Everton 4 - 0 Manchester City
I met a mate in The Winslow at the staggeringly early time of 10.30am. He had some tickets for me to collect for next weekends game at Crystal Palace, though as he'd forgotten them I needn't have bothered getting there so early and could instead have taken the later lift from Gaz. Regardless, it was nice to catch up with David and his Manchester City supporting friend Steve over a few, early, beers.
David and Steve had to head into the ground pretty early so I met with Ste, Gaz and, spontaneously, Stuart for a few in The Brick. Here we learnt of our team news. "That's pretty much the team I'd have picked" I said. Our new signings Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman both made the substitutes bench. It was good to see Everton return to three at the back with Kevin Mirallas in attack - something we should have done last weekend against Leicester City. John Stones returned for Manchester City alongside Nicolas Otamendi with Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero amongst the vast array of talent we had to compete with. We had our work cut out.
Last weekend against Leicester City the atmosphere was strangely flat. This time around everybody was bang up for the game and Goodison Park was rocking. It was heart warming to see Romelu Lukaku carry young Bradley Lowery onto the pitch before a minute's applause was observed in respect of Graham Taylor and our previous club secretary, Jim Greenwood.
We began the game brightly, this form continuing throughout with everybody doing their jobs all over the pitch and we were good money for our lead when Kevin Mirallas squared for Romelu Lukaku to smash Everton into the lead. The goal felt like it had brought the house down then, though with every preceding goal the applause felt louder and stronger such was the quality of our display. Following our opener we did have a rocky few minutes but we thankfully galvanised and led at the break 1-0.
It was nice to see young Bradley on the pitch playing football with the other kids at the break. The ground staff tried to let him score into the Gwladys Street goal but he didn't quite fancy it and ran back to his loving parents. It was bittersweet. Great to see him out there enjoying himself, but so sad given the situation. You have to admire their bravery and can only wish them nothing but the best.
Into the second half and I can seldom remember Everton coming out of the traps like that after the break with an early goal. Kevin Mirallas this time finishing low into the corner past Claudio Bravo. Everton 2-0 ahead, Manchester City rocked.
A few of the lads around us began to get twitchy as we seemed t drop back as Manchester City tried to rally, though everything was in front of us and, despite Mark Clattenburg's best efforts, we held firm and on 79 minutes we made the game safe virtue to a quite brilliant goal from young Tom Davies. His skillful turn inside was wonderful in itself but to cap it off with a dinked goal was majestic and it was a relief that he scored the goal and not Romelu Lukaku. It was quite a feeling knowing we had won the game.
Late substitute Ademola Lookman changed the afternoon from a great one to a perfect one when he slotted through the legs of Bravo following a botched John Stones clearance and that was that. Nobody could even have dreamed of such a result before the game.
As we walked back to the car we questioned when we last performed so exquisitely. Beating Arsenal 3-0 in Roberto Martinez' first season sprung to mind but this performance was even better. I'd even go as far to say it was the best we played since we beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 at Elland Road on route to Wembley in 1995. We were just awesome. Can anyone tell me when we last played this well?
Now that's the standard. That's what we can do. The key now is to reach that level consistency.
Over to you Mr. Koeman.
Robles: Made good saves when he had too. A little ponderous with his distribution at times if I'm going to be critical but he played well. He certainly deserves to be in the team following his December introduction. He's generally done pretty well. 7
Baines: Did very well at wing back. 7
Funes Mori: A few hairy moments but overall he did pretty well. 7
Williams: A rock at the heart of defence. 8
Holgate: Did very well. 7
Coleman: Much more like it after his horror show last weekend. 7
Barry: Had an excellent game in the middle. 8
Davies: Man of the match. The discipline and fight he shows for a young player is quite remarkable. If he's not heading it off the line he's putting in a tackle or putting the ball in the net. A truly brilliant display. We have some player on our hands there. 9
Barkley: Did very well and got stuck in. 7
Mirallas: Had a brilliant game up front alongside Romelu Lukaku, making one and scoring one before being subbed. Surely just off the striker is his best position. 8
Lukaku: Was quite brilliant and carried the fight. 8
Schneiderlin (for Mirallas): Settled in quite nicely. 6
McCarthy (for Barry): Got stuck in. 6
Lookman (for Barkley): What a dream debut for the lad. A great finish. Great to see him hit the ground running. 7
Reader Comments (26)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 16/01/2017 at 09:06:06
2 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:03:43
Just watched the game again, tremendous performance. No pointing out mistakes, leave that to Ron, but thought Barkley was immense, Robles was quality.
But Davies, fuck me, got a man crush (is that legal?). I actually welled up watching his celebration, you could see how much it meant him and everyone else for that matter.
I posted on the match thread that Alan Whittle once give my arl fella a lift the match, Tom Davies (if you read this), carry on the tradition for the Palace Match... I live in Kent now. Not far from the ground.
Here's to the future (raises glass, necks rum). Happy days!
3 Posted 16/01/2017 at 10:48:00
So our problem is to get these very good players gelling as a team, consistently. To do that, you need a recognisable system that works, rather than the hoofball to Lukaku approach we've seen too often. Well, yesterday gave us such a display.
