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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Sunday 21 April 2024; 1:30pm
2 0
Nott'm Forest
Gueye 29'
McNeil 76'
HT: 1 - 0 
Attendance: 39,239
Fixture 33
Referee: Anthony Taylor

Match Reports
2023-24 Reports Index
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  Branthwaite booked
  Gomes (Garner 67')
  Harrison booked
  Doucoure booked
  Calvert-Lewin (Beto 67' (Chermiti 90'+10 booked))
  Subs not used
  Alli (injured)
  Coleman (injured)
  Patterson (injured)
  Holgate (loan)
  Maupay (loan)

  Murillo booked
  Dominguez (Yates 80' booked)
  Danilo (Ribiero 80')
  Hudson-Odoi (Origi 80')
  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Luton 1-5 Brentford
Sheff United 1-4 Burnley
Wolves 0-2 Arsenal
Aston Villa 3-1 Bournemouth
C Palace 5-2 West Ham
Everton 2-0 Nott'm Forest
Fulham 1-3 Liverpool

1 Arsenal 74
2 Liverpool 74
3 Manchester CIty 73
4 Aston Villa 66
5 Tottenham Hotspur 60
6 Newcastle United 50
7 Manchester United 50
8 West Ham United 48
9 Chelsea 47
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 44
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 43
12 Fulham 42
13 Bournemouth 42
14 Crystal Palace 36
15 Brentford 35
16 Everton* 30
17 Nottingham Forest 26
18 Luton Town 25
19 Burnley 23
20 Sheffield United 16

Match Report

Everton took a big step towards securing their Premier League safety with a victory over rivals Nottingham Forest thanks to two pin-point efforts from range by Idrissa Gueye and Dwight McNeil.

The Blues needed to offer a strong performance in a crucial game following their horrendous showing at Chelsea and they responded well to another big Goodison Park atmosphere and the urging of manager Sean Dyche to make amends for last Monday's 6-0 defeat.

Gueye popped up as the unlikely hero in the first half, raking home Everton's first shot on target with 28 minutes gone and McNeil doubled the advantage with a similar effort in the second period.

But the hosts had Jordan Pickford to thank for a magnificent save shortly before half-time, while Forest were left incensed by three penalty claims that were waved away by referee, Anthony Taylor, with VAR Stuart Attwell upholding the on-pitch decisions.

Having hooked Amadou Onana and James Garner at half-time at Stamford Bridge, Dyche left both players out of the starting line-up, preferring the fit-again Gueye and André Gomes in the middle while Ashley Young dropped back to right-back to deputise for the injured Seamus Coleman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin returned to lead the line up front.

Everton came out of the traps with the requisite effort and industry but made a poor start in terms of their use of the ball and it was Forest who almost drew first blood as Morgan Gibbs-White forced Pickford to parry away his strong drive.

Gomes wasted three set-piece opportunities with poor deliveries and Vitalii Mykolenko skied a woeful effort into the Park End before the hosts finally gave Matz Sels something to save when Calvert-Lewin stretched to meet McNeil's cross from the left but couldn't get enough power to steer it past the goalkeeper.

Callum Hudson-Odoi's tame effort was gathered at the second attempt by Pickford at one end before, a minute later at the other, Gueye put Everton ahead.

Mykolenko's delivery from the left was headed out to Gueye by Ola Aina and the Senegal international controlled it before sweeping a low 25-yard shot that seemed to take an age before nestling into the far corner beyond Sels' desparing dive.

The visitors came very close to going into the half-time interval level, however, when Gibbs-White bounced a shot towards the back post for Chris Wood who looked odds-on to equalise until Pickford somehow stopped his shot at point-blank range with a raised arm.

His clench-fisted celebration to the Gwladys Street while the ball was still in play in Forest's possession was indicative of the high stakes of this relegation six-pointer in which the Toffees had the advantage at the break.

With Dyche, attired in an unfamiliar tracksuit as one of the many changes he made to try and change the trajectory of his team's season, barking orders from the touchline, Everton struggled to find a foothold in second half as Forest went in search of parity.

Calvert-Lewin slashed a snap-shot wide when a corner dropped to his feet in the 54th minute but, on the hour mark, Gibbs-White will feel he should have wiped out the Blues' lead.

James Tarkowski found himself underneath a ball forward that he could only glance into the path of two red shirts but with just Pickford to beat, Gibbs-White side-footed wide of the target to the huge relief of the home crowd.

Forest were left grumbling when what they felt was a third claim for a penalty was ignored. They were already annoyed that the officials hadn't deemed either a clip by Young on Gio Reyna or an inadvertent handball by the veteran worthy of spot-kicks but they were livid when the same Everton player clumsily felled Hudson-Odoi in the area and nothing was given.

