VfL Wolfsburg 0 - 2 Everton
Everton booked their place in next phase of the Europa League with an almost perfectly-executed away performance on the Continent, completing a handsome double over Wolfsburg and securing the top spot in Group H in the process.
Romelu Lukaku played a pivotal role in the Blues' 2-0 win, rampaging through to break the deadlock shortly before half time and then sending his Belgian international teammate, Kevin Mirallas, away for the killer second goal to cap an excellent night's work in Germany.
Roberto Martinez made a number of changes to his line-up, drafting Samuel Eto'o in in place of the injured Steven Naismith and starting Tony Hibbert, Luke Garbutt, Muhamed Besic and Aiden McGeady in place of Seamus Coleman, Leon Osman and Ross Barkley, all of whom started on the bench.
And the Catalan was forced into another injury-enforced change after just half an hour when James McCarthy was forced off with another recurrence of his recent hamstring problems and Osman came on to reprise the more defensive role he fulfilled last weekend against West Ham.
By that time, the scoreline could have one apiece but Sylvain Distin passed up a gilt-edged chance in the 12th minute when he put a free header onto the crossbar at the back post and Ivan Perisic, a constant threat for the German side at the other end, had a legitimate goal chalked off for offside.
Everton were profligate in possession for much of the first half but with Garbutt displaying remarkable composure on only his second senior start and the rest of the back four similarly resolute, they were heading into the half-time break goalless when Lukaku struck.
The striker latched onto Mirallas's knock-on and recovered from a poor first touch to drive onward and then despatch it past Benaglio in the Wolfsburg goal. It was the archetypal smash-and-grab moment for an Everton side who had withstood a good amount of pressure in the first half in the face of the home side's tempo and urgency.
The Toffees improved markedly going forward after the break, though, and that increased energy released some of the pressure on the defence, although Tim Howard had to ad to an excellent one-handed stop he made in the first half to preserve the lead and Niclas Bendtner saw a second Wolfsburg "goal" ruled out, again for offside but correctly on this occasion.
1-0 should have been 2-0 just past the hour mark, though, and again it was Lukaku wreaking havoc in the Wolfsburg defence that created the perfect opening for McGeady. The Belgian's shot was parried into the Irishman's path by the goalkeeper but he somehow side-footed it wide of the post when it seemed easier to score.
Two more saves by Howard denied Perisic and Schäfer and a shot off the outside of the post by the Croatian kept the game tight going into the final 20 minutes but Mirallas made sure of the points with another superb break-away goal. The forward received Lukaku's pass, turned inside the last defender and buried a shot inside the far post to double Everton's lead.
Wolfsburg pressed in the closing stages and Howard palmed Arnold's shot onto the outside of the post before substitute Barkley had a goal struck off for a marginal offside call but the result was beyond doubt by that point.
A laudible victory for Martinez's Everton who had beaten the Bundesliga's second-placed team on their own turf and ensured that they will be among the seeded teams when the draw for the first knockout round is made on 15th December.
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (104)
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1 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:52:41
2 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:54:31
3 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:50:44
Lukaku best display of the season by a mile.
Garbutt brilliant, could teach a Baines how to take a corner too!
I do love the Europa League, I got slaughtered last season for saying that European football of this ilk would be beneficial and enjoyable to the fans but can the naysayers and pessimists now say, hand on heart that they have not just had their best feeling of the season to date??
(Wolfsburg at home wasnÂt too bad either come to think of it)
4 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:57:30
We are a great European styled football team.
5 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:59:25
6 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:06:28
7 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:10:52
8 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:07:54
All in all Â– excellent. Wolfsburg are an odd side who are clearly vulnerable to a counter attack and a player of LukakuÂs ability. Scoring six over two games against them is impressive tally. Perisiic is also impressive.
9 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:08:12
Everton P17 W7 D7 L3 loss percentage 18%
RS. P17 W5 D3 L9 loss percentage 53%
He slipped on his arse, he slipped on his arse...
10 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:18:11
11 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:16:54
12 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:22:06
13 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:08:44
14 Posted 27/11/2014 at 20:58:13
I think all the team worked hard but it was good to see Rom getting stuck in there, and Garbutt looked calm and confident and did all that was required of him.
