Blues spirit digs out a fabulous win

Michael Kenrick 06/12/2021 208comments  |  Jump to last

Yerry Mina makes the starting XI to face the Gunners
Everton 2 - 1 Arsenal

After two astounding marginal offside calls that denied Richarlison a brace of excellent finishes, he finally got an equalizer and Gray finished things off with a brilliant strike to win the game in added time.

Manager Rafael Benitez has overseen a sequence of six defeats in seven games that culminated in humiliation in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday evening.

Benitez is still not able to play Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Salomon Rondon is not involved after tweaking a hamstring in the second half against Liverpool.

Lucas Digne is not available but is apparently not injured. He was reported to be in Paris over the weekend and may be Covid-restricted — or he has been dropped.

Defender Yerry Mina plays for the first time since over-exerting himself in the last International break but André Gomes is on the bench, however, no place for Ellis Simms, while Lewis Dobbin plays for the U23s in Southport tonight.

Arsenal kicked things off but Everton did the gegenpress to push back and try to show some much-needed desire to get the Everton fans behind them.

But Arsenal increasingly controlled the pace, easily thwarting Everton's laborious buildup until Godfrey overlapped and then slipped over on the slick Goodison turf!

Richarlison did well to break from deep only to gift the ball to an Arsenal man on the half-way line... groan!

A great 50-50 ball was won on a long run by Godfrey to really get the crowd aroused. Townsend crossed but over everyone.

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Everton with possession, their build-up play was hopelessly negative, until Keane played a stupid ball straight through to Ramsdale. Everton tried and failed at the awful playing out from the back, but the 3rd time the ball came back to Pickford, he lofted it forward and Gray got himself in range but shot very poorly, well off target.

The early zest had pretty much evaporated, Townsend managed to run into four Arsenal defenders. Arsenal looked to slow the pace and increase their control, until Thomas Partey tried to clear both the Gwladys Street and the Bullens Road stands.

Godfrey just avoided treading on Saka's foot in challenging for the ball but the Arsenal man collapsed in a heap nevertheless, having perhaps twisted his knee as he fell, but miraculously recovered.

Everton finally got inside the Arsenal area, Richarlison to Doucoure but his shot was weak and poorly dribbled wide. Godfrey did better with his overlap and won a throw-in as the 27th minute loomed. Richarlison screwed a half-shot wide, deflected for a corner and a fantastic cross from Grey but no takers.

A hndfull of Everton fans started to head for the aisles but most stayed in their seats and started to sing loudly. Meanwhile Godfrey got into an awkward situation, treading on Tomiyasu's neck and face but remarkably no punishment. Mina went off after 30 minutes, Holgate replacing him.

Allan headed away the first Arsenal corner, which led to another farcical session of sideways playing out and ultimate surrender of possession to Arsenal, despite some hard running from Richarlison. Everton reverted to Pickford hoofing the ball high upfield and straight out of play.

Richarlison and Gordon tried to make something happen but the Brazlison's cross was to a red shirt; however, Gordon lashed at a bouncing ball, Tomiyasu throwing himself in front of the ball to block it away.

Everton had to defend a couple of corners, Pickford supposedly impeded as he punched one out. Free-kick. Thankfully, Arsenal were as hopeless in attack as were Everton.

Richarlison fell over and somehow won a free-kick wide right that Townsend launched in well and Richarlison headed home superbly with a fantastic touch. But VAR decide it was fractionally offside.

But the zonal marking was soon to blame as a cross to Odegaard was easily finished pst Pickford just before half-time. So, a disastrous ending to the first half, after the barest glimmer of elation was snuffed out by the maddening accuracy of VAR.

After the restart, a Gordon lob had to be pushed behind by Ramsdale but nothing really came from the corner. Everton needed to get on the ball but Godfrey's bad challenge drew a yellow card.

Richarlison was next to be penalized, a free-kick for Arsenal 25 yards out. It was well worked but Gabriel's free header was straight to Pickford.

Arsenal were now looking the better side of two rather poor ones judging by the overall quality. But it needed something different from Everton ad it just wasn't happening, while Arsenal continued to build the more threatening moves.

Doucouré did drive forward to the edge of the box but then gave up the ball to the massed Arsenal defenders, but then he tries it again and this time releases Richarlison for an excellent finish inside the post by him... but this time just a toenail offside per VAR. Unbelievable.

Martinelli then got behind the Everton backline but tried to lob Pickford from a very wide angle, after he had been pushed wide onto the top of the net.

Doucoure released Gordon who had a great run until Xhaka rugby-tackled him, yellow card. Townsend swung in this delivery far too deep over everyone. Gomes then replaced him.