Calvert-Lewin was forced off with a knock in the 67th minute as part of a double change that also saw Gomes make way and Garner and Beto enter the fray and, nine minutes later, McNeil secured the points.

The winger had been operating in a roving role that frequently saw him pop up in a central area while Abdoulaye Doucouré dropped deeper and the shift in tactic paid dividends as McNeil collected the ball deep in Forest's half, exchanged passed with Doucouré and drilled a shot from distance that caught the inside of the post and ricocheted in.

McNeil stung Sels' palms with a powerful shot a couple of minutes later as Everton threatened to run away with it but with the home side defending resolutely behind redemptive displays by Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite, the penalty spot looked to be the most likely route back into the game for Nuno Espirito Santo's men and they would be shut out on the day.

Everton comfortably saw out a lengthy period of stoppage time after Beto was knocked out cold in a collision with Gibbs-White and had to be stretchered off and taken to hospital as a precaution and claimed three massive points that gives them breathing space at the bottom of the table.

It wasn't pretty and many of the attacking limitations that have dogged Sean Dyche's team all season were painfully in evidence again, but this was a display more akin to the team that won those important games back in December (including the victory at the City Ground) than the hideous yard-dog fare that was served up in the last home game against Burnley.

Wednesday's Merseyside derby looks even more daunting given that both senior centre-forwards look likely to be absent but this bruising encounter was the more important fixture and it puts huge pressure on Luton Town to win the bulk of their remaining four games to close the gap, the unlikely event of a further points deduction following Everton's appeal notwithstanding!

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Fellow PSR felons Nottingham Forest are today's visitors in a massive game where both sides face the seemingly inescapable danger of being sucked down into the Bottom 3 and relegation from the precious but much despised Premier League. 

Sean Dyche cannot call on either Seamus Coleman or Nathan Patterson, who are both out injured, but Idrissa Gana Gueye returns with Arnaut Danjuma still only on the bench after being out for nearly 3 months.

Jack Harrison and Andre Gomes are named as starters while Dominic Calvert-Lewin returns to lead the line as the lone striker, and Jarrad Branthwaite is thankfully declared fit to retain his position in the backline after going off with an injury at Stamford Bridge last Monday. 

The visitors got things underway, with a few long balls leading to nothing. Forest mounted te first decent attack on the counter, Gibbs-White looking to get to the byeline and cut to back into the danger area,  with Everton defending well. 

But next Williams had acres of space for his hard shot straight at Pickford, Forest paying with far more pace, but Harrison got forward to cross, defended for an Everton corner, with the pushing and shoving starting already, Taylor giving Forest a free-kick after the ball came in. 

From a midfield free-kick, Pickford launched it long, winning another corner, Sels putting this one behind. Gomes took the next on the left but it was poor. It was pretty physical, Calvert-Lewin catching Niakhate with his elbow.

It was ultra-scrappy, Everton wanting a free-kick for a close-proximity handball, not given. But Everton were pressing high and won a free-kick when Williams fouled Gomes wide left but Gomes wellied it poorly high over the angle. 

But Branthwaite broke a counter and advanced with the ball himself, out to Harrison but the cross was just dreadful, with no Calvert-Lewin there to receive it. Gomes slipped and then fouled Williams to end another promising forward move. 

Calvert-Lewin was fouled wide right, so yet another set-piece and Gomes again, but straight into the wall. Just a disgraceful waste. A throw-in came back out to Mykolenko whose shot was equally abysmal, way over the Park End goal. 

Everton were drawn out to press high, Young then fouling. Everton forced the turnover but Gomes again, just useless with the ball at his feet.  

But in the next attack, Gomes finally played a decent ball, just ahead of Doucoure running in behind. Forest mounted a rare forward foray, perhaps unlucky not to get a free-kick or worse when Young appeared to kick the back of Reyna's ankle. But on review, Young may have actually poked the ball away first with the toe of his boot before catching his man. 

Another good turnover saw some nice Everton passing before McNeil misjudged his feed to Calvert-Lewin. Pickford tried to repeat his awful Chelsea clearance but was rescued this time by Mykolenko. McNeil found Calvert-Lewin in acres of space but the towering imperious Everton centre-forward, under no pressure, tamely headed it back to Sels. 

Hudson-Odoi got forward to shoot, Pickford initially spilling it. The nerves and jitters were ubiquitous. Mykolenko got in a decent cross but it seemed to be cleared until Idrissa Gana Gueye bobbled his speculative shot from outside of the area and remarkably it snuck just inside the post — only his second ever from 100 shots outside of the penalty area!!!!

Everton tried to control the play a little more with the goal advantage, working they way forward with more composure, Harriosn almost feeding Calvert-Lewin. Gomes did a lot better with the corner to the near post but it was half-cleared for an Everton throw-in. 