15 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:19:11
I liked Romelu, Besic (fell in love with him pre-season and have been wiping drool since then), back four (well done that over-the-hill Hibbert and the new lad Garbutt), Mirallas (getting back into it) and Osman again in midfield.
McGeady had some poor touches but also some very good ones and put in a shift, worked very hard (was it his touch through for LukakuÂs goal?). Not one of the best tonight but not a disgrace. But, heh!, if we canÂt bollock Osman tonight, then we have to turn to somebody.
16 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:13:37
This German side are good and the amount of last-ditch tackles and blocks must have really frustrated them. Apart from Chelsea and perhaps Southampton, our defence is once again the best in the league.
McGeady really worked hard in helping Hibbert although he squandered the best chance of the game. Lukaku was virtually unplayable in the 2nd half and his strength in bursting through tackles and defence splitting pass for MirallasÂs goal was top class. Osman is playing better than Barkley at present so deserved to come on for McCarthy. I just hope that Mac is not badly injured as with Barry out too it leaves us pretty thin in that area. In the present form, though, I have every confidence in this defence handling anything coming their way.
Oviedo and Kone must be close to fitness and Baines will soon be available along with Coleman so letÂs hope for the best. TonightÂs result means eight games without defeat and I am feeling tentatively confident that we can beat Spurs on Sunday.
17 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:29:01
18 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:26:03
Looks like McCarthy has picked up a hamstring injury. I thought Besic played well, just wish he would stop thinking he is Franz Beckenbauer.
19 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:28:57
The togetherness, team spirit and camaraderie is there for all to see. Roberto will evidently only bring players with the right character into the squad and itÂs good to watch our lovable neighbours lurch from one bad performance to another whilst we go from strength to strength. Roberto and Rodgers Â– like chalk and cheese.
20 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:30:53
21 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:18:04
I think Wolfsburg are a top quality side. IÂm fairly sure theyÂll qualify for the Champions League this season, so to beat them away from home, without 6 first team players is a seriously good result.
I thought Garbutt was excellent. His corners were better than what we usually get served up, defensively he was solid, and provided an attacking threat too. I think he definitely deserves more game time. McGeady was frustrating at times going forward, but he worked really, really hard defensively which was required against a very good Wolfsburg attack.
We rode our luck with a couple of decisions which couldÂve gone either way, but our defending was better than theirs and they were probably a bit too cavalier which left us the space for our goals.
It was superb to see Lukaku on the scoresheet again. 4 in 8 now that heÂs getting his fitness back? ItÂs clear there is massive room for improvement in his play, so if heÂs scoring 1 in 2 now you can imagine him terrorising defenses in a few years time when he gets some matches under his belt and the team learn to play to his strengths.
22 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:35:09
Robles, Hibbert, Browning, Jagielka, Garbutt, Atsu, Besic, Osman, McGeady, Kone, Long.
Ledson and a couple of other kids off the bench?
Great to be in this position with a game to play.
23 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:29:56
Garbutt was solid with great positioning and looked like he can begin to start some league matches. Little Mo Besic is an Evertonian now judging from his constant grab-ass antics with the other players; wears his heart on his sleeve.
Mirallas showed why he has been missed. He really is our most talented player. Sensibly taken off as we donÂt need yet another hammy.
24 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:35:14
25 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:37:09
I know mate. It just seems like Soldado hasnÂt scored since Mr Kenwright was in the Boys Pen... And who do we play on a Sunday?
26 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:39:44
We got the luck with the offside, but the goals were great. IÂm not sure if it was hitting them on the counter or simply getting outplayed all over the park but it was all good stuff to watch. HowardÂs and JagielkaÂs (I think) arms went up at the whistle as if theyÂd just won the tournament.
27 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:50:00
28 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:30:55
The Europa League has been so important to our recent upturn in form. People will use our example as a success story of this competition for years.
29 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:49:06
They could have scored 3 or 4 due to their brilliance - but our defending was superb ...
Special mention the fullbacks and not Seamus nor Leighton this time ...
Loved the collective energy and teamwork capped off by Mirallas ....
30 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:11:25
I would love to see Ledson play from the start against Krasnador ... and Garbutt and Browning .... even a Kone and Oviedo ....
Baines will need games again though ...
