Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In Sign Up
Text:  A  A  A
Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Saturday 29 September 2023; 3:00pm
1 2
Calvert-Lewin 42'
HT: 1 - 2 
Lockyer 24'
Morris 31'
Attendance: 39,289
Fixture 7
Referee: Anthony Taylor

Match Reports
2023-24 Reports Index
« Previous Aston Villa (A)
» Next Bournemouth (H)

  Young (Patterson 78')
  Gueye (Harrison 46')
  McNeil (Danjuma 84')
  Doucoure (Beto 60')
  Subs not used
  Alli (injured)
  Coleman (injured)
  Gomes (injured)
  Maupay (loan)

  Burke (Andersen 46')
  Lockyer (Mengi 56')
  Kabore booked
  Doughty (Woodrow 83')
  Morris (Adebayo 78')
  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Aston Villa 6-1 Brighton
Bournemouth 0-4 Arsenal
Everton 1-2 Luton
Man United 0-1 C Palace
Newcastle 2-0 Burnley
Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool
West Ham 2-0 Sheff United
Wolves 2-1 Man City
Nott'm Forest 1-1 Brentford
Fulham 0-2 Chelsea

1 Manchester City 18
2 Tottenham Hotspur 17
3 Arsenal 17
4 Liverpool 16
5 Aston Villa 15
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 15
7 West Ham United 13
8 Newcastle United 12
9 Crystal Palace 11
10 Manchester United 9
11 Chelsea 8
12 Nottingham Forest 8
13 Fulham 8
14 Brentford 7
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 7
16 Everton 4
17 Luton Town 4
18 Bournemouth 3
19 Burnley 1
20 Sheffield United 1

Match Report

Prior to last weekend’s win at Brentford, Sean Dyche had challenged his players to “change the story” that has dogged Everton for the past couple of years. They may have temporarily tried to alter a paragraph or two by beating the Bees and emerging victorious from their revenge mission at Villa Park in midweek, but the wider narrative persists, particularly at Goodison Park where the Blues have lost all four of their home games so far this season.

They’ve lost seven of their last eight at home which, in the cold light of defeat, defies belief for a club of Everton’s stature and the calibre of players in its current squad. It's also a damning indictment of the manager. For all the Dyche’s talk of changing the story — he trafficked in the same phrase after the match today — it’s a tale so depressingly familiar to Everton fans that it’s been practically chiseled into the brickwork at Goodison Park in recent years.

Luton were coming off the back of a Carabao Cup defeat to lowly Exeter (albeit with an under-strength side) and were still searching for their first-ever Premier League win. Despite all the optimism engendered by back-to-back away wins in the space of four days, every Evertonian must have had a gnawing feeling about what was coming. They’ve seen it over and over again.

Searching for a first win in the big league? Come to Goodison. On a long, barren, winless run of results? Come to Goodison. A striker who’s not scored a goal in a couple of years? Come to Goodison. Far from the Grand Old Lady being a desired and required fortress, she has become a charity for the beleaguered in recent seasons — including, at times, her own team thanks to the support of its fans when the chips have been down and, perhaps, a long-lived ghost-like defiance of its heroes from the past that has hung around the place determined not to allow this grand old club sink into the obscurity of the EFL.

Maddeningly, for the first 20 minutes or so and at times later in the first half, Everton were actually pretty decent, with some neat interchanges, effective approach play and probing passes. Once again, though — and here’s that well-worn narrative again — they couldn’t convert that early dominance into goals and that was ultimately their undoing when they proved incapable of completing the comeback that Dominic Calvert-Lewin began when he plundered a goal late in the first half to make it 2-1.

Having failed to score in their opening three home games and not managed to score more than one at home at all under Dyche's stewardship so far, hauling themselves back from a two-goal deficit was always going to be a tall order, even against the side that was widely expected to end up with the worst record in the Premier League season. But Everton’s ineptitude was staggering at times as was the increasing lack of guile in their approach in the second half as Dyche threw on more and more attacking players, a strategy that proved singularly ineffective.

