Visitors benefit from more sloppy Everton defending

Saturday, 4 August, 2018 0comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 2 - 3 Valencia

Everton took on Valencia at Goodison Park in their final pre-season fixture and a chance to see new signing Lucas Digne for the first time. Digne came on after the break, but Everton would not threaten and gave up a soft third goal in a poor second half.

The performances have left a lot to be desired as we approach the last of the pre-season friendlies and a rapidly closing transfer window with only two new players of note in Richarlison and Digne. Silva makes it a home debut for Brazilian winger Richarlison with fellow new boy Lucas Digne on the bench with Jordan Pickford with newly signed third goalkeeper João Virginia.

The omissions of Nikola Vlasic and Cuco Martina likely spell the end of their Everton careers while Ademola Lookman is significantly left on the bench.

Valencia kicked off and looked to control the ball but when Everton got possession, Sigurdsson released Walcott who showed his lack of match sharpness in failing to take full advantage.

Some terrible defending allowed Rodrigo to get in, Baines doing nothing to stop the cross.

Some good build-up got the ball out to Richarlison who curled a beauty at goal but Neto made a fine save to tip it over the bar.

Everton tried to implement quick one-touch passing to get into the Valencia area but the required finesse was not there, while Valencia looked very comfortable in possession. A dangerous free-kick wide left was wasted by them.

More crisp passing had the Blue shirts chasing shadows until a throw-in found Richarlison, then Walcott fed Tosun who powered a fine low shot across the keeper Neto and into the corner of the Park End net.

Gueye won the ball to start a move with some better touches and movement all around the Valencia area until Gueye's pass was wayward. Baines looked to cross in but had the ball whipped off his toes.

A fine cross from Piccini was laid on a plate for Rodrigo to score a far too easy second off his head, with no defender challenging him.

Sigurdsson had a chance to deliver a free-kick but it was low and put out for a corner that this time was delivered very well to the near post where Michael Keane timed his run to perfection and connected well to head home.

A poor clearance from Stekelenburg was punished but the goal was rather fortunately ruled offside.

Tosun did well to retain the ball wide right and Sigurdsson lashed in a meaty cross that was inches too high for Walcott at the back post.

Schneiderlin and Gueye were well involved in a better spell for Everton and fortunate to be given room to play some decent passes but Gueye's final choice was still a problem. There was a tendency to play deep or long balls too soon at times...

Baines crossed in a great ball that Walcott could not get his body shape right for. Another ball was put through for him by Sigurdsson but the keeper was out quickly.

Richarlison showed great desire to pick up the ball, turn and run forward, chipping in a tricky cross that drifted over as the whistle blew for half-time.

Lucas Digne replaced Leighton Baines after the break, with two changes on the Valencia side as Everton restarted. Sigurdsson swung in a free-kick punched away by the substitute keeper.

Sigurdsson put a free-kick into the danger area and it fell to Schneiderlin but his shot was blocked. The play was mostly in midfield, however, with the tempo slacking somewhat.

Valencia sensed an opportunity and pushed the Blues back for a while without threatening. But then they put together a fine move, rapid passing, finished with a clip across goal that went wide.

A bit of a scrap on the edge of the Valencia area looked like a handball but nothing given as Sandro replaced Walcott, but the pace of the game was relatively flat.

Tosun was slow but fouled, setting up another deep set-piece for Sigurdsson, played out wide, and Digne put in a fantastic ball to the far post that Richarlison missed.

After a lot of Valencia subs, Digne had his pocket picked and Coleman had to concede the corner, finally hooked away out of danger. The game was now quite scrappy as Marco Siva made more changes: Davies and Calvert-Lewin on for Gueye and Tosun with 15 minutes left.

Coleman and Sandro got in each-other's way, letting Wass pick up the ball and hammer it past Stekelenburg off the underside of the crossbar, another very poor goal to concede. Calvert-Lewin went down soon after, taking a hard knock.

Lookman relaced Richarlison to a good round of applause from the Goodison faithful. But so many substitutions destroyed any remnants of flow the game had lost since the break.

The game petered out with Everton losing their fifth pre-season game out of seven, despite a somewhat better performance, especially in the last 20 mins of the first half.

Scorers: Tosun (17'), Keane (30'); Rodrigo (6', 22'), Wass (75').

Everton: Stekelenburg, Baines (46' Digne), Keane, Jagielka, Coleman, Scheiderlin, Gueye (74' Davies), Sigurdsson (86' Dowell), Richarlison (81' Lookman), Walcott (60' Sandro), Tosun (74' Calvert-Lewin [Y:91']).
Subs not Used: Pickford, Virginia, Connolly, Kenny, Pennington, Besic, Niasse.

Valencia: Neto (46' Doménech); Piccini (67' Montoya) Garay (78' Murillo), Diakhaby (69' Vezo), Gaya (65' Lato); Soler (85' Escobar), Parejo [Y:81'], Kondogbia (78' Lee), Ferran (46' Wass); Rodrigo (68' Zaza), Santi Mina (84' Medran).
Subs not Used: Rivero, Montoya.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 19,426


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