31 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:10:13
32 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:00:03
Just one observation. WasnÂt Colin HarveyÂs first team debut in the San Siro? No comparisons intended, but Luke GarbuttÂs performance tonight on a very big stage promises so much, as IÂm sure we all agree.
33 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:20:40
Great to see Garbutt selected and playing so well as well. One moan though, why after he took two of our best corners all season did we change tack and get Mirallas to do it again? Martinez needs to be sat down with a video of Andy Hinchcliffe taking corners and told whatever theory or statistic heÂs going off is bollocks. Swing it in fast and youÂll pick up goals.
34 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:13:53
Sends out a signal: donÂt mess with the Mighty Blues.
Tonight, Europe is shitting itself to sleep.
Grown men Â– professional athletes in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal Â– will be crying themselves to sleep.
"Not tonight, Josephine," will be uttered in fearful whispers in various languages as fear takes a hold.
You escaped us in 1985 onwards due to the actions of the red scum filth.
But the Toffees are coming.
You can run
35 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:24:43
36 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:47:09
37 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:49:02
Wolfsburg unlucky with the ÂoffsideÂ and over the two games a 6-1 aggregate flatters us but do you give a shite?
Strachen claimed we can win it and he knows more about football than most of us.
38 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:49:49
39 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:06:22
40 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:46:51
The defence were immense, all five of them: Jagielka is by far the best English centre half, Cahill is not a patch on him Â– heÂs a carthorse. Terry might have the ability but hasnÂt got the speed of Jags, the fastest man in the Prem! Our captain is flying at the minute!
Up the Toffees!
41 Posted 27/11/2014 at 22:54:30
Howard Â– 8. Clean sheet against a team that has a phenomenal scoring record at home. The stats will show a lot of saves although most were fairly regulation bar a top one in the first half.
Hibbert Â– 7. Some will see this as harsh and perhaps it is. Was mostly solid though allowed a lot of crosses in and lost Perisic for a very good early chance. Still prefer Seamus anyday but well played Tony.
Jagielka Â– 8. Continuing his very good form of late. Perfect man for a body on the line type scenario.
Distin Â– 8. Possibly even a 9. Was his best match in a long while for us though really should have scored that header.
Garbutt Â– 8. Was very impressed. Composed and accurate on the ball and was not particularly troubled by either Perisic or De Bruyne. More of Luke please.
McCarthy Â– n/a took a hit early on and off soon after.
Besic Â– 8. Often looks moments away from disaster and was caught out once or twice in first half but grew and grew. Was controlling the game by the end and I think looks to be a serious player given a run of games.
Osman Â– 7. Tidy and mostly effective. Never going to give as much protection as McCarthy but used the ball well when we had it.
McGeady Â– 6. Certainly not his best night. Missed a sitter but was not as bad as many on the live forum believed. Did a lot of work and gave some good defensive protection.
Mirallas Â– 8. Looked well off the pace for 90% of the match but ended up with an assist and a brilliantly taken goal. Mercurial as ever and still recovering from his injury.
EtoÂo Â– 7. A quieter time for Sammy. Lost the ball a few times and did not have as much effect on the game as usual.
Lukaku Â– 9. Looked a 㿈M striker for perhaps the first time this season. The goal was power and pace with a tiny hint of fortune. The assist pleased me even more and was top class centre-forward play. His best game of the season and MotM for me just about.
Barkley Â– 6. Not on for long but still lost the ball a good few times. Shame the goal was offside as he could use a confidence boost. IÂm sure we will see better from Ross soon.
Atsu Â– 6. Very little time but looked a little sharper in his brief cameo. Hopefully ready to have more of an impact in second half of the season.
All in all great stuff and lots to be excited by. Can we cap it off with a win against Spurs? Fingers crossed.
42 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:12:44
43 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:10:00
I think other teams would have noticed our results and have taken note. We are certainly a team which others hope to avoid for the knockout stages. COYB!
44 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:16:10
45 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:13:48
Nice to be seeded for the first knockout round. Though positioning is not finalized, the apparent disparity in the unseeded pot between seemingly lesser sides (Qarabag, Trabzonspor) and stronger sides (Champions League 3rd placers Ajax, Schalke) should make for an interesting draw Dec 15).
46 Posted 27/11/2014 at 23:45:04
Well done to the blue boys tonight; Wolfsburg threw everything at us and we taught them a football lesson.