Just as he did after the games against Fulham and Wolves, the manager will point, with some justification, to the chances his charges created and subsequently missed. He fell back on the xG crutch in his post-match comments and while it is one of the most annoying statistics in football given that the only one that matters is the final score, it does illustrate a certain attacking momentum, however sporadic, and proves that decent openings were created but not finished off. More importantly, though, attacking metrics mean nothing in terms of results and points if you can’t defend set-pieces in your own box.

Had Dwight McNeil’s stunning fourth-minute volley flashed a couple of feet further to the left, Calvert-Lewin’s rising header in the fifth been aimed either side of the goalkeeper, or James Garner’s left-foot shot five minutes after that curled inside the far post by the same margin, this could have been a very different game. Likewise, had the inviting 11th-minute opportunity that fell to Idrissa Gueye fallen to practically anyone else in the team, Everton might have taken an early lead.

As it was, the Senegalese miserably failed to hit the target and his midfield partner Amadou Onana will feel he could have done better with his own chance at the end of a lovely passage of play in which McNeil found Vitalii Mykolenko who back-heeled the ball smartly to the Belgian on the edge of the box but he swept the ball narrowly wide.

While plenty of ire has been aimed at Everton and their manager, credit should also go to Luton Town. Teams feel they can come to Goodison now, soak up the early pressure, grab a goal or two, see the home fans turn and then dig in and that is precisely what Rob Edwards’s men did.

Their determination to come and make a game of it had been evident in the early going with some powerful runs forward and Marvelous Nakamba tried an ambitious half-volley that failed to trouble Jordan Pickford. It was from set-pieces, however, where it was quickly evident they might find some joy, with Dyche’s defence struggling to deal with the dead-ball situations.

Tom Lockyer powered an uncontested header over in the 23rd minute and then bounced another off the top of Mykolenko’s head and over a minute later. Third time was a charm for the Hatters from the resulting corner, though, when Carlton Morris was left free to meet Alfie Doughty’s ball in and crash it off the underside of the crossbar.

Ashley Young took one touch and attempted to belt it off the goal line but Lockyer had thrown himself at it and the veteran’s clearance crashed off the Luton defender’s leg and in to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Worse was to follow seven minutes later when Everton played themselves into needless trouble deep in their own half and James Tarkowski was penalised for chopping Morris down in a dangerous area. Doughty stepped up to take the resulting free-kick and picked Morris out behind the painfully unaware Mykolenko to steer an impressive first-time shot across Pickford and into the far corner.

Despite being somewhat shell-shocked, Everton responded and were at least able to get one back from the break but Dyche will be disappointed the game wasn’t level going into half-time.

Perhaps chastened by his earlier miss, Gueye passed up a decent chance to test Thomas Kaminski and instead screwed an aimless square ball to no one across the box. McNeil then whipped in an excellent cross that was met by Garner but the midfielder’s header thumped off the bar and back into play.

The hosts did score, albeit only after a lengthy review by Video Assistant Referee Paul Tierney as he forensically analysed two separate calls for potential offside. Garner’s measured chip into the six-yard box found Onana tussling with his marker to meet it, the ball broke to Abdoulaye Doucouré’s touch around the keeper’s out-stretched was too heavy but Calvert-Lewin did well to readjust his back leg enough to drag it over the line.

Needing his side to get back to parity quickly, Dyche made an uncharacteristically early substitution at the start of the second half that saw Gueye withdrawn and Jack Harrison thrown on for his Premier League debut. The loanee from Leeds was one of the brighter spots in a frustrating second period but even he wasn’t able to create a decisive opening for the Toffees.

Calvert-Lewin would see a decent effort deflected into Kaminski’s grateful grasp in the 51st minute, Tarkowski had to make a last-ditch block a minute later at the other end to prevent Chiedozie Ogbene from making it 3-1, Morris had a goal chalked off just past the hour mark for an offside decision against Jacob Brown and Garner got away with what looked handball in his own area shortly after that.

