1 Posted 15/09/2013 at 00:16:55
Thanks for your in-depth report, Lyndon. Sounds a little fortuitous but 3 points against a title-chasing team is not to be frowned at.<->Just got up, so that is a good start to the day!!
Karl Masters
2 Posted 15/09/2013 at 00:19:38
A typical Moyes performance if truth be told. Classic Keep It Tight And Pinch 1, but that was the way to beat what looked a very slick Chelsea team whose passing was quicker, crisper and more accurate than ours.

We may not be so lucky again with their forwards very wasteful, but I'm not complaining!

The best thing was seeing that the team spirit lives on and combined with a noisy crowd they wanted it enough to keep their noses in front.

Dick Fearon
3 Posted 15/09/2013 at 01:03:01
Andy, #967, Gentlemen of Everton in their beds ought think themselves accursed that they slept and did not see our magnificent victory.

My dear wife thinks I am loony in the depths of winter to rise from a warm bed at 3am just to watch a game of football.

Ah, but what a game!

Dick Fearon
4 Posted 15/09/2013 at 01:13:29
Lyndons report was almost like being there.
Keith Edmunds
5 Posted 15/09/2013 at 01:20:28
Dick, for once I am grateful for the wifes snoring (sorry Dear) that woke me at 2.25am! Great game good job its Sunday.
Nick Entwistle
6 Posted 15/09/2013 at 01:21:48
Jose gambled with the Torres/ Cole substitution, and being 1-0 down you can't blame him. But it back fired, Lampard and a.n.other coming on before put the game in their hands but that substitution blew it.

Despite his assist, Jely's benched for the season.

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 15/09/2013 at 01:18:23
Great report, Lyndon (as always)... and great callouts for Osman and Naismith, who were absolutely heroic defensively in the second half. But the MOTM for me was clearly Barry, whose quality is undisputable. His passing, control and composure were outstanding, and his rescue of Howard's howler was the biggest single play of the season thus far.

I think our gamewinner is headed back to the bench, however... Naismith's indecisiveness on the ball cost several chances, and if the injury situation hasn't changed, I would expect McCarthy to get the next starting call, perhaps with Osman or Oviedo wide left. Mirallas simply looks far more comfortable on the right.

Jason Lam
8 Posted 15/09/2013 at 02:20:20
Barry was excellent MOTM for me too. He gave us the urgency we've been lacking. Both him and Osman were tidy however Gibson gives us greater long range direct passing. COYB
Rahman Talib
9 Posted 15/09/2013 at 04:38:59
osman was superb now that he can roam forward more
David Pearl
10 Posted 15/09/2013 at 04:46:18
Agreed Barry was fantastic... especially considering his first game of the season. I cringe from that old tired excuse of 'lacking match fitness' clearly it doesn't apply to all players who are professionals and paid a fortune.

I wouldn't like to be the man picking 3 from Gibson, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley & Osman. Though perhaps Barkley might be rested sooner rather than later. I think Mirallas is far more effective in the middle. Jelavic does still have a role to play... a goal would do him the world of good. However I can't wait for next week to see Lukaku. Options!

Andy McNabb
11 Posted 15/09/2013 at 05:14:56
Dick - I know, should be ashamed of myself. Particularly as I sat through most of the Manure game. The result makes for a good Sunday in Oz though!
Ajay Gopal
12 Posted 15/09/2013 at 06:21:16
Fine effort from Jelavic for the goal. Looks like with the distraction of the transfer window behind them, everybody was focused on the football. Everyone of our XI had a good game - great performances all around. Barry is a great signing in more ways than one - as Martinez pointed out, the young midfielders in the team - Barkley, McCarthy, etc will only benefit from his experience and skill. A huge skill upgrade - Barry for Neville (God bless him!).
Matt Traynor
13 Posted 15/09/2013 at 05:27:40
Good report Lyndon. I've just one question - was David Luiz not the last man? Having seen Man Utd earlier benefit from a decision where the foul was committed outside the area, the defender not being the last man (plus the attacker was Diver Young) - yet get a penalty and a red card, England's finest ref (copyright the media) elects to book Luiz?

Whilst no doubt the match reports will claim we were lucky, at least we got the win we were unable to get in the first 3 games. And despite the doubters on here, Gareth Barry looks to be an inspired rather than insipid signing.