47 Posted 28/11/2014 at 00:07:50
48 Posted 28/11/2014 at 00:16:15
49 Posted 28/11/2014 at 00:17:21
A potential Pienaar replacement right there, he was very good. WeÂve been linked with him before in the summer.
50 Posted 28/11/2014 at 00:18:17
51 Posted 28/11/2014 at 00:05:26
A great team performance with special mention to Howard, Distin and Besic. They were quite outstanding. Before kick-off I was a bit concerned about young Garbutt but he kept a cool head all night and looks to have a good future. A brilliant left foot but not afraid to use his right.
Wonderful to see Lukaku stripping leaner, fitter and enjoying his football. Still the big awkward gent for 91 of the 93 minutes but those brief moments when he sniffs a goal and becomes a beast are what he is all about. How people can say he got lucky with his goal is beyond me. He got himself forward at exactly the right time and his pace, strength and determination were never going to let the centre back to get the better of him. The finish wasnÂt bad either.
A tough match with one or two walking wounded at the final whistle. LetÂs hope they make a full recovery.
52 Posted 28/11/2014 at 01:17:14
53 Posted 28/11/2014 at 01:36:21
Jags and Distin were both brilliant as well but Besic was my MotM, even though he made a fair few stray passes, he always wanted the ball and wanted to run with it. Seems very confident and could be key the next month with our other injuries.
54 Posted 28/11/2014 at 02:18:33
55 Posted 28/11/2014 at 02:29:28
Coleman Jagielka Distin Garbutt
Mirallas Barkley EtoÂo
56 Posted 28/11/2014 at 03:07:29
Run, run, whoever you may be...
57 Posted 28/11/2014 at 04:47:38
Garbutt looked like he belonged Â– I canÂt compliment him any more than that. McGeady wasnÂt all bad, but that was a shocking miss from a pro footballer.
58 Posted 28/11/2014 at 05:22:01
Great performance... but even better is the squad depth that has allowed us to absorb a terrible run of injuries.
59 Posted 28/11/2014 at 06:48:40
The panic that was setting in amongst some of MartinezÂs detractors looks a bit foolish now.
60 Posted 28/11/2014 at 06:40:01
After the drubbing we gave them at Goodison, they were going to come at us with everything they had, but RMÂs tactics were spot on. Counter attacking football at itÂs finest!
I know injuries are part of the game, but the long list of our injured players seems to grow longer with every match. Hopefully, one day the tide will turn, and we will have something close to a full squad for Martinez to choose from. Those we have available are outstanding, however. IÂm very impressed with the depth of talent.
Bring on Spurs!
61 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:27:23
62 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:31:03
63 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:39:27
Everyone facing Howard makes it difficult to get forward, turn and use our attacking qualities. We keep our (improving) defence under pressure with this. So far, so good... but top teams will find us out.
Other than that, I was very pleased with Besic Â– he seemed to take responsibility and was everywhere. McGeady did track back on his side and worked hard but is struggling to fit in and should have scored.
I hope we can get a few fit very soon, bloody injuries. Still, happy days.
64 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:51:38
65 Posted 28/11/2014 at 08:47:41
66 Posted 28/11/2014 at 10:12:47
67 Posted 28/11/2014 at 10:20:56
This is why Martinez is the man. Europe is set up for us. Great effort from the fans and players last night. Feeling so so proud to be a blue.
Warsaw Â– here we come!
68 Posted 28/11/2014 at 10:22:23
RomÂs best game since he signed permanently. He was excellent. He held the ball up well, took his chance brilliantly and his assist for KevÂs goal was sensational.
I see no reason why we canÂt go all the way in this competition. The only thing that could stop us is even more injuries or if we fall to a team like Napoli or God forbid, the Redshite.
We are built superbly for European football and, under Roberto, tactically aware as ever; we can beat any team in this competition on our day.
69 Posted 28/11/2014 at 10:32:17
Howard Â– solid 7. Held everything that came his way after a bit of a shakey start.
Hibbert Â– 6. Decent performance but didnÂt offer too much going forward.
Jags Â– very solid 7Â½
Distin Â– 7Â½ the same a Jags. Helped out with Garbutt and talked to him through the game.
