Dundee 0 - 2 EvertonEverton played the second of two pre-season friendlies in Scotland this evening with a comfortable 2-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park.
Conor McAleny started up front and his side-foot shot put the Blues ahead in only the second minute while Ross Barkley's composed penalty doubled the lead in the second half.
Another positive workout, one which saw a number of the Blues' young players excel, was marred, though, by a concern that Romelu Lukaku had tweaked a hamstring in the first half.
Tyias Browning partnered John Stones in central defence, Joe Robles started in goal while Tom Cleverley and James McCarthy lined up in midfield as Gareth Barry is given a break.
Lukaku led the line with Steven Naismith also involved and Leighton Baines made his second start of the summer after recovering from ankle surgery.
Barkley, also enjoying another start, put Naismith in behind the Dundee defence with a wonderful pass but the Scot was cynically fouled as he bore down on goal and Barkley forced a two-handed save from the goalkeeper with a stinging free kick from the edge of the box.
The hosts should gave drawn level after 20 minutes when Naismith's terrible pass gifted possession in his own box but the resulting shot from Luka Tankulic cannoned off the top of the crossbar.
Another impressive run from McAleny set up another inviting direct free kick opportunity but Baines made a mess of the contact and it ballooned over the bar.
Everton's early impetus waned as little as the half progressed but there was concern for Lukaku with half an hour gone when he had to be substituted after clutching his hamstring, to be replaced by U21s winger Kieiran Dowell.
Very soon afterwards, Barkley had a good chance from the angle but his scuffed shot failed to find the target and Dowell had a low shot spilled by the Dundee 'keeper.
Matthew Pennington and Bryan Oviedo and became the second and third changes of the evening when they replaced Seamus Coleman and Baines for the start of the second half and the youngster won an early corner that momentarily caused havoc in the Dundee area.
A nice interchange of passes then put Cleverley in with a good chance but he couldn't find the inside of the far post and his shot flew past the far post.
Dowell had a decent shout of a penalty waved away by the referee when he appeared to be tripped in the box but the referee had no choice but to point to the spot seconds later when Barkley went down between two players.
The 21-year-old stroked home a confident penalty to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark.
Rory Loye should have halved the deficit a few minutes later but he put a free header high over the bar from a cross from the right but he then went close with a curled effort that just missed the far post.
Another chance for Dundee to break their duck fell to the feet of Holt on the overlap down the right but he fired wide.
Everton made more changes with 20 minutes to go, with Kevin Mirallas and Brendan Galloway coming on for McAleny and Stones.
Now wearing the captain's armband, Naismith had a great chance to make it 3-0 but he wasn't able to clip the ball over the advancing keeper in the 71st minute.
Another promising young talent in Ryan Ledson was introduced with 10 minutes left moments before Oviedo swept a right-footed effort over the bar from 20 yards.
A Naismith knock-on put Mirallas into a one-on-one with the 'keeper but he was foiled as he tried to slot it between the Dundee substitute's legs.
And Naismith's quest for a deserved goal was almost complete four minutes from time but he choked his shot and the 'keeper was able to make the block.
Martinez's final change of the evening saw Antonee Robinson come on for Browning with a minute or so to go.
Everton: Robles, Coleman (Pennington 46'), Stones (Galloway 70'), Browning (Robinson 89'), Baines (Oviedo 46'), McCarthy (Ledson 80'), Cleverley, Barkley, Naismith, McAleny (Mirallas 70'), Lukaku (Dowell 31').
Subs not Used: Stanek
Reader Comments (59)
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1 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:05:49
Shouldn't this guy be playing as much as possible given the amount of football he's missed at Everton?
2 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:06:11
4 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:14:29
13 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:25:56
17 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:28:26
20 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:30:54
22 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:31:13
24 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:32:14
25 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:33:10
27 Posted 28/07/2015 at 19:33:35
30 Posted 28/07/2015 at 20:11:46
Rom off with a hamstring injury, this is getting beyond a joke now!!
31 Posted 28/07/2015 at 20:13:19
33 Posted 28/07/2015 at 20:20:30
34 Posted 28/07/2015 at 20:26:51
35 Posted 28/07/2015 at 20:27:42
38 Posted 28/07/2015 at 20:59:13
39 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:03:25
44 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:13:52
45 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:15:58
Lukaku may or may not be out for a long time but regardless there is too much expectancy on him. I know McAleny has done well but the Premier League is a different kettle of fish than kickabouts preseason, we have seen the likes of Vellios have great pre-season's but their limitations are soon exposed.
Crack open the auction war for Charlie Austin with an opening bid of £14 million (buttons in this day and age).
46 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:17:46
48 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:29:18
49 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:38:32
Pennington looked good. As did Dowell. Wouldn't share others opinion on Browning. Good for one-on-one's. Awful for crosses coming into the box. His man lost him on numerous occasions.
Barkley showed nice touches but took too much out of the ball constantly. Robles looked safe. Naismith tried hard as always but lacks ability. Nice to see Oviedo back. We are threadbare as a squad and still not close to Premier League speed.