Doucouré did well to force an Everton corner, Gray put it deep, headed on to Gordon… who was offside.

Things then got a bit silly with Arsenal players dropping like flies when they could waste a bit of time and drive the Goodison crowd apoplectic.

Everton tried to attack but Gordon's cross was straight to Ramsdale. Gray got in a little closer as Everton were finally starting to compete in the Arsenal area. Gray worked a great shot that hit the bar and who else but Rocharlios was perfectly placed — and not offside — to head in high over Ramsdale to finally score a goal that stood.

Nketiah had a tremendous chance but Godfrey threw himself in brilliantly to stop the shot. Richarlins ran through with the ball but then put it the wrong side of Gordon, and Arsenal then attacked, a really end-end finish to the game.

An incredible cross in from Saka to the far post that Nketiah headed onto the base of the post, bounces back off him and is then saved by Pickford.

Incredibly, Benitez picked Iwobi to replace Gordon with 4 minutes plus to play. Doucoure got forward but his shot was simply pathetic, straight at Ramsdale, with 6 minutes of added time. Another desperate block, this time from Coleman, an outstanding save.

Gomes won the ball, advanced well, and slipped it to Gray who had a lot of work to do, but created space brilliantly to lash a tremendous shot in off the far post, an absolutely fabulous strike!

Gomes cleared another Arsenal attack, up to Richarlison, who chose to slip out to Iwobi in space who had to score... but no, he somehow saw his shot saved or blocked.

Arsenal galloped back the other way, and a fantastic chance was set up for Aubamyang but he drove it wide and the final whistle went on an incredible finish and finally a win.

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Reader Comments (208)

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Ciarán McGlone
1 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:18:44
Probably the team that should've started on Wednesday.

This could get nasty.

Tony Everan
2 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:21:04
It's a struggle to be positive these days, but here goes.

There's no Iwobi in the starting line-up and that always gives me a lift. Rondon is out, he played better last week but still, there's no goals in him.

Our five offensive players – Doucoure, Townsend, Gordon, Gray and Richarlison – are proper footballers, not charlatans. They could combine and get a goal or two if they're really fired up.

Mina and Keane has been a good partnership in the past, maybe our best one. Both can pop up from set-pieces and score a header.

Arsenal have been looking stronger than they have for a long time, their team tonight looks strong.

However, if our lads leave it all out on the pitch, the supporters can create the Goodison bear pit, and help us get a result tonight.

Come on you Blues!

Bill Gienapp
3 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:29:25
Good to see Mina back, but I still think we'd be better off with Delph in a midfield three. It's one less attacker, but it would allow Doucoure to push forward while providing better overall stability. Then again, what do I know?
Bill Whity
4 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:29:53
The younger players dropped from bench; these are our future.
Rob Hooton
5 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:36:07
I assume Digne is injured? He has been bang average for 18 months so no great loss.

Our defence was watertight with Godfrey at left-back last season, so fingers crossed we at least get some solidity in our back four.

I've not been looking forward to this but we can still win it, COYBB!!!

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:36:14
Missed the pre-match off so apologies for the repeat.

Probably the strongest team available?? No Rondon, but we can't isolate Richarlison. That's going to need Mina to marshall that defence and get it higher in possession, which will force the midfield to get closer to him.

Unwanted stat inbound according to the BBC: Our next defeat sees us become the first team to lose 400 Premier League games.

If not tonight, it's coming this season!!!

Chris Cook
7 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:38:45
Rob #5,

Apparently he's just dropped, not injured. Good job we have a back stock of left-backs to replace him!

Rob Hooton
8 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:43:49
Danny, I hope that stat is kept at bay until 2022!! Not much chance of that as I am off to Stamford Bridge next week and I’m yet to see us win in London (including twice at Brentford and QPR this season), when I was a kid we always won when I went to the game but that was the mid 80’s!
Oh to be a lucky charm again 😭
Rob Hooton
9 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:45:15
Chris #7 yes good job our recently departed DOF never loaned our only option out…
Ian Burns
10 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:49:46
Danny - to lose 400 PL games is because we have been in there since it’s inception (not to mention the many years before the PL!).
Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 06/12/2021 at 19:53:09

If we keep it up we won't be in it for much longer

Ian Burns
12 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:04:06
Can’t argue with that Kieran
Alex Gray
13 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:33:18
Not been bad so far. However Mina off injured already. Our best defender by a mile but the lads injuries seem to be getting worse and worse!

Can’t really tell via tv but did many walk out?