Phil Roberts
14 Posted 15/09/2013 at 07:25:57
And having seen Miralles pick up the ball in his own half against Stoke last year, fight off the challenge, run 60 yards and stick it past the goalie - then last man is last man, never mind which half of the pitch he was in.
John Ford
15 Posted 15/09/2013 at 07:41:06
We were lucky and will struggle if we don't impose ourselves more on games against the money clubs. Chelsea are full of truly outstanding players who are way out of our budget, so wins against these teams will always tend to be hard fought rather than necessarily through better football.

Moyes resilience was in evidence but it was great to see us looking for a second in the last fifteen. As the game closed out we seemed secure and confident.

Lyndon Lloyd
16 Posted 15/09/2013 at 07:46:11
Matt, the Man United decision was infuriating and not surprising in the least, such is the effect Old Trafford appears to have on referees' testicles - maybe they have to hand them in at the gates?!

As far as the David Luiz incident, I didn't dwell on it because a) I never in a million years expected Webb to send him off and b) I'm not clear on the rules in his instance (I.e. does it count as denying a goalscoring chance if the player is professionally fouled in his own half - which, as Phil rightly points out, it very well might have done given Mirallas' demonstrated ability even with 2 defenders in his way against Stoke.)

Mike Green
17 Posted 15/09/2013 at 08:03:47
Lyndon - see Ernie's '4D's' answer on previous thread, very interesting. I can't find anywhere it stating that if the foul was in the other half it's not red.
Ian Bennett
18 Posted 15/09/2013 at 08:51:57
For all the money Chelsea have spent, you've got to ask how Mikel plays? The lad is garbage. I don't really understand why the special one didn't play Cahill at the back with Luiz in midfield. When I saw their side, I fancied we'd get a result.

Charles Brewer
19 Posted 15/09/2013 at 09:16:50
I thought the substitution of Torres for Cole was an interesting variation on the "like for like" substitution we so
often see. It was garbage for rubbish.
John Gee
20 Posted 15/09/2013 at 09:23:36
If Fellaini was on the pitch in place of Barry Eto'o would have scored because Fellaini would have been pushing up. In terms if effort, Naismith was a contender for MOTM but Barry eclipsed everyone. His positional play was simply superb. When Mirrallas was moved up front he looked happy and seemed to find a rhythm that's been lacking in the last few games.

Normally I'd agree with letting a player find his form but Jelavic has had long enough and it's not happening. I feel for the guy because it's clear that he wants to do well. The last good thing he did was the John Lewis advert. Nick is right, it's bench time for him now.

It was a good game to watch. Nice to see Martinez mixing the tactics and formation up too.

Nick Entwistle
21 Posted 15/09/2013 at 09:50:30
One decision that was puzzling was that Steffanovic (I think) threw an arm at the ball in our box and got a yellow card for it. How can an intentional handball ever be a yellow?
Steve Guy
22 Posted 15/09/2013 at 10:05:24
Not sure why Moyes name has crept into this thread a few times, he's Manures manager isn't he ?

We rode our luck at times but have deserved three points a few times against Chelski and either got nothing or a point instead, so we were due a bit.

Tim Howard what were you thinking. !!! I think Barry's subsequent tackle to clear the danger convinced the players they could win and Chelsea looked increasingly desparate and frustrated after that for all their possession.

I have given Martinez til Christmas to win me over but more of this kind of performance and that will happen much sooner.

Trevor Lynes
23 Posted 15/09/2013 at 10:06:34
I fully agree with everything mentioned in this excellent unbiased article. We were playing a terrific football team that cost the earth and will definitely be in the top four if not champions this season or next. Our defence was tremendous and struggled all evening against the trickery and close control of the Chelsea attack.

I reckon on this evening's evidence that we have the best striker on Chelsea's books in our ranks for the rest of this season. Lukaku will star for us and, if Jelavic is to be used, it must be with a partner up front. He is not a target man and is just purely and simple a goalscorer if some other players provide him with the right ammunition. He tries manfully and always gives 100% but he just does not have the strength of a Kone or Lukaku.

Osman and Barry formed a decent midfield partnership despite the criticism Ozzie gets each week and Naismith did a job both defensively and sneaking that priceless goal just before half time. Barry rightfully earned MotM and everyone needed to put a full shift in against a very good Chelsea team.