Garbutt Â– 8Â½. An excellent performance. Must have been disappointed to not get the nod at the weekend but really took his chance here.
Besic Â– 8. Very good performance. Defensively and attacking play was very good. Played some very good link up play. Yellow carded.
McCarthy Â– 7. Only played 31 mins but he was important in that time!
McGeady Â– 6Â½. Who else shouted "GOAL!" and then went "Wha...??"? Played some good football but failed to deliver in the final third. Got caught on the ball a couple of times which let down some of his good play. Worked very hard. Chased everything.
Mirallas Â– 7Â½ WeÂve really missed this lad! Subbed late on.
EtoÂo Â– 6Â½. Not his best game. Caught in possession a few times and had a shot when passing seemed a better option. But overall still gave a good contribution to the team.
Lukaku Â– 8. His overall work rate is really improving and his ability with the ball is great. But itÂs his eye for goal that I really like. The thing is; he will only get better!
Osman Â– 7. Good solid display.
Barkley Â– 6. Unlucky to get his goal chalked off. Good work.
Atsu Â– 6. I really hope this lad can make a name for himself.
If Coleman comes back in on Sunday and Barry or Gibson can be fit to partner Besic in the midfield then I fancy us to get a result at Spurs. They are not all that. We look very composed going forward.
70 Posted 28/11/2014 at 10:52:25
Great to see our call for Garbutt to get his chance so well rewarded but why, oh why, was he relieved of corner-taking duty after the best two we have seen all season??? I do realise that Bobby just hates it going wildly Âinto the mincerÂ but Distin could easily have scored off one. Guess that wasnÂt in the plan, though!
71 Posted 28/11/2014 at 11:04:36
72 Posted 28/11/2014 at 11:10:55
The goal certainly settled us down and we played far better in the second half. It was a very fine team performance which it had to be to get that result.
73 Posted 28/11/2014 at 11:23:25
Anyone saying that was our best performance of the season is clearly blinded by the scoreline and a few excellent individual moments from Lukaku (got lucky after his poor first touch but showed strength and vision), Mirallas, Garbutt (positioning and corners), Besic, Osman and McGeady (work rate).
Howard was superb and the back four did OK but Wolfsburg were profligate in the extreme, a very funny old side.
They were beaten last week by Schalke and Chelsea smashed them for five so, while IÂm delighted with the result and the chance to blood a couple of players, letÂs not get over-excited.
Sorry to be a wet weekend. COYB
74 Posted 28/11/2014 at 11:26:36
Top performers: Garbutt, Distin, and Besic Â– 8/9 displays.
Poor performers: EtoÂo, Hibbert and Osman Â– 5 displays.
Everyone else: average at best Â– 6.
By the way, we have the best away support in country! By a mile!! Our players should be privileged to perform for such great support.
75 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:00:36
It was clearly a ploy to lull them into a false sense of security, and invite them to come at us and then counter. Master plan.
Only half-joking here.
Perisic is very dangerous, but Bendtner is a donkey and De Bruyne is wasteful the majority of the time Â– always has been.
76 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:11:18
Great that Coleman got a rest and Mirallas looked loads sharper than against West Ham. Lukaku was brilliant twice but also frustrating at times again but IÂll take that with him scoring one and creating one. Just shows what he can do.
Tim looked confident. Barkley still frustrates but the glimpses of quality were there as well.
77 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:31:49
78 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:45:32
79 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:57:13
80 Posted 28/11/2014 at 12:46:58
An all-around quality performance from the players, we were clinical. Fans were there in big numbers making plenty of noise.
After early season wobbles, Jags, Distin & Howard seem to be back to their best.
Garbutt, IÂve been frustrated with his lack of games Â– I think heÂs proved tonight he can be relied upon when required, certainly gives us depth at LB/LWB with Baines & Ovideo.
When IÂve seen Garbutt for Enggland Under-21s, IÂve been very impressed with his attacking game; last night, I thought he was excellent defensively, he didnÂt have much opportunity to get forward but, on the basis of what IÂve seen, he seems to have an all around game.
For games where we need to be tight away from home, like top 4 matches, I think heÂs a better bet than Baines as he is a better more solid defender from what IÂve seen. As others have mentioned, great from dead ball as well.
