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While the performance was by no means good enough, I felt the lads looked fatigued. With so many games so quickly, it lessens the preparation time between games and offers limited time to work on correcting mistakes and trying new ideas.
It’s a game we’d never have won last season, one we may not have in the early parts of this season, and it’s great to see a big defensive improvement. When we were so tame defending corner kicks in our first few games, you really felt the rot had set in, but credit to Marco, he must have worked on this and has learnt from this and now, nobody is complaining about zonal marking anymore.
Everton, especially in the second half, ripped Brighton apart in what was as fine a 45 minutes I’ve seen from the Blues in some time.
With time receding and Everton on the front foot, Lookman picked up the ball at the edge of the penalty area and crossed, Calvert-Lewin, despite Wayne Hennessey getting a hand to it, heading the ball into the net and triggering jubilant scenes in the stands.
There was a sad inevitability about Theo’s spot kick being saved, and it wasn’t a great effort. The keeper guessed right and stopped it. As Cedric walked up to take the final penalty I noticed several people already leaving in the Park End. Truth be told, had my seat been nearer the aisle than it is I’d perhaps have done the same. Cedric scoring was as inevitable as Silva making so many changes to the team.
Overall, a nice win and an important one. As we have in our last two games, Fulham will rue them missed chances in the first half. The Premier League is unforgiving and if you miss your chances you are usually punished. Let’s hope this win can be a catalyst for us to be more clinical with our opportunities moving forward.
A poor performance, the worst in five games, but we all need to understand that this is going to take a lot of time
There was enough quality on the pitch to ensure our place in the third round was sealed, thanks to a Gylfi Sigurdsson tap-in and a brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
A good and deserved win with good football played at times. With our new players still to be integrated, you have to be excited about what we might be able to do this season.
What is the reasoning behind our dip inform these last two games? I blame the Merseyside derby. I think that cruellest of endings has flattened our players and they’ve gone from buoyant to befuddled.
If we were more clinical our passage may have been more comfortable but that for me has been our biggest problem all season