A trip to the windy city of Burnley where we hadn’t won for 43 years. The clocks had been put back so it had to be the winter ball and so it was. The pre-match chat was focused mainly on everyone’s take on the Lille trip and what the team may be. I was quite pleased when it came through.

Our ref Marriner (not the most consistent of refs and in this match he would prove it, but hey you just have to take what they give) got us underway and just three minutes in we put a great move together that culminated in Naismith to Eto’o who slid it out to Baines, who crossed for the inrushing Eto’o to flex the neck and propel the ball into the net in a manner that showcased the work of a master striker. Baines could claim another assist.

Jubilation from the assembled faithful and when the cheering, screaming and yelling had died down Allez-Allez oh could be heard in Blackburn. An early goal against a team without a win had us all wondering if today was the day when we really upped our goal difference.

It certainly looked like that as we stroked the ball about until about ten minutes in when our ex striker Jutkiewicz capitalised on uncertainty at the back but fortunately he prodded wide but from that tenth minuet until the last ten minutes we never looked totally secure. The gusting wind did not help or the Burnley never say die spirit in whacking balls into our box and looking for second balls, we coped but it was hairy at times as Burnley had a good spell. However on 20 minutes we were pegged back and it was all our own doing. Lukaku laid a beaut of a pass goal-ward to Jutkiewicz who slotted in Ings who rounded Howard and slotted home. Now that was a bit of a downer.

All Burnley now and just a minute later another shot just slides wide. As the half hour was upon us a prolonged period of passing took place which had some fans less than pleased but it culminated in fine fashion as Naismith and Eto’o engineered a fine pass to Lukaku in the box who in a couple of paces had a shot that was blocked but he was first to the loose ball and fired across the keeper and netted. Joined up stuff at its best. Our man Lukaku had now given a goal and taken a goal so he was off the hook a bit.

The goal re-awakened our travelling members and the five songs we know were belted out. For the rest of the half the game swung end to end with the high gusts of wind favouring their method of play causing our style to be a bit hit and miss.

They had a free kick on the edge that had many holding their breath but the ball hit our wall then Jags and Barry caused a right cock-up between then on edge of box but we scrambled that away. Burnley had us pressed back and we looked for all the world no more than a scrambling rearguard. We did manage to break from time to time and in one passage of play Eto’o combined with Osman and the latter put in a looping cross that found Naismith stretching and only managed to plant the ball on top of the bar. I hoped he would get a call from Coleman who was steaming in behind him with a better chance of getting power and direction. We attacked again and Eto’o was floored on the edge of the box, booking thought I, play on said ref which caused the faithful to hurl naughty words in his direction.

Half time couldn’t come fast enough for me as two minutes were added with us again defending and from a distance I saw a Burnley player go down in our box but luckily the ref blew for the break.

H/T 1-2

It was a disjointed first half from our point of view and the wind not helping our style. I imagined there would be plenty of talking in our dressing room as in that half we had scored two well worked goals yet at times we had been like strangers at best and keystone cops at worst.

The second half started as the first finished with Lukaku passing to the wrong colour shirt and Burnley gained a corner which we eventually cleared. When we did clear a ball from within our box it always seemed to be their players just outside who picked up the ball unfettered and fed it back in. The game was a bit scrappy now and the ref joined in by diverting one of our passes aimed into their box and set up another Burnley attack!

We got to the hour mark and were starting to look better. Baines won a corner, our first of the day I think, Coleman had a trademark run down the by-line outstripping the full back he pulled the ball back to the unmarked McCarthy who hit it well but sadly it hit a defender. Eto’o and Lukaku exchanged passes and Eto’o shot but at the keeper who held on. Just after that on 65mins Lukaku was hooked and Barkley entered the fray. It was ironical that he had replaced Lukaku as he immediately gave the ball away. A like for like swap you might say.

We kept plugging away and were looking better with the influential Barry orchestrating play. A good move allowed Barkley to run at their defence and cause a bit of panic but his shot got blocked. Another good move got the workaholic Naismith in but alas he hit wide. Burnley must have noticed Barry’s influence as he was felled near half way with the Burnley man getting booked.
Eighty minute mark came and the crowd were not at their loudest as I think everyone knew we just needed one more as their balls into our box could land anywhere.

