24/01/2024 52comments  |  Jump to last
Everton U21s 2 - 1 Benfica U21s

Everton Under-21s are back in action on Wednesday evening after their long mid-winter break as they take Benfica Under-21s at Walton Hall Park (kick-off at 7pm GMT).

Paul Tait's charges are hoping to carry on their unbeaten run in the Premier League International Cup, which has been interrupted by the mid-winter break for more than a month since they last played, holding Feyenoord to a goalless draw in Southport.

Reece Welch (pictured), who was recalled from a season-long loan at Forest Green Rovers earlier this month, starts the game along with Youssef Chermiti, Lewis Dobbin from the first team squad along with Ashley Young, as an allowed over-age player making his first appearance after a long period of recovery from a knee injury.. 

Everton U21s currently sit 3rd in Group C behind Crystal Palace with Fulham already having won the group outright after a fine showing of four wins over the same continental opponents. Everton could finish second with a win tonight.

Article continues below video content

The four English Category A development sides in each group only play their European opponents once each at home, with the top two teams from each of the three groups and the two best third-placed teams advancing to the quarter-finals.

The visitors dominated the early game and went ahead but Sean McAllister got the home side on the scoresheet when his powerful low shot appeared to be cleared off the line but was signalled by the linesman to have crossed the line. 

Just a few minutes later, Yousseff Chermiti pounced on to a loose ball in defence and drove it through the goalkeeper's legs. Everton continued to press and Dobbin was fouled for a penalty but the youngster drove the spot-kick over the bar.

Everton kept the pressure up for much of the first half after that but could not get the third goal. 

The second half was a difficult watch with the Everton goal under almost constant siege but it proved to be a fine defensive display with the visitors unable to score and Everton progressing through to the quarterfinals after finishing 2nd in Group C. 

The game can be watched in full on both Everton's official YouTube channel and Everton's official KICK channel.

Everton U21s: Crellin, Young (76' Whitaker), Hunt, Welch [Y:88'], Campbell, Metcalfe, John, Djankpata [Y:64'] (76' Kouyate), Chermiti, Dobbin, McAllister. 

Subs not Used: Barnsley, Moonan, Bates. 


Reader Comments (52)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:12:47
Ashley Young getting a run out, along with Dobbin and Chermiti.
Mark Ryan
2 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:13:35
Live on You Tube now
Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:16:11
Thanks for the tip, Mark! Watching now.
Paul Ferry
4 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:19:06
Looks like a reasonably pleasant night back home.
Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:20:26
Nice touch for the traditionalists of this parish, with Everton U21s wearing Nos 1 to 11, while the Benfica players appear to be wearing their assigned shirt numbers.

So I have to ask: Why don't Everton?

And maybe the answer is that they do for the EFL Trophy games, perhaps because they are against real League One and Two club sides, where the Everton appearances are 'official' despite them still in effect being the U21s.

All Benfica so far...

Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:21:15
Per the commentary, "There's nothing nice about this country tonight... it's windy, it's cold up here on the gantry..."
Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:22:43
Michael Kenrick
8 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:23:24
And that was far too easy for Benfica. Crellin very poor.

Paul Ferry
9 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:23:25
Ah crap, that #4 lost the ball and his man
Paul Ferry
10 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:24:39
Crellin, thank you. Nice words from Allan in his thread.
Mark Ryan
11 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:25:06
Ashley Young U21 ha ha ! 😂
Iain Crawford
12 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:25:37
Benfica look a strong side, good technically, they made that goal look easy. This will be good test for our lads.
Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:28:54
PF, #4 is Reece Welch, the huge young centerback. Very loose on the goal. Crellin is the keeper, not much he could do on that one.
Paul Ferry
14 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:33:11
Metcalfe looking decent, McAllister too.
Paul Ferry
15 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:34:01
Cheers Mike, Why blame the goalie there. It was clearly poor defending.
Mark Ryan
16 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:35:36
So refreshing not having to listen to the usual Sky Commentary bollocks.
Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:37:29

Well done to the linesman, excellent positioning.

Paul Ferry
18 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:37:33
Paul Ferry
19 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:38:28
Lovely stuff from was it Dobbin?
Mark Ryan
20 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:39:17
No VAR lol !!! get in
Michael Kenrick
21 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:40:21
Sean McAllister fairly belted that in, and great call by the linesman.
Paul Ferry
22 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:40:56
It was MK - get in!
Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:41:06
2-1, Chermiti great speed to pounce on the mistake.
Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:41:32
Hilarious go-ahead goal for Chemiti! Nuttmegs the goalie on a poor backpass.


Paul Ferry
25 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:42:07
What's fucking wrong with linesman? - I can't stand 'assistant referee', when did that change happen?
Paul Ferry
26 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:42:36
"Goals change games". Fuck me, he's right, I've had a revelation.
Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:43:31
Penalty, well won by Dobbin. He looks great.
Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:44:23
OK, so one thing Dobbin obviously can't do is take penalties. That was ugleeeee.
Paul Ferry
29 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:44:24
Dobbin has really changed things last 10 minutes - great cutting in there - Dear God, what was that
Michael Kenrick
30 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:44:49
Woa... what a miss! Actually just over the bar.
Michael Kenrick
31 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:46:20
Funny... scoreline says 3-1! Fake News!!!
Michael Kenrick
32 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:47:59
Really lively game for the U21s. How on earth did we get to 45 mins???
Mike Gaynes
33 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:50:22
The first 25 minutes seemed like 45. The last 20 have been terrific.
Paul Ferry
34 Posted 24/01/2024 at 19:51:18
Nice bit of Oasis when they were good
Robert Tressell
36 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:00:24
Clever bit of anticipation from Chermiti for the goal. He looks a talented footballer.