In between, Tarkowski’s sumptuous flighted ball had found Calvert-Lewin in the Hatters’ box but the striker’s volley flew across goal and the wrong side of the post and Harrison’s delivery for Beto, who had come on for Doucouré, left too tight an angle for the Portuguese at the back post and he could only find the side-netting.

Clear-cut openings were few and far between for the Blues as Luton frustrated them with the low block but Beto really should have equalised with 15 minutes to go when Harrison got above his man to meet a deep cross from the left and nodded it across for the striker but he headed it disappointingly over from a glorious position in front of goal.

Beto then stretched to try and convert Garner’s neat pass but couldn’t get his foot around it before Dyche made two further changes, taking Young off in favour of Nathan Patterson and then McNeil off for Arnaut Danjuma and it was the Dutchman who was found by another raking Tarkowski ball over the defence but his cushioned volleyed pass couldn’t find a Blue jersey in the centre.

Beto missed again with a header but was, in any case, clearly offside and the final chance to grab a point fell to Calvert-Lewin when Tarkowski clipped a ball down the right channel and the striker snatched at it, firing into the side-netting from the angle.

The final whistle blew to a chorus of boos that would have given plenty of food for thought for the three representatives from 777 Partners who had taken up the empty seats in the Directors Box to get their first look in person at what they hope will soon be their challenge.

They will have got a keen sense of the deep frustration of Everton fans who no doubt felt embarrassed for the optimism with which many of them had approached this game and the clash with another relegation rival in the form of Bournemouth at Goodison next weekend.

All of that goodwill towards the manager and players from the previous two away games will have evaporated on the back of what was another unforgivable home defeat, yet more criminal defending and an ongoing lack of cutting edge up front at home. Everton may have started well, as they so often do, but football is played over 90-plus minutes and, as a manager, you need to be able to adapt effectively when things don't go according to plan.

Dyche will need to very quickly show he can find the answers in both areas of the pitch and the boldness to ditch the safe midfield duo of Gueye and Onana at times, like against supposedly inferior opposition. Certainly, simply throwing balls up to two big strikers had little or no effect and Everton looked better in the early stages when they at least tried to play football, as they did at Brentford and Villa.

The consensus appears to be that there is little appetite to get rid of Dyche and neither anyone with sufficient authority nor the money to do it. The knives are out for him now, though and he simply has to get a result against the Cherries next weekend because things only get more challenging with trips to Anfield, the London Stadium and home games against Brighton and Manchester United in the weeks to come.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton were thoroughly embarrassed by newly-promoted Luton Town at Goodison Park, giving up two pretty soft goals from set pieces that they could not counter.

Sean Dyche has gone for an attacking line-up with Calvert-Lewin and McNeil upfront, and Graner starting perhaps in a central role in front of his trusted midfield trio. Jack Harrison is on the bench but will hopefully make his Goodison and Premier League debut.

The visitors got things started on a wet Goodison Park, and they did enough to stop any Everton flow, the early play being a bit scrappy. But the ball fell for a tremendous volley from McNeil that whizzed just wide of the post. 

McNeil put a decent cross in to Calvert-Lewin who placed his header nicely for Kaminski to collect.  A dangerous cross from Luton needed booting behind by Tarkowski, earning an early corner that Pickford claimed. Both teams were playing pretty open football and getting the ball forward.

From a Luton attack, McNeil forced the turnover, Docucoure countered well and played in Garner superly but he wanted to place it… and failed, firing across goal and past the far post.  

Everton worked the ball well, Doucoure playing a simple ball back to who? Gana. What a dreadful, dreadful shot. What an abysmal waste of a chance. 

A great ball forward from Onana to Garrner was crossed early — way too early for Calvert-Lewin who was still to get himself into the Luton area. Onana worked some space and tried a nice curler that also flew past the post. Five very decent chances in the first 15 minutes: none taken. 

In the other direction, Ogbene almost played in Brown, then Morris glanced a header out for a throw-in, and he was offside. But a warning of sorts for the profligate Blues. 