Now we just need Browning to get some more games and some of the other youngsters and weÂll start to develop some real depth. Hopefully Browning & Garbutt will get starts in the last Euro League Group game and Ledson might get some time off the bench.
Besic is pure class, and itÂs starting to show.
Rom was excellent, hopefully will get his confidence and continue goalscoring, and Kev M, IÂd agree, is one of our most important players.
EtoÂo, nothing needs saying. Hopefully weÂll have the option of Kone in the second half of the season.
81 Posted 28/11/2014 at 13:02:11
Which means that the infrequency it happens has taught me to keep my trap shut. But if thatÂs how you get your kicks, just remember Â– it works both ways!
82 Posted 28/11/2014 at 13:07:31
The Everton supporters were fantastic throughout and made it feel more like a home match. Did I hear the commentators say we had been allocated 2800 tickets but 5000 Toffees had ended up in the ground?
IÂm glad to see Martinez taking this competition so seriously as it gives us an alternative route into the Champions League.
Krasnodar will be a great opportunity to give some of the fringe players a chance to show what they can do. ItÂs not often we have games without any real pressure.
83 Posted 28/11/2014 at 13:23:47
Looking at the knockout stages next, there is a good chance we could draw Celtic and that would be perfect for us. Celtic are poor at best and we would stroll into the last 16... WouldnÂt we?
84 Posted 28/11/2014 at 13:26:13
IÂve got a lot of time for WUMs when they are funny or spark debate but your comments mostly evidence neither properties.
90 Posted 28/11/2014 at 13:54:04
YouÂre pretence at even-handedness is just that. When we win you glory in your 50 years of fan experience like that makes you the biggest blue, and when we donÂt you bang on about Robles, Alcaraz, Kone, and Martinez.
The link to your spiritual home is at the top. DonÂt fight it.
91 Posted 28/11/2014 at 14:04:37
92 Posted 28/11/2014 at 15:27:27
Sam Allardyce bid ٧.5 mill. for Yevhen Konoplyanka a Ukranian winger 25 years old. Liverpool and Tottingham were reportedly interested, he could be available on a free this summer.
93 Posted 28/11/2014 at 16:39:25
Anyway, IÂm at peace now. (Not dead or anything, just Friday evening peace like!)
94 Posted 28/11/2014 at 17:01:09
95 Posted 28/11/2014 at 16:56:14
Anyway well done lads, and well done Mr Martinez.
98 Posted 28/11/2014 at 17:14:31
99 Posted 28/11/2014 at 17:31:03
102 Posted 28/11/2014 at 17:51:59
Good ratings summary, particularly on McGeady and EtoÂo, I think you got it just right.
103 Posted 28/11/2014 at 18:04:49
Perhaps it was deemed that with the centre backs up for the corner, and two Wolfsburg players left up top, we needed someone with pace to guard against the counter.
I think the kid needs a lot more game time to improve his game and gain experience. If he can cope away to one of the best attacking teams in Europe and not look in the least bit out of place, then I think he has a very good chance of making it as a long-term first team regular. They also spent most of the game in our half, so I think he was kept busy enough.
I think the same applies to Browning who was equally as good away to RS and Man Utd, but has found himself with no opportunities since. I think there is no reason not to use them in the FA Cup as they donÂt seem far off the normal first team regulars in terms of quality.
104 Posted 28/11/2014 at 19:27:37
Wise words I think, I remember rejoicing at half-time in the Istanbul European final, particularly towards the Reds fans in my family. Livid and red-faced in less than 75 mins.
On last nightÂs game, congratulations to all who worked so hard, management, team and fans.
McGeady did have a number of poor touches but he worked his socks off defensively as many on here have recognised.
Same could be said about Eto'o, although many donÂt say it.
105 Posted 28/11/2014 at 19:42:58
It canÂt really be a tactic, can it? Although GarbuttÂs removal from that duty after such a promising start makes me wonder. Or was it that Mirallas just Âclaimed the rightÂ?
106 Posted 28/11/2014 at 20:24:56
108 Posted 28/11/2014 at 21:17:13
109 Posted 28/11/2014 at 21:37:12
Look at the goal Liverpool conceded the other night. A poor flat corner was flicked on at the front post and they scored.
