Coleman relieved to win ‘high-stakes’ clash with Leeds

18/02/2023 18comments  |  Jump to last

Coleman's clenched-fist reaction at the final whistle underlined the importance of his first goal of the season which settled this afternoon's game against fellow strugglers Leeds

Seamus Coleman says he probably wouldn’t be able to replicate too often the brilliant finish that settled this afternoon’s vital game against fellow strugglers Leeds but he acknowledged how important it was.

The club captain fired home an improbable winner in the 64th minute at Goodison Park, catching out Illan Meslier with a fine finish from a tight angle which gave Everton the platform from which to win successive home games under new manager Sean Dyche and move out of the bottom three.

If there was any doubt over whether Coleman meant to go for goal, he dispelled it with typical modesty afterwards, telling his interviewer:

“I knew that there was no one in the box and I presumed that the keeper would anticipate that maybe a cross would come in and he would maybe go half a yard and I just tried to hit the target.

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“Listen, I could do that 20 more times, 30 more times and I wouldn’t hit it as sweet so, thankfully, for me and the team, it went in.”

While Dyche’s first match in charge against Arsenal a fortnight ago had been a cauldron of noise, this afternoon’s atmosphere was more apprehensive given how poorly the Blues had performed in the Anfield derby last Monday and the implications of a Leeds win today.

A victory for stand-in boss Michael Skubala’s men would have moved them four points clear of Everton at the bottom and, as it turned out, both of the other two teams that started the day in the relegation zone would win away from home, making Coleman’s winner all the more important.

“[The game] was very high stakes,” the Irishman admitted. “You try and play it down as best you can before the game and see it as just 90 minutes of trying to be better than the opposition but in the back of your mind you’re aware of how big the game would’ve been if Leeds had’ve won; they pull away a little bit.

“You could feel that in the stadium but the fans were right behind us in every tackle, every ball we had to chase into a corner — they were so loud so they played a massive part in this.”

Asked how difficult it is to keep your nerve when there is so much riding on the outcome of the game, Coleman said:

“It’s tough; there’s no getting away from it but you have to do the right things. You know, we’ve been stung a few times here at Goodison where it’s been 0-0 and we’re trying to push for the first goal and we get stung on the counter-attack.

“So we’re starting to learn a little bit from that and the manager’s done a lot of work with us on that as well. So to get the goal and hold out was important but there’s no getting away from it — there were plenty of nervy moments."


Reader Comments (18)

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Christy Ring
1 Posted 18/02/2023 at 23:08:02
Ian Edwards, still a fluke, O ye the impartial experts said he didn't mean it, try and believe your own.
Jim Bennings
2 Posted 19/02/2023 at 07:43:34
Got me thinking that, without the defenders scoring in recent weeks and keeping some clean sheets, we'd be well up shits creek without a paddle.

We dug it out, albeit against a bad Leeds side without a manager, it was pretty but then again it's not very likely to be again this season.

We could have done without Bournemouth and Southampton winning because it's now made it all very congested down there in the relegation pack and two defeats against Villa and Arsenal could have us back in that bottom three again, it's going to be like this for the remainder of the season.

Villa is another huge game, will be a totally different task than Leeds, Villa have a lot of goal threat and always do well against us so another performance where we need to dig in will be required.

Charles Brewer
3 Posted 19/02/2023 at 11:00:30
Seamus is of course correct that he'd only score that one time in 20 or 30, but then Tarkowski's post against the Redshite and his header yesterday, Tom Davies's shot that hit the defender, if Doucoure had not had the acceleration and manoeuvrability of a laden oil tanker, etc, we could have had several goals without difficulty and beaten Liverpool.

But sometimes it's the unexpected one that goes in. And to be realistic, this is his job – to kick a ball where he means it to go, and he clearly saw the gap between goalkeeper and post and went for it.

Personally, I dislike those "wonderful goals" where someone hammers the ball on the volley from 35 yards and the goalie misses it. While the shot is "intended", those are almost always extremely lucky.