Everton tried to build an attack but ended up gifting a turnover that Branthwiat had to recover, brilliantly. Luton still won another corner, Lockyer with a free header flying just over. Warning Number 2.

Everton tried to build again but Onana played the ball forward into space where Calvert-Lewin was not.  Luton went forward and won another corner, and another free header that was deflected behind, Another free header, off the bar and bouncing down, Young tried to clear but Lockyer blocked it into the Everton net.  Warning not heeded. 

Everton tried somewhat laboriously to respond, McNeil eventually putting in a lovely cross but Calvert-Lewin seemed to misjudge it, as it flew wide off the top of his head. 

Onana was called for a foul and the free-kick was played deep where Morris, completely unmarked simply half-volleyed it superbly first-time past Pickford. Unbelievable.  

Everton looked really poor once they restarted passes going astray, unable to play basic stuff. They finally got the ball forward, Young crossing again but Calvert-Lewin unable to do anything with it,  Then in the follow-up at least Gana did not shoot but his cross was to no-one.

But they kept pushing, McNeil's excellent cross met by Garner leaping very high but he could not keep his header below the crossbar. Everton kept working the ball around but the chances were not really coming, Onana firing ridiculously wide. 

Everton did get the ball into the net, Doucoure getting onto Garbner's cross, Onana coming in and Calvert-Lewin in support, finally scoping it into the net but was he offside? 10 minutes later, the VAR finally decred it was indeed an Everton goal. 

With 6 added minutes, Everton won a free-kick that McNeil swung in and it came out to Garner whose shot was into too many bodies. On the next attack, there was an appeal for handball that was not entertained by the VAR. 

The Blues play was terribly scrappy, as they were in a state of panic to get forward. Mykolenko crossed too deep for Kaminski to collect and the half-time whistle finally went on a bizarre Everton first-half performance. 

Harrison came on for Gana after the break but Luton were still full of it, Doughty skipping down the left wing.  Pickford tried to go direct to Calvert-Lewin but he hadn't got the message. It was combative stuff without much structure, though. Calvert-Lewin's shot from well outside the area was blocked, and Luton could again run at Everton, winning another corner that was cleared.  

Harrison and Young were trying to combine down the Everton right but could not really penetrate the Luton area. It wasn't really working so Beto came on in place of Doucouré just in time for a corner won by McNeil but Luton were defending resolutely. Harrisson was crossing directly to Luton defenders.

Calvert-Lewin tried a difficult volley that he could only send bobbling across the face of goal. Luton went straight up the other end and embarrassed Everton again but Morris had stepped a foot offside and the goal did not stand. 

Morris and Branthwaite went up for the same ball and both came down heavily as Everton still struggled to impose themselves on the game, and still bringing all players back to defend corners.  

Harrison tried a heavy cross to Beto running in at the far post but it was never on. Garner was next to cross in but McNeil was the wrong side of Kabore; however, they won a corner but it was cleared. Branthwaite wiped out Andersen.  

Mengi seemed to push Calvert-Lewin over as they sought the ball, but not enough for a penalty. The ball was then planted on Beto's head 6 yards out and he could not miss… but he did, with a really poor effort. He tried a very difficult strike on a ball crossing his line of travel. Needless to say, it didn't come off. 

Patterson on for Young but nothing was really changing the relentless pattern of play, with Everton continually frustrated at the sharp end as nothing seemed to be working. Beto and Calvert-Lewin were not in any way forming a potent attacking strikeforce. 

A deep cross from Patterson won a corner but still no decent chance on the Luton goal. Danjuma came on and tried a volleyed early cross but it was too far ahead of Calvert-Lewin.  Garner put in what looked to be a great cross for Beto but his body language was all wrong. 

The Blues were given an added 7 minutes to snatch a draw. Calvert-Lewin tried another difficult shot on a long hoof ball, bouncing away from goal. He hit the side netting. Pickford's heavy forward balls were sailing over the byeline. 

In the end, it was sheer embarrassment as Everton could not raise a glove to the very happy Hatters.