Forest got the turnover but their forward ball hit Gibbs-White on the back and went out of play. Doucoure strode forward and played in a great ball but Calvert-Lewin was 3 feet behind it. Still Everton looked to break Forest possession high up the field, not always successfully. 

From one of those rare attacks, the Forest ball in from left to right again caused havoc from a mishit shot by Gibbs-White when Wood had a tremendous chance at the far post but Pickford recovered from trying to save the mishit, to save brilliantly at point-blank range, albeit giving Woods another bite of the cherry before it was cleared by Tarkowski. 

Forest attacked again, Branthwaite heading clear. But the Blues kept giving the ball back for Forest to come at them.  A deep cross to Hudson-Odoi came back onto Young's wrist before it went behind for a Forest corner after a brief VAR check, with Tarkowski going down from a whack on the head but Anthony Taylor failed to stop the play. 

Taylor then wasted 30 seconds to walk over and reprimand Forest coach Keith Stroud, showing him a yellow card before a series of Forest corners continued, with Calvert-Lewin defending them well before the last one curled behind to end the half with Everton ahead 1-0. 

The Blues restarted and tried their best to keep control but it was scrappy at times. Doucoure got forward well but his cross was easily intercepted with Calvert-Lewin stranded behind his marker.  

Forest suddenly got forward very quickly, Mykolenko getting back to thwart Hudosn-Odoi but it was a scare. But Young forced a turnover and Harrison won a corner to get Everton forward again. McnNeil's deep delivery fell nicely at the feet of Calvert-Lewin in the crowd but he drove the ball wide. 

Forest put in a great ball for Hudson-Odoi, Young going right through him to push the ball back to Pickford, much to the anguish of the Forest fans who were convinced this must be a penalty. Branthwaite went down when his ankle was kicked. 

Everton were living dangerously, a ball forward to Gibbs-White stroked just wide of the far post with Calvert-Lewin going down and needing attention, going off for the regulation 30 seconds after Dyche had thought about bringing Beto on for him.

From the restart, Forest surged forward again and only a crowd of blue shirts in the Everton penalty area halted their progress. Everton just could not hold the ball up high and it just kept coming back again, Hudson-Odoi's cross headed away by Branthwaite. 

Danilo again spread it wide to Hudson-Odoi but he needlessly fouled Young. Calvert-Lewin and Gomes were replaced by Beto and Garner. Everton tried to get forward but Doucoure was easily brushed off the ball by Danilo. Forest drove forward again and only a vital blue touch halted their progress.

Everton finally got forward, Young crossing and Beto trying but failing to beat Sels to the ball. Beto did well to hold up the ball and Harrison then crossed in after beating his man but Garner was denied by a vital touch from Williams. 

Everton repelled another Forest advance and then looked to break but McNeil could not stop Docucoure's pass from going out of play. Gueye forced a good turnover but Harrison's cross was too difficult for Doucoure who was harshly booked for a high boot on the defender he could not see. 

Brathwaite did well down the left wing and the ball found Dwight McNeil in space in the middle, who strode forward, exchanged with Doucuoré then powered a marvellous shot in off the right post!

Everton came forward and McNeil thought he'd try again but this shot was straight at Sels.  Some desperate stuff ensued as Forest forced some panic in the Blues defence.

Everton forced their way forward but could not create a couple of chances from crosses into the Forest area. Forest tried to respond but Everton broke quickly with some nice passes from Gueye and Douuocure until Beto thought he was fouled. 

It was now end-to-end and relatively open. Doucoure was called for a midfield foul.  Forest kept pushing Everton back into the shell, a great cross to the far post not converted into a chance but warnings all over the place despite Everton's 2-goal advantage. 

Everton were reduced into fouling Forest players to stop them but that only set up nervy set-pieces that had Everton nerves jangling. William went straight over the advertising hoardings and into the crowd after a clash with McNeil. 

Everton advanced but McNeil's ball was poor and Forest were right back in the Everton area, Origi inches from heading in their first goal off a cross that was just too high as 9 minutes of stoppage time were added. Doucoure was in a good position but could not fashion a shot. 

More Forest play deep in the Everton half ended with a nasty clash of heads between Beto and Gibbs-White, which would add even more minutes. Beto was knocked out and it looked very serious, the stretcher and four or five medics coming on.  Eventually, they carried him off and out of the corner of the stadium and no doubt into an ambulance for a trip to the hospital, despite a raised arm to show he was now conscious. 

The game finally resumed with Chermiti on in his place. He was immediately caught by Murrilo. Chermiti looked to get forward but his pass was easily intercepted, and he was booked for time wasting as 18 minutes were finally played before Anthony Taylor blew the whistle to signal a vital 3 points for Everton. 

Everton:  Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite [Y:81'], Mykolenko, Gueye, Gomes (67' Garner), Doucoure [Y:74'], Harrison [Y:83'], McNeil, Calvert-Lewin (67' Beto (90+10' Chermiti [Y:90+17'])).