Barkley was out of position a lot in the first half and Chelsea were allowed too much time on the ball in midfield but the lad improved in the 2nd half and grew into the game. He has strength and ability on the ball and with experience his confidence will grow so that he will not feel out of place against top teams.

I'm looking forward to seeing Lukaku as I'm sure he will be a big problem for opposing defences this season.

Jim Lloyd
24 Posted 15/09/2013 at 10:24:59
Excellent report Lyndon,

The team played; well as a team and showed a lot of determination, fight and skill...all of em!

Gavin Ramejkis
25 Posted 15/09/2013 at 10:24:31
It was Ivanovic Nick, in an opposition box its only ever a yellow, a goal keeper simulation in your own box should get a straight red.

John Gee if Fellaini would have been on the pitch he would have been somewhere near the halfway line with his hands on his hips

MoTD did their usual selective recreation of the match making it look like we got battered and got a lucky goal, we did go under the cosh for chunks of the game but shite like Ivanovic's handball, Mata's pull back and Sideshow Bob's pullback show the rent boys simply had no answer to our game, at the end of the day the result stands Everton 1 Rent Boys 0

Peter Warren
26 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:02:56
Nick - handball is always intentional otherwise it's not a foul
Roger Trenwith
27 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:03:55
Great team performance, Barry MotM with Naismith a close second - whodathunkit? However, you'd have to have very blue-tinted specs not to admit that the win was rather lucky. If Chelsea weren't so wayward in front of goal we could have lost by at least a couple.
I'd imagine Chelsea sites this morning read very much like our own when we dominate a game but come away with nothing. Still it's 3 points is it not? COYB!
Nick Entwistle
28 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:23:15
Peter, I'm sure the ref can blow his whistle if an advantage has been gained for unintentional hand ball. Intent will bring out the cards of course, no intent, no card.
Antony Matthews
29 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:24:06
Last year we battered them at Goodison and lost. Revenge is sweet . At least we was still trying to grab a killer 2nd goal. So unlike Everton :)
Paul Thompson
30 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:20:59
Like everyone else I've been feeling euphoric, but that was not the case for most of the game. Chelsea should have been out of sight at half time. It was in some ways the opposite of the earlier games. We didn't keep the ball well, particularly in the first half, but looked dangerous and direct on the few occasions we broke through (particularly down the right). Chelsea, of course, are a very good side and it wasn't surprising that we struggled. Even at times of difficulty the defence was superb and Barry astonishing given that he'd played 37 minutes of first team football for man City. Naismith, whatever his limited passing ability, was heroic in the amount of effort and ground covered.

The turnaround was in the last 20 minutes. Our famous resilience became something more aggressive. Replacing the woeful Jelavic with Mirallas up top and McCarthy in the middle seemed to make the difference, Suddenly Barkley and Osman started to pass and attack more effectively. Hopefully with Lukaku up front we can build on the promise of that last 20 minutes.

Keith Glazzard
31 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:21:44
Barry was an obvious plus, particularly as we are unlikely to be able to rely on Gibson. And don't forget that the goal came from Ossie being where he should be, a good old fashioned inside right (Jimmy Husband anybody?), not bossing midfield.

I wondered if Barkley would ever make it. He's not there yet, but some wonderful touches and clearly not out of his depth. Well done Roberto for bringing him through.

Room has to be found for Deulofeu. He oozes class with every touch and is big enough to look after himself.

Chelsea were reduced to fouling us every time we had a break on. They missed their chances, but that was how they coped with us. We deserved the points.

James Martin
32 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:38:26
I don't see why people, and Mourinho, think Chelsea could have been out of sight in the first half. Apart from Eto'o's header and the cock-up by Howard, I can't remember many clear cut chances at all. It was nowhere near what Mucha was doing against City last season. They had a couple of half chances but so did we.

Yes, they're a good team but we don't have to make out that we somehow got lucky and fluked a win. We absolutely battered them last year yet they beat us and no one mentioned that they got lucky, just that we weren't good enough to punish them.

This time, they weren't good enough to punish us and we were too good for them. Any other summary is just Mourinho's sour grapes.