The right winger for them is a confident technical player. Hopefully Thelwell is preparing the contract offer...

Paul Ferry
37 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:03:19
Always makes me go weak at the knees when I see the latest video from Bramley-Moore Dock.

I'm sure this sounds odd, but I just can't square that thing of beauty with where we are right now on and off the pitch.

Paul Ferry
38 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:03:41
Boss, they've found Ashley's phone and driving license.
Robert Tressell
39 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:05:42
Benfica's scorer is the younger brother of Joao Felix of Barcelona. Their sub is called Maestro. Brilliant name!

Paul Ferry
40 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:12:52
Maestro till makes me think of magicians.
Mike Gaynes
43 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:27:56
Michael and Robert, have you seen a fair amount of this kid Djankpata? Opinions?
Michael Kenrick
44 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:35:43
Halid Djankpata has been around for a while but, for a forward, he just doesn't score very many goals.

Mind you, that seems to be the case for most Everton forwards these days!

Paul Ferry
45 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:40:58
good save
Michael Kenrick
46 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:53:25
Charlie Whitaker, who came on as a sub there, was getting a lot of plaudits in earlier seasons but this is the first time I think he has played since last May. Don't know what the injury was but must have been serious, so glad to see him back playing again.
Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:56:16
That's a nice win and a nice advance in the tournament. Great to be able to watch the game.
Paul Ferry
48 Posted 24/01/2024 at 20:56:38
Good game, good win, we move on.
Robert Tressell
49 Posted 24/01/2024 at 21:13:37
Mike, Djankpata is skilful but doesn't seem to impose himself on games or (as Michael says) have much end product.

A few comments in case anyone is interested based on my viewing (from about 35 mins).

Crellin: didn't have a lot to do but handled set pieces and back passes well.

Young: didn't get involved much.

Hunt: one of our best players on the night. Played as a kind of Zinchenko style inverted full back, moving infield with the ball rather than hugging the touchline. Good range of passing, technique and seems to be improving defensively. He's come on a lot in the past 12 months.

Welch: a bit disappointing in possession but did his job defensively. Was expecting a bit more from someone with experience out on loan, albeit not at a very high standard.

Campbell: a bit better in possession and also stout defensively. I always think he does well although never seems to get the plaudits.

Metcalfe: not as crisp when in possession as usual but under a lot of pressure when on the ball. He did very well without the ball / screening the defence.

John: didn't really make much impression on the game.

Djankpata: skilful in patches and pressed well. Didn't really get into the game though.

Chermiti: probably our best player. Presses well from the front, anticipated loose back-passes twice, does well winning headers in both boxes, holds up the ball and wins possession when surrounded by defenders. Nice deft one touch passes too.

Dobbin: flip-flopped between excellent and poor even within the same moments. Sometimes does hard things well; followed by easy things poorly. Frustrating but he caused them all sorts of problems for a spell in the first half particularly.

McAllister: you could make a good case for him to be our best player over Chermiti. He has developed into a decent midfield general and was on the ball a lot, and got through a lot of hard work in midfield too. Chermiti pipped it for me because McAllister just didn't use the ball well enough.

Kouyate: similarly frustrating to Dobbin, failing to do the simple things that would have been more effective. However, he also caused them problems for the time he was on the pitch.

Whitaker: like Michael says, nice to see him back.

Overall, I think the whole side needs to use the ball better because I think they have the ability but just don't look confident progressing the ball up the pitch.

Derek Knox
50 Posted 24/01/2024 at 22:40:43
Robert and All,

Very much a mirror image of the senior team, fairly solid in defence but midfield passing (?) and giving the ball away, only to win it back again happened too often.

My observation, by the way, but as Paul Ferry said, we are through, move on!

Mark Ryan
51 Posted 25/01/2024 at 12:39:48
It looks to me as though Chermiti is unhappy. Body language was very telling. He looks like a homesick boy to me. He's certainly not up to the grade we need for the first team.

Thelwell was watching. I wonder what he makes of it. I'd love to know. Perhaps it's early doors for the lad but he wasn't there to impress.

Paul Hewitt
52 Posted 25/01/2024 at 12:45:52
Mark. I watched the game.

The lad's light-years away from the first team. He needs a loan next season just to get games.

Mark Ryan
53 Posted 25/01/2024 at 13:53:46
100% agree Paul
Jim Bennings
54 Posted 26/01/2024 at 06:34:34
Quite a few comments from Sporting Lisbon fans regarding our bid last summer suggests they were surprised that a Premier League outfit seen enough in him to warrant £13 million.

We do seem to consistently fail in these dips into the unknown market abroad, trouble is for a club now with limited finance's, it's happening all too often.

Beto another, at £25 million, will he ever give us a return on that outlay?

Robert Tressell
55 Posted 26/01/2024 at 07:30:55
We paid £1.8m for Chermiti, Jim. The total fee if all the contingencies play out is £10.8m (but that will require appearances, goals and maybe silverware).

On Beto, it was also all about the very low up front payment. He's the sort of quality you get for an established striker who costs only £25m (which is a small fee when you consider what hit and miss young talents like Hojlund and Isak cost).

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