The manager swapped Osman, who had put in a good shift, with Pienaar. Burnley still kept pushing us back and Alcaraz did well to get one clear with good timing and quick footwork. Our method of defending seemed to be to let them run at us and get to grips just inside the box and when we allowed a Burnley player a free shot we gasped as one, luckily it was wide. The defence was holding but hellish nervy for those in attendance.

Everyone’s nerves would be settled shortly as Baines was relishing the link up with Pienaar and we were getting forward from time to time. From one of these moves on 85 mins Naismith fed Pienaar and his quicksilver feet allowed him time and space to roll the ball to Eto’o some 25yds out who hit a beaut into the top corner. Hell we celebrated that one. The goal took me back to that world cup when he gained a lot of attention in the green of Cameroon for hitting shots like that. Eto’o- Eto’o rang out loudly.

We still had time for a Burnley attack to threaten a little but Jags who had another good game cleared and then Barkley sent in Naismith who forced a corner which was cleared and then Eto’o almost had his hat-trick when he was slid in with just keeper to beat but he went passed the keeper but made the angle tight but he got a shot away that agonisingly hit the far post and came along the line but the wrong side. (He should have scored) Final whistle sounded so 3-1 win away, back to back wins in the league and a draw away in Europa League not a bad couple of weeks work.

M.o.t.M: Eto’o – I just love to see Everton centre forwards score goals like his today.

Overall a good day out and the team got the job done. I suppose you could pick holes aplenty in the game but the first requirement is to win so I reckon a whole lot of fans went home happy. I thought the manager did well by Barkley today by just giving him 25 is to go with the other minutes from previous two games. He looks a touch off the boil at the moment but with games comes the sort of fitness that allows players like Ross to shine. Just hope he stays fit.

Eto’o had a great reception as he walked off clapping our fans and when the chant "Eto’o, Eto’o" rang out loud and clear he seemed genuinely chuffed as he thumped his chest and gave a fist salute. Nice one Samuel.

Another Saturday K.O. at 3:00 next week and a good test we will have from the Welsh team who have made a good start to the season. A clean bill of health and a good wee'ks work and rest should ensure a home win – well I hope so anyway.

UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (28)

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Frank McGregor
1 Posted 27/10/2014 at 00:10:48
Good report as usual, Ken. I watched the game on TV.

May I suggest the following take place at Finch Farm for the month of November:- " Passing the ball backwards is totally banned and the only acceptable passes are in a forward or sideways direction."
Totally frustrated with the lack of momentum the back pass brings into the game at the moment.

Peter Creer
2 Posted 27/10/2014 at 00:13:40
Ken, thank you for giving me the 'on the ground' perspective that I miss so much. Here in Canada we heard about the wind but didn't feel it. We faintly heard the chants but didn't know that we only had five songs. We knew that Martinez had shuffled the pack but didn't know how well it would work out.

When Barkley signed on, when Stones signed on, when Barry signed on, when Coleman signed on, when Lukaku signed on...... today we said thanks for when Et'oo signed on.

Things are turning around and a first win at Turf Moor in 43 years was a statistic for the history books but the continuing move to consistency and success is more apparent.

Bring on the team from Wales....COYB!

Harold Matthews
3 Posted 27/10/2014 at 01:43:10
Enjoyed the report Ken. Cheers. A decent win in blustery conditions and beneficial for the half dozen lads with very little recent game-time. Some are clearly not up to pace just yet but will gradually get there.
Peter Barry
4 Posted 27/10/2014 at 07:35:57
The dreaded Winter Ball I bet they had the Snow Plows ready too after all you never know.
Dennis Stevens
5 Posted 27/10/2014 at 08:16:17
The more I see of Eto'o the happier I am that Martinez brought him in - absolute class, & very beneficial to Lukaku, especially as it takes a little pressure off him.
Trevor Lynes
6 Posted 27/10/2014 at 09:37:11
Lukaku mentioned the amount of time EtoĂ‚’o spends on him and letĂ‚’s all hope that it rubs off on the lad. The defence definitely carried us and only EtoĂ‚’o played well up front IMO.