Tony Twist
14 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:35:05
Mina is Bilic Mk 2. Fit for his country, rarely for his club.
Christy Ring
15 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:40:46
Back fit after 2 months and gone again, our best centreback, that's all we need. He could play 3 games in 10 days for his country.
Ciarán McGlone
16 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:50:10
A bright enough half of football and we looked decent when we closed down quickly. A couple of drops in tempo, but inevitable. Not much from either side in front apart from our offside goal and their onside one.These players aren't the array of terrible footballers some would have you believe.

Godfrey lucky to stay on... we rode our luck on that one.

Match there to be won, despite being 1 down.

As for the protest. A soggy squib. Militancy among our match going support against Kenwright just isn't there. However the reasonable performance up to then may have had a impact.

Ernie Baywood
17 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:52:07
Well the effort is there, the luck isn't. A centimetre offside for our goal and then concede just before half time.

A tweak in formation, but, that said, it's all a bit 'more of the same'. No real change in a style that has been ineffective for weeks. Looking down the barrel of yet another loss... is there another way we can play? I'm still not seeing anything different.

No luck ridden with Godfrey, Ciaran. There was nothing in it.

Danny Baily
18 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:55:24
Urgh. We create so little that one goal will likely be enough for Arsenal. Will take a lot to stop heads from dropping.
Ciarán McGlone
19 Posted 06/12/2021 at 20:56:56
Wise up Ernie. He stood on his face and he knew it.
Ernie Baywood
20 Posted 06/12/2021 at 21:01:23
He had no idea. Momentum carrying him to the edge of the pitch and he's trying keep himself upright. As soon as his foot went down on the player he tried to take the weight off it.

The game isn't played in slow motion.

Tony Twist
21 Posted 06/12/2021 at 21:01:50
It is about time the owner woke up. One of these days he will make a right decision but I am not holding my breath. Benitez should be gone but Moshiri gives him more power! Unbelievable. Moshiri is Everton all over!
Oliver Molloy
22 Posted 06/12/2021 at 21:04:22
I am one of his biggest fans, but he is done now, Seamus should have stopped that cross.

Godfrey a very lucky boy in my opinion, had that been on one of our players I would have been going nuts.

Richarlison unlucky, 45 mins to make it happen

Brian Wilkinson
23 Posted 06/12/2021 at 21:07:31
Whatever happens in the second half, that is a much better effort from the players, unlucky to go in a goal down, but at least the effort is there at last.
Danny Baily
24 Posted 06/12/2021 at 21:28:29
Gomes might add a bit of quality.
Ciarán McGlone
25 Posted 06/12/2021 at 21:58:05
Joy at last. What an entertaining game... and my Everton bets came in...


Jay Wood

26 Posted 06/12/2021 at 21:58:36
Thoroughly deserved.

There is a pulse still beating.

Chris Cook
27 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:01:08
COYB! Deserved and needed. Can those who walked out, do it every home game, I think we're on to something.

Gomes showed what we bought him for again and Gray is the biggest bargin since 60 grand Coleman.

6 points off Europe now!

Mike Hughes
28 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:03:37
Only 6 points off the top six.
We’re gonna win the league.
We’re gonna win the league.
And now you’re gonna believe us……
We’re gonna win the league.
Come on you Blues.
Tony Twist
29 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:04:37
Well done one and all for not just settling for a draw. God we needed those points. I am in shock, a win!
Bill Gienapp
30 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:06:59
Joe McMahon
31 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:08:08
Doesn't that feel good! Well deserved, Richie MotM he kept going, and Demarai Gray – his goals are priceless. Rafa gets a lot of stick, but Gray cost £1.7 million. Enjoy a win blues and a good comeback against the odds and VAR!
Dave Lynch
32 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:08:27
Know what... Sometimes you can try too hard.

That showed at times tonight but we fully deserved that despite the wobbly bits.

Jerome Shields
34 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:10:19
Great turning point win. Great commitment and effort.
Derek Moore
35 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:11:11
Enjoy your Blue Label Dave Lynch.

Arsenal were dreadful, but that is by the by. Just win baby, just win.

If Benitez had not brought Gray with him he would be unemployed right now.

But.....he I'm sure Brands is choking on a Heineken somewhere. A merry christmas to him, and a merrier christmas to all of us. The worm has turned?

Bob Parrington
36 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:16:26
Andrew Keatley
38 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:16:49
Joe (31) - Absolutely. Richarlison led from the front, both literally and figuratively - huge performance of strength, pace and determination from him that lifted the rest of the team.