Paul Andrews
33 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:38:23
One thing stood out for me yesterday.
1-0 up with ten minutes to go and Martinez can be seen shouting to Coleman to stay as wide as you can.(when we have the ball obviously)
Doing that meant Chelsea have to keep a man out there to stop him getting forward thereby killing a counter attack threat.

The old regime would have been screaming for the full backs to play narrow if winning 1-0 with ten minutes to go.

Phil Walling
34 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:26:07
Superb report Lyndon. Although at the game, I had recorded the Sky coverage and so relished watching it all again late evening. Barry starred in 'both versions' but, on reflection, I thought Ossie stood out much more in the broadcast.Perhaps we don't value him enough on first sight!

What really got my goat, both listening to radio reports on way home and the Sky recording, was how all the commentators/reporters believed it was Chelsea's RIGHT to win and went on interminably about how they had been robbed of a stonewall penalty.

Perhaps Everton will send the Russian's mercenaries an apology for turning up!

Derek Thomas
35 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:46:12
Keith #113 Husband was a ronaldo-esque right winger who could come in the middle, like Miralles ( he was as good as ronaldo before Dave MacKay did him ).

Talking of Ronaldo, could Barry's tackle be as season defining as Nevilles was??

Paul Thompson
36 Posted 15/09/2013 at 11:58:27
James@115. Read Lyndon's report. He indicates five good chances for Chelsea in the first half and a couple more early in the second. We had one in the first half (the Jelavic header) other than the goal. This doesn't mean we 'fluked' the win, particularly in the light of the excellent second half of the second half. But there's no point in twisting the facts.
Kev Johnson
37 Posted 15/09/2013 at 12:02:58
James - actually, everyone knows we had the better of it against Chelsea last year but lost. A Chelsea friend of mine texted me immediately after the game to say "Sorry, we did NOT deserve that". Mourinho said in advance of the game that we clearly deserved to win last season. Don't be paranoid!

Owing to circumstances beyond my control, I only caught the last five minutes of the game yesterday, but I've read every available report and comment, here and elsewhere, and watched the MOTD highlights, and the consensus seems to be that they had most of the possession and most of the chances, but we nicked a goal and then defended superbly, with Barry MOTM.

If you want to talk luck, then it seems we were approximately as lucky to win as they were last year. If we "battered" them last year then they did the same to us this year. You can't say that we "deserved" to win because we scored one more goal than them, but then deny that they deserved to win for the same reason last year! It defies all reason.

Brian Waring
38 Posted 15/09/2013 at 12:12:50
While they had more attempts, for me it's shots on target that count, and that stat was 7 to 5 in their favour.
Brian Waring
39 Posted 15/09/2013 at 12:19:33
Just checked the stats again on the bbc report, they have possession at 43% to 57% in their favour, and the have shots on target at 5 each.
James Martin
40 Posted 15/09/2013 at 12:24:57
Kev I'm more railing against the prevailing view in the media that when a big team wins no matter how lucky they've been in that win (see Chelsea last year against us) is somehow a quality of theirs and a failure on the part of the smaller team for not punishing them. If the big team loses then somehow the other team was just lucky and it was a plucky performance that would have counted for nothing if they'd finsihed some chances. Just don't think we need to perpetuate the plucky lucky Everton tag anymore than the media already does. It may be an accurate portrayal of what happened but ultimately to build confidence and ana ura aorund the team you have to do what the RS do and turn any scrappy 1-0 win into some sort of footballing maserclass through manipulation of the press. Chelsea, whether that be through their own bad finishing or our good defending were not good enough to beat us, the same way we were not good enough to beat Norwich Cardiff and West Brom.
Kevin Tully
41 Posted 15/09/2013 at 12:27:52
After 3 clean sheets, I wonder if certain posters will admit they were wide of the mark when they said we will be shipping 3 or 4 every game?

My head hurts.

Kev Johnson
42 Posted 15/09/2013 at 12:31:08
Fair enough, James.

I thought Mourinho was realistic in his post match interview. After saying that essentially they deserved to win, he added something along the lines of "On the other hand, scoring is an important part of football and we had chances but didn't score, so maybe we deserved to lose?"

