Everton 2 - 0 Chelsea

As Lyndon’s match report alludes to, we are unified in defiance. As a team and as a support base.

Nobody is moving us without a fight. And maybe he's not everyone’s first choice, but this manager has installed energy, defiance and fight in spades a-plenty, as the saying goes. It is on the pitch. It is on the terraces: Unity. We all witnessed it yesterday as we have done for several months.

I planned for an early train as I was meeting my brother in town. I was delayed by an hour. I met a very nice lady on the train. A much more experienced Evertontian than I. She was from Huddersfield and married an Evertonian over 50 years ago and has been following Everton ever since. Good conversation. I think she was sat in the Main Stand. I’m glad Barbara had a good day out. I did.

A few Chelsea supporters sat nearby. Interesting to hear them talking about Everton’s players. They didn’t sound confident and I have to admit, with the benefit of hindsight, they don’t look great in comparison to where they have been in recent years.

Fast forward and talking to a few other Chelsea supporters on the way back, we agreed it was a strange first half. It seemed very scrappy to me from both teams. They don’t seem to be a team in harmony.

We do.

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I ended up running late so, by the time we met at Lime Street, we just went straight to Goodison after bumping into Stephen. Time for a swift one and time for my food from the usual. I only finished half of it and gave the rest of it to a homeless lad on the street. But then straight in. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was optimistic as always.

Pickford makes two important saves in the first half. Okay, some will argue he punched one back into the danger area and it was only because the Chelsea player fluffed his lines that we weren't a goal down. But he saved it, and that shot was hit at pace from a close distance, so he didn’t have time to think about it. Instinctive.

And that one when he somehow leapt like a gazelle to keep a nailed-on top-corner screamer out of the net was top-drawer stuff. If there is a save of the season, that has to be a contender. 

What I thought was interesting was that, for a lot of that second half, we had six players on the pitch under the age of 25. Make that seven if you count Dobbin's late cameo. And Calvert-Lewin is still only 26. A very young developing team in the making.

I got served at half-time for a change and back up in time to see Doucoure put his bullet into the net. It’s happening again. Just tell him not to come back into our half. Stay up there!

Onana did well. Patterson is going to get better. And Branthwaite’s.reading and anticipation of the game is beyond his years. Calvert-Lewin was brave but was left crumpled and hurt on the ground so couldn’t celebrate the goal that he enabled. The sad thing was, none of the players or supporters cared at the time and celebrated without him! I put that down to adrenalin and sheer blue emotion. I hope Dominic is okay given his recent injury challenges.

I don’t want to curse it but keep this up and win the appeal (even if partially) and with a quarter-final coming up, this has the makings of a 1983-84 parallel universe. I’m probably getting carried away, but I don’t care. I did then. I will now.

Met up again with my brother and nephew after the match at the Holy Trinity Statue. A quick one at the Brick and then back to Lime Street to meet my sister. We had planned to go to the St George’s Hall Christmas Market before catching our trains and my sister giving my nephew (her son) a lift home.

Plans changed as apparently I’m the only one who doesn’t feel the cold, certainty not after an Everton win, so we headed to a bar. I suggested the Crown, but my brother marched us past to one a couple of doors down. It was actually quite a smart place. I took the first available train back to London. It had been a long day as always. But always worth it. They always are.

I read the BBC report this morning. Absolutely delighted for Dobbin, but to give him Man of the Match is stretching it a bit! 

Take your pick. It has to be Mykolenko for me. McNeil in with a shout closely followed by Branthwaite and Pickford. Watching the highlights on Match of the Day 2 this morning and Micha Richards drooling over Branthwaite sort of pleased me, but talk of him going to the top is also starting to concern me. Let’s hope that’s with Everton and not at the Etihad.

Another fantastic afternoon and evening. Fantastic scenes at the end. Spirit of the Blues and Forever Everton resonating around the stadium. As always, I watched all of the players off the pitch.

We won’t win them all but keep up this level of commitment, desire and passion, and we’ll pick up enough points. We are going nowhere. For the Premier League, we are like a wasp that keeps coming back and won’t go away.  

As is customary, I slept most of the way back, although a couple of Chelsea supporters got a bit funny with me. I just offered to move and they backed down and said it was okay. We moved seats and they sat opposite me. We chatted for a bit before I went back to sleep.

Home and tired, but worth every hour and every pound and penny.

Anything is possible. just never ever stop believing in the Blues.

Reader Comments (15)

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James Lawton
1 Posted 12/12/2023 at 15:50:26
"Unified in defiance". Can we fit that anywhere on the club badge, or flash it up on the Goodison screens?
Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:23:16
Every home game is an away game for you, Danny, but you have kept coming, kept the faith, and hopefully now you're going to keep enjoying yourself, mate!

I agreed with your assessment of Mykolenko being the MotM, but I always think it's only really important talking about who you thought was the best player when you can take your pick from quite a few very good performances.

This is something that I think has been happening more during our most recent games. Long may it continue!

Michael Spear
3 Posted 12/12/2023 at 23:34:39

My old friend Barbara says she really enjoyed your company on the train out of Euston on Sunday but has asked me to say it's more like 40 than 50 years that she's been a Blue. But as I've known her for most of those years, I can say that between us we have clocked up just over a century of being Evertonians. And we're still standing!

