Koeman upset by pedestrian second-half

Friday, 18 August, 2017 0comments  |  Jump to last

Ronald Koeman was unmistakably annoyed at his team's second-half performance in the first leg of their Europa League playoff against Hajduk Split this evening.

Even though Everton won 2-0 thanks to first-half goals by Michael Keane and Idrissa Gueye, the Dutchman said they made next week's second leg unnecessarily difficult by not maintaining the same level after half time which might have yielded more goals.

“I'm really happy about the first half and really unhappy about the second," Koeman is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo from his post-match press conference. "I think we lost a big opportunity to score more goals today and decide the qualification.

"The way how we dropped the tempo in the second half... I don't think our opponents made it more difficult, it was us.

“We dropped the tempo, we did not swap sides as fast as we did in the first half and we even had some good chances. We have to realise that Hajduk got two or three good chances to make it 2-1 and we were lucky.

“It's not about [needing] a striker, it's about the tempo of the game," he continued. "In the second half we didn't play to the maximum.

“We did it to ourselves by dropping the tempo. It's not about players or strikers; it's about intensity and how we need to play.

“If you are 2-0 up in a Premier League game then we know it's three points but this is two games and with a better result it would have been easier. It will be difficult now."

Having been kept at bay in the first half Hajduk became more adventurous in the second, forcing three saves from Jordan Pickford in front of the Park End.

Everton preserved the clean sheet, however, and avoided conceding an early goal that would have complicated their task in Split next Thursday.


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