Similarly, defending is a major part of the game, and we did that well, from what I've gathered. When I used to play at Sunday League level I played wide midfield or up front, but once in a while I played sweeper. When I played at the back and we didn't concede I was absolutely chuffed. It didn't matter to me how much pressure of possession the other team had, so long as they didn't score. In fact, the more pressure they had without scoring, the more I felt I'd done a good job. I would certainly have rejected the idea that the attacking team were "unlucky" not to score.

Cenric Clement-Evans
43 Posted 15/09/2013 at 13:09:45
Fortunate to have been at both of the last 2 games - More intent against Chelsea than Cardiff but some of the passing especially from Osman and Naismith was woefully short in the first half. Both however were excellent defensively in the 2nd half. Barry was superb what a debut. Mirallas was much more effective once he came into the middle -please can he play there more often. Barkley needs to get in a shot more often. I was hoping to see more of Deulofeu as he was really impressive when he came on against Cardiff. Overall fantastic team effort and deserved win.

Great to see Lukaku being introduced but wasn't sure about the Spanish dancers!!
One last thing why was Tim Howard wearing marigolds?

Tom Bowers
44 Posted 15/09/2013 at 13:18:54
The clean sheets are always welcome even if you have been dodging bullets which every team does throughout the season. Remember Redshite against Stoke? The main thing is that you score a goal or two to take all 3 points more often than not and especially against the top ''top'' teams.

Yesterday's win against a ''top'' team without certain players available was a big plus and one that get's Everton around a tricky corner. Another tie or loss could have been a psychological downer.

More kudos to RM and the lads for the performance and hopefully another 3 points next week at West Ham, a ground that Everton usually do well at.

Max Fine
45 Posted 15/09/2013 at 13:14:54
Excellant report Lyndon, that's exactly how I saw the match.

And let's be clear to all those misinterpreting the match stats; this was NOT a typical Moyes performance. We played without fear and we were still attacking on 70 mins whilst 1-0 up,

Mike Green
46 Posted 15/09/2013 at 13:31:26
Absolutely right Max #156 - we continually attacked at every opportunity, kept men forward and played a quick passing game throughout. It was the complete opposite of KITAP1.
Brian Waring
47 Posted 15/09/2013 at 14:33:13
We've paid for a one year loan deal Bill, so Chelsea can't recall him back.
Gary Reeves
48 Posted 15/09/2013 at 14:32:15
Firstly, let me say I was pleased when Martinez got the job, and (like all Blues) I was chuffed with the 3 points last night. I say that to give some context to the following;

Watching Barkley recently, I've noticed how poor he is when he hasn't got the ball. I mean, he's a million miles away. He's poor in the tackle, uncommitted in his blocking and just naive in his closing down. At the moment he can only play as a supporting forward, because he couldn't play CM. I really hope RM has identified this, and is working on it, because when he's got the ball he really looks like a player.

Sorry for that boys, but was wondering if anyone else had noticed?

Norman McIlwain
49 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:05:37
Great team effort, but uncharacteristic poor passing from some quarters let us down. Naismith harried and intercepted brilliantly, his positional play was excellent, but his passing was woeful. Our team gave the ball away far too often.

The problem in this area could have been caused by the disruption resulting from the internationals to team mid-week practise. Now they have a week to get their passing game back into gear!

Great debut for Barry! We needed him against Ukraine.

Mark Tanton
50 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:18:29
Gary the attacking part of the game is undoubtedly his best, and his defensive side is underdeveloped perhaps, but did you ever see Gazza make a decent tackle (he finished his career with a typical tackle in the cup final remember).

As long as he has others who will do that work for him, he can worry about going forward and making goals.

Notice he's always good positions though, and he always wants the ball.

Mike Gaynes
51 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:14:10
Gary Reeves (177), I think everybody has noticed that Barkley isn't a mature footballer yet... particularly his teammates,who evidence a bit of frustration with him yesterday. At 19, with less than a dozen starts under his belt, he still has a lot to learn.

Barkley is still inconsistent with his decisions. For example, on the goal yesterday he laid the ball off to Ossie instead of trying to force a shot through the defender, and Ossie put in the critical cross. In two similar situations in the second half, Barkley turned into the defender and tried to ram his way through, and at one point we saw how Mirallas felt about it.

And you're right, he is not yet a contributor defensively.

Linda Morrison
52 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:20:13
Great report again from Lyndon. Don't forget that it's 2 weeks since the last game and new players have come in, we should all congratulate the team for beating the potential champions.