Barkley needs game time as his initial attempts at passing were awful and to my mind Pienaar coming on galvanised the team – Baines quite obviously loves playing with him. I was not at ease until EtooĂ‚’s second great goal.

Mike Childs
7 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:17:59
Great report Ken. Thankfully the NBC cameras followed Eto off the field I got goosebumps listening to the serenade must have been awesome to be a part of it. I agree he did look touched by it. Best traveling fans in the EPL.
Keith Taylor
8 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:40:05
A good result and some great goals, but too many passes going backwards, and too many players standing still. Even Lukaku's mistake was partly down to the pressure that we bring on ourselves by the constant passing sideways across the back.
It was noticeable watching the ManU/Chelsea game how much quicker that game was. When we did play with pace and forward momentum we scored!
Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:58:57
A very good and honest report, you told it as I saw it. A very good result but not a great performance, it echoed the season as a whole – too many loose balls and untidy passing.

I know the wind didnĂ‚’t help but for professional players to pass the way they did is just not good enough. I like Martinez but IĂ‚’m afraid IĂ‚’ve stopped listening to him especially his after-match reports.

Phil Walling
10 Posted 27/10/2014 at 12:51:31
Yesterday was a great example of the mindless passing the Guardiola piece brought into our discussion. But... we must not overlook that one 24-pass movement ended in a goal. I somehow think it will be many weeks before that vignette is repeated with the same ending. Although some 'get off' on it regardless.

The only obvious weak link on view was the awful Alcaraz. But he's a mate of the manager.

Paul McGinty
11 Posted 27/10/2014 at 13:20:33
I wasn't at the game... watched on NBC. On reading a match report online in the Guardian, it mentioned Martin Dobson was presented at half time during the game. The old chant... Martin Dobbo Allo Allo, has now morphed into Samuel Eto'o Allo Allo after that performance. The guy looked fresh throughout... full of running, and oozing class. Not exactly the most fluid performance from the Blues, but who cares, we needed the points.
Jack Cross
12 Posted 27/10/2014 at 14:35:39
Phil Walling. You're right mate, Alcaraz was terrible in the first half and only improved slightly in the second. And definitely is a weak link.

I couldn't fathom why Distin didn't play. Couldn't have been to rest him surely? Unless he's had a recurrence of his injury.

Eto'o's header was fab but so was the inch-perfect cross. And his shot was superb but so was the passing display that led up to it. So quality all round for both the goals anyway. Even Lukaku's goal wasn't as easy as I first thought.

So three good goal's and three good points. Not a fantastic display in my opinion but it's points that we needed and we got them.

I can't wait for the Swansea game, especially as Bony will be playing. Let's hope Lukaku outshines him, but I can't really see it, as Bony as so much to his game. But we will see...

Jamie Barlow
13 Posted 27/10/2014 at 15:08:26
He probably didn't play Distin because he has been awful when played this season.

I said it on another thread. Snods gave Eto'o Man of the Match on the radio but only because he scored two. He said he would have gave it to Baines or one of the centre halves as they both played well. Weird how people see the game differently.

Gareth Fieldstead
14 Posted 27/10/2014 at 15:24:36
Good report as usual. Like everyone else on here just delighted we have won from a rather at times nervous display. Cannot agree with some of the comments on here regarding Alcaraz. I thought he improved as the game wore on and in the second half played well. Regarding Swansea, is Naismith now suspended for that game following his 5th caution?
Jay Harris
15 Posted 27/10/2014 at 15:42:07
Gareth,

No he isn't as one of the yellows was in Europe and apparently that doesn't count towards the Prem. It still might be the game to give him a rest and play Eto'o and Barkley.

Personally I would like to beef up the midfield and play Barry, McCarthy and Besic in the same team so we can play through the midfield more. It has become apparent recently that we are aiming long balls up front which does not suit Lukaku nor Eto'o.