Subs not Used: Virginia, Keane, Godfrey, Onana, Warrington, Danjuma.

Nottingham Forest:  Sels, Williams, Niakhate, Murillo [Y:90+18'], Aina, Danilo (80' Ribeiro), Reyna (53' Elanga), Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi (80' Origi), Dominguez (80' Yates [Y:81']), Wood.

Subs not Used: Turner, Sangare, Toffolo, Omobamidele, Montiel.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton go into the latest of a series of huge games at Goodison Park as rivals to avoid relegation, Nottingham Forest, come to town and the outcome could have a huge bearing on whether the Toffees remain in the Premier League for next season.

The Grand Old Lady has borne witness to some hugely significant occasions over the past two years as the respective seasons have entered their crucial stages but this will be the first genuine "six-pointer" staged here since the 1-0 win over Leeds United 14 months ago.

Everton and Forest will come into the fixture separated by a single point, the result of the former's harsher treatment by their first Independent Commission, which opted to deduct 10 points from the Club (later reduced to six, of course) and the fact that the Blues were hit with an unprecedented second sanction in the same season with two more points taken away.

Depending on what happens between Luton and Brentford 24 hours earlier, the East Midlanders might be kicking off in the relegation zone – either a potential motivator or source of fear – but for Sean Dyche, the task is a simple one: pick his players up after that horrific 6-0 defeat at Chelsea on Monday and get them back to playing the kind of football that beat Forest in the return fixture in December in the middle of a run of five wins in six.

“We can’t just park it, that’s for sure,” said Dyche during his press conference at Finch Farm of his team's humiliation at Stamford Bridge. “I certainly haven’t. The players were affected by it, and they were very disappointed – as was I, in my part as manager. I take responsibility, inevitably.

“We spoke to the players about it, and they fed back their disappointment, as well as mine. Equally, by now we’ve made sense of it, of course, but, the day after, we certainly [hadn't]. It was a challenge, but now you do have to park it.

"So, we’ve had a chat about it this morning to finish it off and go, ‘Right, that’s gone. We move forwards'."

Everton attracted widespread criticism for their abysmal defending during a first half that yielded four goals for Chelsea and a hat-trick for Cole Palmer. Central midfielders Amadou Onana and James Garner paid the price by being taken off at half-time but neither James Tarkowski nor Jarrad Branthwaite covered themselves in glory on the night.

"You've got to do the basics," Dyche explained. "You've got to work, you've got to harry, you've got to press, you've got to fight, you've got to tackle and you've got to play, of course. And we were nowhere near either.

“There were a lot of home truths [aired] – me included, by the way – about what I expect from myself, from the staff, and from the players, and realigning, saying: ‘Right, you can only do it as a group. You can’t do it as individuals,' and pull it all back together.

“The players have been disappointed. I must make that clear. It’s a funny thing about football nowadays... ‘Oh, do they care?’ They care. Trust me, they care. I care deeply about what we’re trying to achieve here, but they care as well."

Those afore-mentioned midfield performances, combined with the anticipated availability of Idrissa Gueye after two games out, will probably make Dyche's selection task easier for this one, with Onana expected to start on the bench and André Gomes preferred to Garner.

There is a strong argument for deploying Garner either at right-midfield or right-back in the absence of injured duo Seamus Coleman and Nathan Patterson but the sensible money would go on either Ben Godfrey or Ashley Young starting at full-back and, perhaps Jack Harrison, taking the more attacking role on the right.

Arnaut Danjuma's return to fitness provides another option off the bench while, up front, the hope is that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will come through one last training session tomorrow with no reaction in his hamstring so that he can lead the line.

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo will still be wtihout striker Taiwo Awoniyi and defender Willy Boly while Anthony Elanga will undergo a late fitness test but he will be looking for midfield dynamo, Morgan Gibbs-White, and tall forward Chris Wood to provide his main threat against an Everton side that has forgotten how to defend in recent weeks.

The Blues' back line was hardly troubled by Burnley in their last home match, an ugly 1-0 win, but you had to go back to January for their previous clean sheet.

The more promising statistic for Dyche's goal-shy outfit, however, is that the Trees have only kept one clean sheet of their own since the first week of November and they've been particularly vulnerable at set-pieces which have, for much of the campaign, been Everton's bread and butter. 

Victory for the Toffees coupled with defeat for Luton would clearly provide a massive boost to Everton's survival hopes as it would put four points between them and Forest and move them five ahead of Luton with those two rival teams only having four games left to play. Fingers crossed Dyche's charges rise to the challenge and seize the day.

Kick-off: 1:30pm, Sunday 21 April 2024
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Last Time: Everton 1 - 1 Nottingham Forest

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gueye, Gomes, Harrison, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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