I thought that RM had dropped Pinnear as he's not been at his best lately, he needs to give Naismith his chance now. How's he going to fit in the 2 young strikers? What a great problem to have.

Don't panic folks if you see that The Times say MU are going back for Baines. Moyes gave a long interview in the Guardian and has confirmed the deals dead. When are they going to offer Baines the new contract?

Mike Gaynes
53 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:29:44
Norman (223), Naismith's passing issues are chronic -- he often rushes his pass and puts the recipient in trouble. He's in the lineup for his work rate and positional brilliance -- he wins every header, gets into dangerous scoring position better than anyone we have, and as you pointed out is outstanding defensively. But when the ball is on his foot, he absolutely cannot wait to get rid of it -- rather odd for an attacking player.
Jackie Barry
54 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:33:58
I watched the game and as much as I have liked Osman in the past fail to see how his performance warrants a "Superb" title. If any thing he was our worst performer in midfield, only improving in the second half, I would like him on the bench replaced by McCarthy in all honesty. As for a Moyes esque performance, give me a break, we passed the ball around far more than when he was in charge, in the first half anyway, and in the second half when we were under the cosh we still broke to cause them a lot of trouble, something we would never have seen prior to Martinez. Notice how even though we were under the cosh there was always somebody on the halfway line or how when McCarthy was brought on Mirallas was moved to the center? Moyes esque decisions? Give me a break. I have respect for Moyes but he was certainly no tactician.
Steve Pugh
55 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:34:51
With regards to the ref and what constitutes a goal scoring opportunity, watch the Sunderland Arsenal highlights. Apparently even if the ball finishes in the net it isn't a clear goal scoring opportunity.

As far as MOTD showing their penalty claim but none of the decisions that went their way - what do you expect?

Gary Reeves
56 Posted 15/09/2013 at 16:48:25
Mark Tanton/Mike Gaynes; yeah, I'm with you on the Gazza comparison, and also the fact that some players are never going to be any good defensively. It's just that I was amazed yesterday at just how bad he was, without the ball. There were times he didn't even bother getting himself between the Chelsea player and our goal Primary School stuff.

I also lost count of the times he just waved a leg as a "block" or (even worse) the totally ineffective, but eye-catching slide tackle. I know those tricks 'cos I used to pull 'em myself, ha. As I've said, I've got high hopes for the kid, but he could maybe watch a few Ian Rush videos... "At the very least, make yourself a barrier."

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 15/09/2013 at 18:18:33
Not disagreeing with you on any of that, Gary. Just pointing out that as a teenager just making his way into a side that prides itself on defensive effort, Barkley should not be written off just yet as a player who is "never going to be any good defensively."
Gary Reeves
59 Posted 15/09/2013 at 18:36:12
Now, now, Mike, I didnt aim that quote against Barkley. I agree hes only 19, and time to improve. Its just a bit of a puzzle that something I (and probably you yourself Mike) got kicked for in school, seemed alien to a lad whos come through our Academy (and the England set-up).
Mark Taylor
60 Posted 15/09/2013 at 18:07:19
Did I really see Osman being compared to Jimmy Husband? Jimmy was an absolute flier and would leave Ossie for dead.

Re Barkley, yes he makes mistakes and can be naive but he carries real attacking potency and should play as an attacking midfielder. He reminds me a bit of Rooney. I think he will be excellent with Lukaku. But we do have many other options in that position so I hope we don't burn him out.

Actually, I think we could do with a modern day Jimmy Husband. We are weak in the wide positions. Mirallas is better in the centre, Pienaar seems out of form while Naismith is not a wide midfielder or winger- doesn't have the pace. I'd like to see Delboy given a run.

Barry was awesome. A real upgrade on Neville, not least because he knows how to control and pass the ball (though he is just as slow).

It wasn't a penalty. Apart from anything else, it was outside the box. And I don't think Luiz could have been given a red. Forget the half way line issue, there was another Chelsea player(Ramires?) roughly level, or near enough for there to be some doubt.

David Graves
61 Posted 16/09/2013 at 13:49:51
Mike Gaynes @ 229 :"Barkley is still inconsistent with his decisions. For example, on the goal yesterday he laid the ball off to Ossie instead of trying to force a shot through the defender, and Ossie put in the critical cross."