50 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:44:27
Have to mention Cleverley who I thought showed a lot of good touches and passing range tonight.
52 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:50:25
53 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:52:24
That said I can't find the article now.
Anyway good run out for some of our younger players marred by the curse of the hamstring!!
54 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:52:46
We are awfully light upfront, and we are missing someone who can do some damage in the final third. Kone is a bit of a non-entity. And I wouldn't deem Naismith and McAleny as out-and-out strikers.
It wasn't all bad. I think Cleverley will be a great signing and Dowell and Pennington also impressed for me.
55 Posted 28/07/2015 at 21:56:55
56 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:01:25
John Barnes once played against Ruud Gullit and it was evident it was one way traffic, they could not get beyond trying to stop JB. This is for England by the way.
The same is true for Glenn Hoddle... nothing went through his area of the pitch, he never lost the ball and was a colossal player.
The same is true of our Ross... except we are over-expecting as when Glenn and JB got to the level of what I am talking about they were 27-ish...
Ross is a baby in terms of time on the pitch. However, in the right-hand side of central midfield, he will dominate the pitch. Let's forget the big foraging runs and amazing goals... let's just let him play an anchor role and start short passing movements off... until he sees the space and can then orchestrate the whole game...
That's my humble opinion... which I will no doubt come back to over the years of watching Ross! ;-)
57 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:03:15
58 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:12:11
And there'll be people saying it's just down to luck and is a very common injury in football (despite the fact almost every player we have has had this injury in the last 24 months!). Well we'll now likely be starting the season with the following unavailable;
â— Deulofeu, hamstring
â— Lukaku, hamstring
â— Pienaar, hamstring
â— Besic, hamstring
â— McGeady, hamstring
No less than 4 midfielders, 5 when you add the usually injured Gibson. And our main/only striker.
So Kone or McAleny it is then to lead the line in 10 days' time!
Nothing to do with our training methods mind....
59 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:15:49
The fragility of our players' hamstrings requires an in-depth look at the fitness and training regimes, however.
60 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:20:10
62 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:45:11
Questions have got to be asked and heads must roll!
63 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:52:02
We need a centre back, a left sided winger, a striker and a number 10 all with quality. Do that and then I would say we can challenge the big boys this season. I think we're not that far off but it feels like we have a jigsaw but we are missing a few pieces. So come on Kenwright, get your pen out of you pocket and start writing out cheques.
But well done to the young lads that played tonight and keep the hard work up you are our future.
64 Posted 28/07/2015 at 22:54:44
65 Posted 28/07/2015 at 23:11:43
I didn't think Stones had a good game by his standards but I put that down to all the media nonsense that is going on at the moment.
66 Posted 28/07/2015 at 23:21:10
67 Posted 28/07/2015 at 23:42:30
If a multi-million pound deal is on the table he would not be risked in a friendly. Too many people are believing the papers who are desperate for a big transfer story with some concocting the Rom to Man Utd tale on the back of an innocent tweet from Depay on his holidays.
Journalists have back pages to fill and Talksport has to have topics to discuss so if there is nothing going on they will make something up and Stones to a Big 4 club is a bit of an obvious one. Maybe he will go but I doubt we are anywhere near a deal yet.
68 Posted 29/07/2015 at 00:10:01
69 Posted 29/07/2015 at 01:19:55
Anyway, I didn't see the game because I decided not to pay however much it was for a stream that didn't work, so as for a review of the game, don't know, don't care.
It's only Dundee anyway. I know you've got to beat who's in front of you and a win is a win etc but Swindon, Hearts where we needed 2 penalties, Dundee where we needed another pen for breathing space.
These teams are poor, the Scottish teams especially. Hearts were probably the equivalent of a mid table League 1 team and Dundee are probably no better.
Yes we may have beaten them comfortably but they offer no indication of where we are, only to show how threadbare our squad is and how poor seemingly our training sessions are as shown by these continual hamstring issues.
in the 2 competitive games we've played we scraped past Stoke in a shootout and got completely blown out of the water tactically, in terms of quality and fitness wise by Arsenal.
As for these young players, Dowell and the others will be in the under 21s and years away from the first team. 1 performance v Dundee doesn't make them automatic options for the first team squad.
We saw Chris Long last season in pre season look promising and get rave reviews from the manager, look where he is now. Burnley.
70 Posted 29/07/2015 at 02:50:23
71 Posted 29/07/2015 at 03:34:10
73 Posted 29/07/2015 at 04:29:23
I don't know who arranged these non-competitive games but the crap pre-season of 12 months ago is beginning to look better than this one.
74 Posted 29/07/2015 at 06:51:27
'Anyway, I didn't see the game because I decided not to pay however much it was for a stream that didn't work, so as for a review of the game, don't know, don't care'.
Plenty of free streams on line.
If you 'don't care' why write this uninformed and largely conjectural post based on not seeing the game?
We played very well.
Lu did not get a hamstring injury.
'Fitness wise' we looked very good.
You have little idea like - admittedly - most of us about what will happen to Dowell et al.
Long was never going to make it with us. If you had watched the match against a decent Dundee team you would have been very happy with McCaleny.
