Blues fail to earn their just reward

19/09/2015  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Swansea City 0 - 0 Everton

Everton came within a clinical finish of taking three points back to Merseyside but were left counting the cost of an off-day in front of goal, particularly from Roberto Maritnez's record signing, Romelu Lukaku.

Having stifled Gary Monk's enterprising Swansea team with a brilliant defensive display, Everton established the platform to go on and win the game but Lukaku spurned a trio of great chances, Brendan Galloway went very close to becoming the unlikely hero and Arouna Kone allowed another chance in front of goal to go begging.

With Seamus Coleman and Muhamed Besic failing fitness tests, Martinez made the two expected changes from the team that started against Chelsea, with Steven Naismith and Tyias Browning starting in the injured duo's places.

Billed perhaps as a battle between the Blues' inexperienced fullbacks and the in-form Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew, it was apparent by half time that Browning and Galloway had largely nullified the Swans' main threats. Only Bafetimbi Gomis had troubled Tim Howard with a pair of close efforts, the first a half-volley that the American held and the second effort he dragged wide of the post following Gareth Barry's ill-advised back-header.

At the other end, Lukaku had been unfortunate to see his attempt to flick Naismith's drive into Lukas Fabianski's grateful arms and a shot of his own deflected wide by Ashley Williams.

Everton began the second half exhibiting the confidence they gleaned from their first-half efforts and might have scored on any of three good chances within 10 minutes of the restart.

Unfortunately, Kone appeared to freeze as Ross Barkley's cut-back arrived at his feet, Galloway was unlucky to pull an effort across goal looking for the far post and Lukaku skied his best chance so far when put in by Barry.

More chances would follow but Lukaku again couldn't convert despite two stabs at a bouncing ball in front of the keeper, substitute Gerard Deulofeu's tempting cross just eluded Naismith and Lukaku again passed up a great opportunity from Barkley's through-ball.

Martinez threw Kevin Mirallas on for the last couple of minutes of stoppage time but the Belgian wouldn't see out the match he was shown a red card for a clumsy over-the-ball challenge on Modou Barrow that ended with his studs on the Swansea sub's ankle.

The manager was rightly proud of a performance that maintains his side unbeaten start to the season away from home but equally disappointed because his side had clearly done enough to take all three points.

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