Colin, the most important goal ever scored by a Martinez player was a header from a corner. How can you not care about set-pieces when they have won you an FA Cup Final at Wembley?
110 Posted 29/11/2014 at 01:13:07
I have not seen him have a good game yet. If you placed a plank on the pitch, heÂd run up and fall off the end. No vision, no team skill, no positional sense.
Sorry, he is woeful and looks bewildered by getting a game. Back to Scottish or Irish football, friend.
111 Posted 29/11/2014 at 08:28:21
Am I reading your posts correctly? Are you suggesting that RM stopped Garbutt taking corners as he was worried that we were going to score from one? Really?
Maybe it was because Wolfsburg were leaving two up front at our corners and we needed a third defender back there. Mirallas or Garbutt as the third defender, I wonder why he chose Garbutt?
If I have misread this, apologies.
You also complain about the number of posters who feel the need to comment about the RS or OFM. Then your next post mentions the RS. Classic.
Maybe all the people who mention RS or OFM in their posts have got together and decided that when you stop mentioning Wigan in your posts they will stop...
Onto the Lane tomorrow, let's put this shower away. COYB
112 Posted 29/11/2014 at 14:06:03
We flew into Hannover and then on to Berlin for the day, had a great time. Last time I was there, the wall was still up and, for my 23-year-old niece, the wall had never been up in her lifetime.
We spent time at the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market, which was excellent, then headed back to the train out to Wolfsburg. The train was full of Blues from all points of the compass and some good banter going. We landed at Wolfsburg and a highly visible police presence but a sensible one with not an ounce of aggression or intimidation.
We then headed for the game, singing along with the swarms of Blues heading down the pedestrian route the short 15-20 mins to the ground. A bit of hassle getting into OST2, our entrance, with an over vigilant but painfully slow pad down of every single visitor which meant we missed the first 10-15 mins but we were in at last... Wow! Blues on three sides of the ground and loud as ever.
I had fallen ill in Berlin with a kidney infection so was worse for wear with a climbing temperature but even that didn't stem the shiver of a really cold night. Fortunately an on-tune Everton were able to snuff out what looked very predictable wave after predictable wave of Wolfsburg attacks and scored two great goals worthy of winning the game, the crowd went mental for both.
Leaving the ground and bumping into more familiar faces, like Billy Bradshaw and all his guys, and you just know you are part of some of the best and reliable travelling fans in the country. Sadly at this point my temperature was skyrocketting and I was fading fast, managed to get on the extra train that Deutsche Bundesbahn put on for Hannover and if anyone was on the train and saw a guy trying to sleep in a black fur coat with his niece holding his fedora then yeah that was me. Last time I had this type of infection, it put me in hospital on IV antibiotics for 5 days. Little did I know but shops in Germany aren't allowed to sell paracetamol, only chemists, so I was stuffed until I could get back to England on Friday morning.
We eventually got to Hannover airport around midnight and replicated all those Dortmund fans we had seen at Stansted on the day of our departure, crashed out wherever we could and grabbed a few hours sleep. Landed on Friday morning and was finally able to get paracetamol to hit the fever I had and then drive the 200+ miles home as carefully as I could.
Overall, the trip was magical Â– I was more than happy with a win against the team sitting 2nd in the Bundesliga and made for great memories for myself and my niece. I wish I hadn't fallen ill but now I have my painkillers and antibiotics so I'm hopefully on the mend.
113 Posted 29/11/2014 at 14:30:22
We flew from Liverpool to Amsterdam then took a 4.5 hour train trip to Hannover. I was a bit wary of time before we left Liverpool, bearing in mind how big Schipol airport is, because, had we missed the train, the next one was not due into Hannover until after 6. However, we made our train in plenty of time, stopping at a supermarket for few cans. I was surprised how many Blues were on our flight, and even more on the train, as loads had stayed in Amsterdam on Wednesday night.
Anyway, we arrived in Hannover with loads of time to spare, so, after a quick dash by taxi to our hotel then back to the station for the 4:30 train to Wolfsburg, we arrived in Wolfsburg at 5pm. Plenty of time to stop off for a pint.
Had a mega night back in Hannover afterwards which was just swarming with Blues. Done the same return journey, finally arriving back home about 11pm last night. An all-round boss trip!!
114 Posted 29/11/2014 at 15:31:08
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