Sorry but this has got to be the most ridiculous critique of Ross Barkley's performance yesterday.
He should have had a shot as opposed to working Osman in for the cross that led to the winning goal.


David Graves
62 Posted 16/09/2013 at 14:01:21
Perhaps all the pedants who keep banging about "how many times Barkley loses the ball" should consider the Optima stats from the game.

Ross attempted to beat a player 9 times and was successful on 7 of the nine occasions.

When was the last time we had a player who could be that damaging in the final third? Yet still some say he is not yet "contributing defensively?" Honestly I despair.

Damien Dempsey
63 Posted 16/09/2013 at 14:16:09
You are right, David, this is what makes Barkley such a dangerous weapon, he is so unpredictable. Scoring goals wins matches. We need to be build a team around him but then have the defensive cover to protect us if he makes the mistakes. I think this is the football philosophy of Martinez. Its a shame that many of our fans have been brainwashed into believing too much into the football philosophy of David Moyes.
Damien Dempsey
64 Posted 16/09/2013 at 14:24:33
There are those that do not seem to be able to let go of the past and embrace a new future. This new idea unfortunately means playing and sometimes making mistakes on the way.
David Graves
65 Posted 16/09/2013 at 15:00:25
Exactly Damien - in Osman and Barry there was sufficient defensive cover to allow Barkley to go and 'express himself'.

Remember the nutmeg on Mikel that won the freekick on the edge of the box? Class.

But does he contribute defensively?? Ho hum.

Jamie Barlow
66 Posted 16/09/2013 at 14:46:07
Maybe a triple leg break has something to do with Barkleys lack of tackling?
Gary Reeves
67 Posted 16/09/2013 at 18:31:08
David/Damien read the Posts again. I feel a bit responsible because I raised the point about Barkleys lack of defensive nous ("at the very least make yourself a barrier"). It was meant as a constructive observation the gist being, hes not ready for central midfield. Im happy for him to cause trouble up-front!

I think youd be surprised if you watched the game again, with an eye on Barkley WITHOUT the ball. Id get my arse kicked in the Walton & Kirkdale! And YES, I for one am embracing the future (without the Ginger Joker) and if we can squeeze another 5% who knows. Hence my posts.

Keith Glazzard
69 Posted 16/09/2013 at 19:31:27
Leon Osman & Jimmy Husband. Of course there is no comparison. The point I was making was about players being used to play to their strengths. Jimmy played when your role was clearly defined, and he was very good at it.

Ossie has spent most of his career being played out of position, and it is greatly to his credit that he has made a decent job of it. Only when he's up around the box do we see him at his best, and his best is very good.

It might be worth remembering this when we look at Ross B. I was doubtful, but seeing him scare the shit out of those very expensive Chelski defenders cheered me up no end. Roberto seems to have faith, so we can only wait and see.

David Graves
70 Posted 16/09/2013 at 20:55:47
Gary - point taken.
Raymond Fox
71 Posted 16/09/2013 at 21:00:14
Thanks Lyndon for a fair and accurate report, I think the boys played well against a very good Chelsea side that left their shooting boots behind which was fortunate for us!
That's the name of the game though, its no use making chances if you cant score.

We have deserved and earned a little good fortune because at Norwich we lost 2 points when they fluked an equaliser.
The ref robbed us of a cast iron penalty at Cardiff and another 2 points, we also dominated W. Brom but couldn't put the ball in the net, so we were due some.

Its onward and upwards now, if we can keep this squad healthy we will be fighting it out at the very top of the table.

Raymond Fox
72 Posted 17/09/2013 at 22:17:01
On the subject of Barkley, he possesses that magic something in attack that will allow him to become a star, but I agree with others who have said hes a lot to learn about defensive duties at the moment.

That's not to over critical, hes only a lad, so its not surprising hes not the finished article.
No doubt, RM will be going over with him, where he could improve.

Colin Williams
73 Posted 20/09/2013 at 22:16:27
Barkley is learning the game!!!! He's 19 FFS!!! Ossie, Barry, gerrard, Terry, Lampard ect,They are all looking to develop and improve their game.
Give the boy a chance to find his feet and develop! Stop trying to find faults in his game and just be proud that we have "again" the best English talent of his generation!!!!

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