The squad is not 'threadbare'.
We did not need a pen for 'breathing space' as we were well on top - you didn't watch the game.
75 Posted 29/07/2015 at 07:09:02
Wouldn't disagree, Jay. I was really taken by the fact that there were so many young lads in the side, and Stones is still one of the young lads but one who has developed so well that we consider him an automatic pick, even though last night might not have been a stand-out game for him.
76 Posted 29/07/2015 at 07:21:34
It looks as if we will go into the first game of the season without the central defender needed as back up to Jags and Stones, with no back up to Rom, and without the promised number 10. What we have achieved is to fill the medical room with injured players.
I fear it is going to be a long season!
77 Posted 29/07/2015 at 07:29:29
As for the match, you can only beat what is in front of you and I thought we played quite well and was pleased to see so many of the young lads get a game.
The player who stood out by a country mile for me, was Kieron Dowell. What a classy player, with instant control but even more impressive was his vision and instant, accurate passing. I think he was wearing the 51 shirt but couldn't give a tinkers toss what number he wears, if he carries on developing, I think he will be in the 1st team possibly this season.
I thought Cleverley, Barkley, McCarthy looked very comfortable in and around the midfield, with Barkley able to get forward much more. Browning looked quite composed but did make mistakes. I'm not too worried about that as the lad is learning and coming on well.
All in all, a decent run out and great to see some our youngsters get so much time on the pitch.
Roll on Sunday
78 Posted 29/07/2015 at 08:06:14
80 Posted 29/07/2015 at 09:13:02
Cleverley looks good. I think he will get us 5+ goals this season unlike McCarthy who will maybe get us 2.
Dowell looks like exactly what we lack, a player with touch and vision, but probably needs another year or two and a good loan to be consistent at PL league level.
I certainly feel better than I did this time last year but reckon we need another creative player (especially with Pienaar crocked again) and obviously another CB though Browning I think can be relied on to take up the 4th choice CB role.
81 Posted 29/07/2015 at 09:56:00
With one game remaining albeit a testimonial this has hardly been an inspiring pre-season so far in regard to the the quality of the squad or their general fitness. Goals v injuries is a close call too.
82 Posted 29/07/2015 at 10:45:49
The last six months have seen you slip to almost Victor Meldrew levels of cantankery.
I actually completely agree with you on almost every occasion... but please, for your own sake and mine, look for the odd glimmer of hope as we ebb into the abyss.
83 Posted 29/07/2015 at 12:02:08
Since when do penalties not count as legitimate goals?
84 Posted 29/07/2015 at 12:06:36
Also Dowell is 17, Long is 20. It's a little more exciting when a player so young makes a impression.
85 Posted 29/07/2015 at 12:27:10
86 Posted 29/07/2015 at 12:42:30
Dowell looks like he has a bit of a spark and a physique that helps out -- need to make sure we hang onto him.
Also think that Galloway has quality.
Ledson and Pennington solid -- will be interesting to see how they come on.
McAleny has to be a senior player now and could probably cover Osman.
Browning already has a PL physique and did well but I still think we are desperate for a senior CB.
So, a CB and striker seem pretty essential even if we lose nobody.
90 Posted 30/07/2015 at 09:36:59
I do think we look much fitter and I've liked the way we've been trying to play in the final third.
We've been trying to play quick, one-touch incisive football in and around the opposition's penalty box to try and combat deep, stubborn defences which was a big problem last season and in the past two games, regardless of opposition, we've done it well imo. We seem to be full of running and on the move and popping the ball off more quicker to get by and in behind defences to carve open chances and that's how you want to see a passing game of football played.
Also, we're not scared of playing it over the top for Rom to chase on to and stretch the play that way, so we are trying to be flexible in the way we play, as opposed to being predictable, like last season!
We look like we've got a few good youngsters to come through in next few years. Hopefully McAleny can stay fit and get in and amongst the squad this season, he could be a useful player to have. Browning looks to have filled out a bit more and looks a lot more comfortable and confident on the ball but I do think him, more so than Galloway, could do with going out on loan and getting regular games.
Galloway looks ready to be called upon to me and young Dowell has shown up really well too. The lad has some really nice touches, quick feet and an eye for a pass and the future looks bright for him. Ledson is another that looks neat and tidy in central midfield but the likes of him and Dowell could probably do with a loan move at a decent standard to just kick them on and help them grow up in football terms.
As for the seniors, Cleverley is looking like a useful little player for us. He seems perfect for the Martinez style of play and no wonder he courted him for so long! He never stops running or moving, is full of energy and always wants the ball. Rarely wastes it either and he doesn't always play safe either and he looks like he could be a useful addition.
We all know we could do with 2 or 3 new additions to the squad, a CB, a playmaking midfielder capable of playing centrally and wide left for me and a Striker. If we can get those 3 players in of the required quality to improve us without selling, then I'm sure we can have a good season and kick on as we have the basis of a good side here!
91 Posted 30/07/2015 at 18:11:34
92 Posted 01/08/2015 at 21:28:27
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