I much prefer those like yesterday's where a good player knows exactly what he's trying to do, and uses skill, precision and a cool head to achieve it. Thus, I thought Richarlison's volley-trap-setup and overhead kick by far the best goal of the World Cup, and Coleman's goal yesterday as of similar quality.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 19/02/2023 at 11:14:41
I'm not bothered how we score them as long as we score them.

We won at Arsenal in 2021 for the first time since 1996 thanks to a bizarre Bernd Leno own goal. Brilliant, couldn't give a damn, let's score more like that I say.

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 19/02/2023 at 11:26:27
Not much mention of the march and protest. Very well attended and vocal.

Notable lack of banners hanging from the Upper Gwladys that we've seen in recent home matches.

Brian Hennessy
6 Posted 19/02/2023 at 11:35:09
Hi Danny #5.

I watched the game on Premier Sports which had Irish commentators and they spoke about the protests in Liverpool City centre and showed the empty seats of the board members. The message is getting out there loud and clear.

I mentioned on another thread. The more the protests continue while we are winning, the better. Billy the liar will have tried to say that the protests will stop when the team starts winning – thankfully, our great fans will show him otherwise.

Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 19/02/2023 at 11:46:28
That was a very good point, that you first made on one of last night's threads, Brian, mate.

The less they attend, the less I've got to say about them, and reading what Seamus said, about feeling the apprehension in the stands, I first noticed this when I was walking along Goodison Road yesterday. There seemed to be a bit less talking with a lot of people seemingly quiet and probably deep in thought about the magnitude of the game.

It was the same in the stadium, the roar that greeted the players was fine, it always is, but the fans know that we have got a lot of average underperforming players, who lack confidence, and we also have got very little in the final third.

This is why it was so important that Everton done the basics so well yesterday, especially because everyone knows that winning breeds confidence, just like having a manager who knows how to organize and create a togetherness does.

It took a special goal to win us the game but we played as a unit yesterday and this is massively important, imo.

Nigel Munford
8 Posted 19/02/2023 at 22:45:37
It certainly wasn't a mishit cross as there wasn't another blue shirt within 20 yards.

He really meant to do what he did, brilliant goal!!!

Darren Hind
9 Posted 21/02/2023 at 09:40:23
Darren Bent has lots of previous for making a complete Cheshire Cat of himself trying to get attention.

I don't care if he doesn't think the obvious strike at goal was intentional, but I wonder if this brave little soldier would have made those comments if Seamus was standing next to him.

Na, actually, I don't.

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 21/02/2023 at 10:23:50
I'm unsure why it's still being debated. And by Marcus Bent? I'm having an Accrington Stanley advert moment.

Anyone in the ground could see it. If they've watched the highlights, they can see Seamus look up and then go for it. He took a chance and it came off.

I'm probably going over the top now, but it's like saying Kevin Sheedy didn't mean that free kick against Luton in the semi-final, scuffed it and got lucky. He totally meant it and put it in the bottom corner to fool the giant wall and keeper who were expecting the obvious.

Marcus Bent? Great late goal at St Mary's, but in Seamus's position in that scenario, he'd probably have ran at the corner flag thinking it was the goal.

Sorry, it's riled me.

Great deliberate goal from Seamus. Great execution. Great man. Great Evertonian. Give the man credit for a great goal.

I've still got throat ache. I think I've damaged something.

Darren Hind
11 Posted 21/02/2023 at 10:51:46

It was Darren Bent.

Dear Marcus wasn't blessed with much, but he ran himself into the ground for the Everton cause.

I'm sure you wouldn't want to direct your understandable annoyance at him.

Eddie Dunn
12 Posted 21/02/2023 at 11:28:15
Darren Bent... on Talkshite nowadays, I can honestly say I have never heard him say anything interesting.
Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 21/02/2023 at 11:40:52
Apologies for the mistake and thank you for correcting me Darren.

I too avoid Talk Sport. Have done for years.

Marcus did work hard, but epitomised the levels we were stooping to.

My bad. I'll take my extra homework and lines.

Ralph Basnett
14 Posted 01/03/2023 at 18:07:13
What about the high stakes Villa game?

15 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:59:18

16 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:59:19

17 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:59:19

18 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:59:19

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