Well, sitting anyway, Barbara in the Main Stand, me in the posh (?) hospitality seats in the Park End.

I remember a post on a thread some time ago that it turned out my first-ever game at Goodison in 1961 was on the day that Dave Abrahams got married and so was the first game he'd missed in ages. The things we do for love, eh?

Take note, Tony, and I hope you get back to Goodison on a regular basis again. They need all the support we can give them right now.

Neil Tyrrell
4 Posted 13/12/2023 at 02:06:57
Glad to hear you finally got a half-time pint (or pour) at Goodison, persistence pays.

Enjoyed the write-up, imagine you're enjoying the winning streak at least as much as I am. Long may it continue! Safe travels.

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 13/12/2023 at 07:38:51
Lovely person, Michael, and apologies for putting 10 years on Barbara's Everonianism!!

Tongue in cheek but, Dave, could you have not re-arranged the marriage?

Thank you, Neil. Drink aside, when that goal went in, I think I shed 40 of my 52 years. As for the late second, sheer blue ecstasy.

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 13/12/2023 at 08:22:28
Dave loves Everton, Michael, but he's no fool and knows which way his bread is buttered. I think the most sensible decision he ever made in his life was marrying my mother, and I definitely think he possessed more luck than any lottery winner, the day she agreed to marry him!

I'm back, Michael, mate. It was hard staying away, but not as hard as I thought it was (probably because my stepson plays for Morecombe, so I was still getting in a bit of live football) and I've got to say I've really enjoyed the last few games, starting from the Brighton game, when I made my return.

I'm just waiting for the most disastrous era of Everton's very long history to end (nearly there – I hope🤞). I just hope that, at the end of this particular rainbow that has appeared after our biggest ever storm, then as well as the beautiful new stadium that has risen out of the water (only Evertonians and Jesus Christ know how to deal with water!) my children and their counterparts finally get to see Everton win a trophy… Please God, and get your Jesus to help us – if you must!!

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 13/12/2023 at 08:36:39
Tony, as I did in 1983, I have been praying.

Being brought up as a Catholic, I was made to go to Church and confession every week. I had little to confess. I once took 50 pence out of my Mother's purse. Aside from a slap on the face, I talked to the Priest and said my Hail Marys.

I digress. It's great being an Evertonian. Right now I haven't felt this good in years. Fair credit to the manager and team with what is going on around them.

Our matches are sold out until into the New Year home and away. Forget the tourists across the park and the self-proclaimed best supporters on the Tyne.

Unbelievable support.

Brendan McLaughlin
8 Posted 13/12/2023 at 08:43:52
Danny #7,

The priest slapped you in the face! Confession was certainly different back then.

James Hughes
9 Posted 13/12/2023 at 08:51:25
Tony, I have a feeling that won't shift that we will win the League Cup this season, that will make Danny and the rest of us happy.

I was confident that we would beat Chelsea and my brother-i-law wouldn't have his usual wager with me. We aren't the most free flowing but we are a team.

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:03:44
Wasn't the Priest, Brendan. That was my Mother!! A lovely woman, but wouldn't take any shit.

For those who know, she once marched my then young son and his cousin back to the shop on the Crescent in Speke to hand back the two bags of crisps they took without paying. And made them apologise to the owner. He told them off, but was smiling!!

Stephen Vincent
11 Posted 14/12/2023 at 14:34:53

Missed you in the Crown after the game which was a shame as I had brought along the guy I was sitting next to at the match. He was a Bayern Munich fan who was in the UK for the match at Old Trafford.

He was disappointed with the first-half atmosphere which from the Bullens was flat in the first half, but improved no end in the second and we were singing Grand Old Team together at the end. He asked why The Gwladys Street were singing 'Premier League have won the cup' which had those around us killing ourselves laughing.

I told him I was meeting up with a Schalke fan afterwards and he was keen to tag along. After a couple in the Crown, we did the Christmas Market which he thought was hilarious and the Bratwurst disgusting.

He was staying in the Atlantic Towers so we headed up to the Denbigh Castle and had quite a few more before saying our goodbyes. I have an open invite to Munich when we get back into Europe.

He was really interested in Everton's issues with the Premier League which he said had been covered quite extensively in Germany, especially the fan protests.

Gerry Quinn
12 Posted 14/12/2023 at 15:05:07
Love it - the Premier League lion replaced with a rat at 1878 protest outside League HQ.

Premier League lion replaced by rat as Everton fans take points protest to London HQ
Dale Self
13 Posted 14/12/2023 at 15:32:59
It's about time we started having fun with it. As long as it doesn't get ugly, the Premier League is fair game. Just don't get too specific and let all of the personnel wear it.
David Vaughan
14 Posted 14/12/2023 at 16:21:37
Hats off to these peaceful agitators... and more power (literally) to their protests. Up the 1878s!

Everton at BBC Sport

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 15/12/2023 at 08:31:18
Sorry about that Stephen.

I was intent on the Crown and despite being the elder member of the family, I was given my orders.

Would have been great to practice my rusty German and talk about Schalke, who are in a more dire situation than Everton!!

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