There's been a lot of talk on TW about the importance of transfer windows, and opinions expressed that we need a complete overhaul of players. However, the reality is that, although transfer windows are important, for us they are to strengthen an already fine squad, rather than to replace players like Barkley, Mirallas, et al, who are excellent.
The trick, surely, is to utilise the more solid defensive set up that Koeman has injected, and combine it with the attacking flair that we have so often seen (in the Martinez era) from these players. Again, I believe that's what we saw yesterday. Pressing, which Koeman has always reiterated, but pressing on the back of an effective system.
And to see Holgate and Davies performing like this, and Lookman scoring, was the icing on the cake. Using youngsters in the tradition of the best Everton teams. Fantastic.
4 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:15:23
It clearly works well against the stronger sides. There just seems to be more space... I think it allows Baines and Coleman in fact the whole midfield to move up the pitch.
If we persevere with this approach, I think Lookman will be intended as a Number 10. Suddenly, I am looking forward to the next match.
5 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:36:21
Best performance since Spurs in the 1995 FA Cup Semi-Final!!!
6 Posted 16/01/2017 at 11:46:04
Arsenal at home (Martinez),
Liverpool at home (Moyes 3-0),
Man Utd at home (Moyes 3-1),
Sunderland at home (Moyes 7-0).
However, yesterday topped all of those performances in Davies, a star was born.
7 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:29:51
I remember a performance like that a few decades ago when an all-dominant Liverpool team sank under a performance from a new Everton team that had them giving up the game long before the final whistle. I had never seen that before. Ole! Ole! Ole We won a few cups & Championships after that so fingers crossed..
Last week aside, we have been developing nicely since the Christmas period and confidence is on the rise. Those clubs that pick up form over Christmas generally do well in the Premier League so I'm looking for over 60 points this season now.
8 Posted 16/01/2017 at 12:49:20
What a great weekend to be a blue.
Only joking about the beers Andy Wheeler love reading your reports.
9 Posted 16/01/2017 at 15:04:23
My MotM Gareth Barry the kingpin of our performance.
Lookman could be our new Inchie or Cottee, as soon as he is out of nappies.
Give us that performance every week; if a defeat follows, it won't be lack of effort.
10 Posted 16/01/2017 at 15:55:46
Barry was excellent also, gets far too much stick on this site.
Great to see the young lads do so well and there are more diamonds in that Under-23s side still to come through.
11 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:37:23
12 Posted 16/01/2017 at 16:57:27
Poxy spellchecker no doubt. Even so that's a strange one.
13 Posted 16/01/2017 at 18:17:13
Tony (#11) Thank you. There's a thin line between bravery and naivety!
14 Posted 16/01/2017 at 19:50:35
Overall, one of the better refs we've had. I'll probably not get many agreeing with me, but I thought he had a decent game.
15 Posted 16/01/2017 at 20:41:20
16 Posted 16/01/2017 at 21:17:17
Anyway nothing would have put a dampener on Tom's and the fans' sheer joy in scoring that goal.
17 Posted 16/01/2017 at 22:52:00
Some outstanding performances and what a refreshing sight to see the lads enjoying the day like us fans. Perhaps having the youngsters with there raw talent and enthusiasm in the squad is rubbing off on the rest of the team.
I just want to mention Robles, he has had a run of games and stepped up to the mark. For me, he needs to keep his place and have a real good run of games he has kept 3 clean sheets out of 5 league games since he stepped in.
I can recall a similar stat under Martinez when Howard got injured and he stepped up then only to be dropped as soon as Howard recovered. A true test of Koeman's character to keep the faith in him.
18 Posted 17/01/2017 at 00:25:42
It certainly puts the Moyes era in perspective; with 4 minutes of added time left, Moyes would have brought on Jags instead of Lookman.
19 Posted 17/01/2017 at 01:05:32
I am presuming you gave Mirallas and Lukaku 8 because they scored a goal? There is no way that they out-performed Ross on the day.
20 Posted 17/01/2017 at 09:21:41
Ashley @19, why can't Barkley get 9? Tom can have 9.5! Or, why not 9.8?
21 Posted 17/01/2017 at 09:55:29
How often do we see a decent performance from him? With him, it's the odd great game and the rest are poor; if it was the other way round what a star, but alas...
22 Posted 17/01/2017 at 11:16:36
How many of us have the feeling that this is the start of something new? Even with a few setbacks along the way, we know we can do it. Not just a fortunate 1-0 but a slam-dunk!
Well done, Ronald, support group, and all of the players!
23 Posted 17/01/2017 at 13:56:42
The midfield was excellent. Gareth Barry is such an intelligent player and Tom Davies was a revelation.
Barkley looked good, I would love to know how far he travelled during the game.
Mirallas made a very useful contribution to the team effort: one cracking pass to Lukaku for the opening goal and a great strike for the second.
I think, as many do, that Holgate is a player of immense talent.
Williams made some really good interventions but he so poor in the air for a centre-half.
24 Posted 17/01/2017 at 14:00:32
25 Posted 17/01/2017 at 14:10:06
What we did was defend well and made the most of the chances we had, the team worked hard and on chances created deserved to win. But best performance in years??
26 Posted 18/01/2017 at 04:09:45
Yes, he lost the ball a few times in the first half but they were moments that were potentially match opening. He saw passes that others just didn't. In the second half, he ran the show. Deserved a 8.5-9.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.