Everton: Pickford, Young (78' Patterson), Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Onana, Gana (46' Harrison), Doucoure (60' Beto), Garner, Calvert-Lewin, McNeil (83' Danjuma).

Subs not Used: Virginia, Keane, Godfrey, Dobbin, Chermiti.

Luton Town: Kaminski, Doughty (83' Woodrow), Lockyer (56' Mengi), Burke (46' Andersen), Bell, Kabore [Y:66'], Brown, Nakamba, Mpanzu, Ogbene, Morris (78' Adebayo).

Subs not Used: Krul, Berry, Chong, Giles, Johnson.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton hope to build on the away victory at Brentford in the Premier League and their ousting of Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup in midweek when they take on newly-promoted Luton Town at Goodison Park.

The Blues haven’t won three successive matches in all competitions for over two years but a meeting with the Hatters, who have picked up just one point in six games so far this season, offers them the perfect opportunity to do so again.

Sean Dyche has warned his players against any complacency but the mood in the Everton camp coming into this weekend will be in stark contrast to that which followed their last fixture at Goodison Park, a dismal 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.

Indeed, while they have started to get their act together on the road where they are now unbeaten in four, Everton have lost all three of their home games so far in 2023-24, a record their manager will be itching to put right as he looks to move higher up the table in the coming weeks.

The last two performances plus the return to fitness of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Dwight McNeil and Jack Harrison all bode well. Calvert-Lewin has bagged goals in each of his last two outings, matching his tally for the entirety of his injury-ravaged 2022-23 campaign, and is looking sharper all the time; McNeil played an integral part in last Saturday’s handsome 3-1 win at Brentford; and Harrison made a superb debut at Villa Park in the cup.

Luton, on the other hand, unlike last season’s promoted sides who all stayed up, have looked ill-equipped for the demands of their first season back in the top flight for three decades. In that time, the Bedfordshire club have fallen out of the Football League, flirted with administration and fought their way all the back to the top flight and it looks as though this will be a year where they will look to consolidate their financial position on the back of the huge uplift in broadcast revenue and merit payments.

Rob Edwards’s side began the season with a 4-1 defeat at Brighton and a 3-0 reverse at Chelsea but have since tightened up at the back and lost by a single goal to Fulham and West Ham before picking up their first point against 10-man Wolves last weekend.

They travel to Merseyside having been knocked out of the EFL Cup by League One Exeter City, however. Nevertheless, Dyche stressed in his press conference at Finch Farm that there are no easy games and that his side will approach the match in the right mindset.

“You’ve got to be ruthless,” Dyche said in the context of Luton’s struggles so far to adapt to the Premier League. “People do it to us so there’s none of that (sympathy for opposition teams) going on. I respect [Luton’s challenges] but you’ve got to be ruthless. When the whistle blows, we’ve got to play well; we’ve got to deliver a performance; we’ve got to take on the game to win.

"Luton are working hard in games, so we have got to deliver a performance. We certainly take nobody lightly, that's for sure, and the players know that."

Vitalii Mykolenko will undergo a late fitness on an unspecified injury before Sean Dyche selects his team that will face Luton Town this weekend.

The Ukrainian full-back was withdrawn at half-time of last night's impressive win at Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup and is the biggest doubt for Saturday's clash with the newly-promoted Hatters on Saturday.

Dyche mentioned in his “presser” that Mykolenko's injury issue, "is something we've got to be a little bit careful with," and did not confirm the full nature of the complaint but seemed content that apart from "a few knocks", there were no further concerns.

Harrison came through 65 minutes against Villa and could be in line for his first appearance at Goodison Park since joining on loan from Leeds while Calvert-Lewin’s goalscoring exploits in the past few days have pressed his case for a place in the starting XI for a second successive game.

Seamus Coleman, Dele Alli and André Gomes are still ruled out, however, with neither the Irishman nor the Portuguese expected to be in contention until next month at the earliest. 

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 30 September 2023
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Paul Tierney
Last Time: Everton 1 - 1 Luton Town (Division 1; 14 March 1992)

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Young, Gueye, Onana, Garner, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.