Everton 4 - 0 Hull City
An action packed week had flown by and it was time to get down to Goodison Park. Always a great experience even in the pouring rain. We met as usual and over a pint we chewed over this week’s happenings. Rom’s outburst was the only item and after some deliberation most were agreed that, apart from going public and saying our club lacks ambition which could have negative repercussions in the player recruitment department, he was spot on. Remember Ratner’s Jewellers when the owner said his stuff was crap the public believed him and the business is no more? We could have had players lined up for the summer giving us the swerve after Rom’s remark.
Our manager handled the situation superbly and after the reception our fans gave Rom roaring as one when his name announced over the speakers so let us put this to bed and hope no damage done and get on with the task of breaking glass ceilings along with an announcement regarding our new ground.
The walk up was one of Umbrellas, hoods, caps and coats worn by fans bending forward toward the rain but still in high spirits. Another sell out which ensures brisk business for the fast food outlets and hopefully a good attendance at St Luke’s for a good dig around.
In for Z-Cars and we are attacking the Park end. Both teams made a bright start and looked to be played in open fashion with both teams needing the points albeit for different reasons.
Barely ten minutes had passed when Barkley played and excellently weighted pass to Davies who had stayed onside and our energetic youngster broke clear down the right and whipped in a low cross that Calvert–Lewin tapped home, much to the vocal delight of those in attendance.
We had visions of putting this game to rest early doors but that was not to be the case as Hull dug in and gave as good as they got. It was all a bit frantic with both teams making errors as they played the ball about in search of an opening but both teams were guilty of misplacing passes at crucial moments as well as calling their ball control into question.
This end to end with no end product went on until half time with just a couple of chances each, for Everton Calvert-Lewin got his head to a cross but it lacked power and from a Barkley whipped in cross both Davies and Calvert-Lewin just failed to connect.
On the half hour Schneiderlin went down and had to come off with a calf problem and replaced by Barry. This was a shame as up to this point the Frenchman had been lively and commanding in the holding roll. The winger on loan from Liverpool raised some derisive cheers when from well in the box he skied his shot into the crown.
Then we had comic cuts between Joel and Williams as the Welshman dithered over a back pass and Clucas got between him and Joel and lifted the ball over Joel and fortunately for us over the bar. After the goal kick Joel and Williams amid much arm waving eventually settled their differences and that was the first half.
Hull came out with renewed effort and desire and certainly did most of the attacking. The way they came down both flanks and got crosses in had many of us seeing the equaliser sooner rather than later. After a good few minutes of this pressure we did get the ball down the right channel and Rom was on to it and cutting in onto that howitzer of a left peg and fired one in full of venom but alas the keeper was well positioned to see the ball fly just over the bar.
It was noticeable that Hull had the upper hand thus forcing further back than we would have liked so our manager made a change by bringing off Calvert-Lewin and sending on Funes Mori and change the shape to three at the back with Coleman and Baines as wing backs. Mori was soon in the action as their keeper punched a ball out straight to him but alas he hit it hard across goal and out, was it a cross or a shot only he will know.
We were now gaining momentum ourselves and some good passing movements got us in to good positions but yet again it was breaking down in the final third. Rom lifted spirits when again he got on the ball out right and cut in at speed and hit one with real venom that the keeper got hands to it and put it behind, I bet he felt the force of that. Hull would not lie down and a one goal margin is always difficult each time the opposition get into the heart of our defence especially so when a Hull player had a side foot effort at the far post and ruffled the netting. Much to our relief it was the side netting.
I was now watching the clock in interruptions in play as Hull kept coming but then with about fifteen to go Huddleston launched himself into a head on tackle with Gana which put the Everton man into the air. The ref deemed it dangerous and produced red. Huddleston was roundly booed as he trudged off. Gana limped off after treatment but then came back on.
Against ten men we regained control of the game so our manager made another change and took off the excellent Davies who had covered most blades of grass and sent on Valencia. A good moved as it turned out as within minutes Rom turned provider and fed a delightfully weighted ball into the path of Valencia who had found him with a good pass. Valencia strode on goal drew the keeper and slotted. Relief all around as we sensed that three good points would be ours.
But this game was far from over as the fourth official held his board aloft signalling four minutes added. In the first of those minutes Valencia returned the compliment to Rom by producing a defence splitting pass for the big man to go one on one with the keeper and he slotted with aplomb and if that was not enough of rubbing salt into wounds then in the last of the four mins he did it all over again. The Rom song was aired after each goal and on the whistle he clapped and waved to his admirers so we all set off out of the ground the best of pals.
M.o.t.M. Barkley and or Davies
A 4-0 win that looks on paper a bit of a tanning but it was anything but. Hull gave a good account of themselves for a good 70 minutes but a sending off and a late, late goal-fest did for them. Still another three points toward that top table where we sit sixth at the moment but Arsenal and Man U have a couple of games in hand but we have the points so who knows.
A bit of a break now until we pop across the road to the neighbours for lunch and a kick-about. See you soon.
UP THE BLUES
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