Gareth Fieldstead
16 Posted 27/10/2014 at 17:22:58
Thanks Jay, I thought it was all in the prem.
Paul Tran
17 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:31:28
Alcaraz let our ex-striker run through him in the first half and badly misjudged one in the second half and... that was it, he otherwise played well. Much better than the calamity Distin has become.

Funny thing is Phil, when I suggested we needed at least one more centre half in the summer, you had a bit of a dig.

Yesterday's performance was like many from last season; we controlled the game without looking special, kept the ball well and when we speeded up we looked a good side. Eto'o in midfield gave us a bit of pace and the guile we often lack.

If we up the pace more often we'll give someone a hiding soon. I need convincing that we'll finish top four but the poor quality of the league and we can at least give it a good go.

Duncan McDine
18 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:48:45
We never really got out of 2nd gear, but didn’t have to. Alcaraz looked very dodgy but also showed some good play at times. Osman and Lukaku both carried on their poor form. Thankfully the rest of the team played well enough to win it.
Mark Griffiths
19 Posted 27/10/2014 at 18:07:16
Shame about Eto'o's shot off the post, it would have been the perfect hat-trick – header, right foot, left foot!
Phil Walling
20 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:14:19
Paul, I think that dig was more about giving game time to the young defenders on the books. As we've seen nothing of them, I can only imagine they are as bad as the last lot. (Duffy & Co!)
Mike Oates
21 Posted 27/10/2014 at 20:51:28
Alcaraz played well. I can't understand how anyone can see anything else. He and Jags looked a good combination. Agree that Baines comes alive when he's got Pienaar in front of him.

Only complaint, we need to get that ball forward quicker.

Chris Jones
22 Posted 27/10/2014 at 21:53:57
Thought it was Barry's best game of the season by far, too
John Voigt
23 Posted 27/10/2014 at 22:56:55
Everton have quality players and they work for each other. It showed in this match.

Eto'o was everything you could hope for. He was lively and making runs. His teammates are looking for him
Lukaku made one terrible mistake, but didt keep his head down. He kept working too.

There's a real quality to this Everton side. Difference makers that make plays. I'm talking about Baines, Coleman, Lukaku, Eto'o, Naismith, Barkley and Mirallas. The goals can from any of them. Add in Jags scoring twice so far this season and things look brighter.

Would be nice to see a spell where no more players go down to injury.

This Everton team when they are at full strength can give a good game to any Premier League side.

Harold Matthews
24 Posted 28/10/2014 at 00:05:24
Eto'o, Barry and Baines were excellent. Also pleased with Alcaraz who has had very little game-time and made less mistakes than most of his team-mates.

CBs are an easy target for fans who need to get a dig in. Looking at the Premier League this week......and every other week, they are at fault in almost every game. The hundreds of errors further upfield hardly raise an eyebrow yet goals conceded usually start with losing possession, bad passes, missed tackles, not closing down crosses, not tracking back etc, etc, etc. It's not a perfect world but a little fairness and understanding can go an awful long way.

Incidentally, talking about CBs. Those two Lille lads were very impressive. Seldom have I seen such good positioning.

Mark Andersson
25 Posted 28/10/2014 at 03:37:24
Harold you are spot on. Either I have bad eyes or know nothing about football because I thought. Alcaraz player ok, some say against better opponent's he would have been found out. Well we will see as Distan needs to fight for his place.

The game was a bit scrappy, but what's that saying, it's the results that counts. Some people are never happy.

Great match report by the Ken

Harold Matthews
26 Posted 28/10/2014 at 15:14:02
Lille were legless from the kickoff at the weekend and got murdered 2-0. Should have been 6. Even the CBs were awful. Guess we gave them a tougher game than it looked.
Trevor Lynes
27 Posted 29/10/2014 at 20:28:01
BEWARE of Wolfsburg!!!

They have been the best team we have faced so far and now their Bundesliga form has returned. Even though we beat them 4-1, it was a game in which they could have also scored four.

They should qualify along with us and I really hope I am wrong as they look to be much better than Krasnodar and Lille.

Paul Holden
28 Posted 30/10/2014 at 20:03:51
Can we come up with a better Eto'o chant, it's getting on my tits already!

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