Special mentions for Allan and Doucouré, who were everywhere come the last half hour of the game, and Gomes - who took up some good positions, especially for the winner. And obviously to Demarai Gray, whose two moments of quality decided the game.

Here's hoping the energy levels and ambition can be seen again next weekend.

Mark Andrews
39 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:18:10
Better spirit at last. Puzzling subs though. Needing pace in the middle and he puts on Gomes. Screaming for a striker and he eventually puts on Iwobi!
Hopefully we can get DCL back soon and get a few points.
Dale Self
40 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:18:38
I have an old man at work who is an absolute pain in the Arsenal fan. Ive been thinking about what he would say tomorrow morning with a wry condescending tone. I don’t think I’ll be seeing him now, thanks Richy and Demarai.
Minik Hansen
41 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:19:21
Long ago since that kind of intense game.. WE WON!!
So important, keep up the spirit, also DCL soon back, COYB.
Andy Finigan
42 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:20:14
Some one said this morning on here we would win 2/1 what a premonition. Didn't we deserve that. How cruel is var to us Evertonian. Every player gave there all tonight. I am a happy bunny right now. Let's hope this is the turning point of our bad luck and season.
Colin Glassar
43 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:22:13
I predicted a scrappy 2-1 win, Andy but that was about 7.30pm.
Derek Moore
44 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:22:19
Such fine margins. Two offside goals, one about as marginal as you can get, and the Arsenal miss at 1-1 from oh, about one and a half yards.

We haven't had any luck at all this season so far. But perhaps, perhaps it's turned.

Michael Lynch
45 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:22:23
What a massive win. Fantastic stuff from Gray and Richie, and Gomes is like a new signing!
Paul Smith
46 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:22:48
Great win with lots of effort and commitment. What a goal by Damari and a special mention to Kean who was excellent,
Kevin Prytherch
47 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:22:49
Gomes showed today what is both good and bad about Everton’s midfield. Gomes is a fine player, but he has too many limitations to play as a midfield 2. Allan is the same, good player in a 3 man midfield, too many limitations as part of a midfield 2.

Will Rafa take note of this or will he line up with the same players in the same formation next game???

Brian Wilkinson
48 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:22:51
That is all the fans have been asking for commitment and effort both there tonight and a fully deserved win.

Good job VAR was not out in the '90s – every goal Kanu scored would have been ruled out, with his feet being offside.

Mark Ryan
49 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:23:16
Interesting that it would seem that Digne was dropped. Rafas got some bollocks to do that and fair play for doing that cos his effort has been lacking of late.
Great effort by the whole team tonight who all put in a shift. Yes the quality is lacking, we know that but when they try and win, you can't ask for more. I thought Richy looked fired up. All very interesting. You can't say they didn't have go.
Alex Iwobi. That was the time to simply put your laces through it and become a hero for the night. No need to control a pass like that. He who hesitates, has lost
Graham Mockford
50 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:23:19
Richarlison and Gray were great. Doucoure definitely makes us a better side.

But we are still at where we are at. Mid table

Danny Baily
51 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:23:24
Mark 39, Gomes turned the match. It can't all be commitment. There needs to be some quality. I did call it on here as soon as he came on!
Brian Hennessy
52 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:24:38
How good does that feel. A well deserved win. Gray and Richarlison were magnificent. Godfrey also excellent and Gordon worked his socks off.
Gomes brought that bit of class that we need in the middle of the pitch.

But the biggest reason we won tonight were those fans at the stadium. They never gave up. A big thank you from those of us that could not be there.

To make things even better, storm Bara has closed all schools here in Waterford tomorrow meaning no school run in the morning. That Keg of Guinness I opened at the weekend is in for some hammering.

Tony Everan
53 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:26:34
Well done to the players and manager. What a win. Despite the tightest, possibly unfair, VAR decision of the season on Richarlison’s second disallowed one, we kept our heads up and kept trying.

Great work from Gray on the first goal, Richarlison’s reactions were first class. The winning goal was an absolute cracker, I won’t get tired of seeing a few repeats of that.

Sublime performances from Gray and Richie, our front three with DCL back will cause a lot of problems. Doucoure excellent, he makes a difference, well done to Gomes when coming on, a positive impact when it was needed. Godfrey did well at left back and good to see him bursting forward using his pace a few times. Benitez may just keep him there after that.

More of the same please.

Oliver Molloy
54 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:26:43
Thank fuck Gomes knew who to give the ball to, if he had passed to Iowobi… Gray's rocket goal wouldn't have happened.

Richarilson never gave up and was fantastic tonight. If Arsenal had taken their chances, we could be all be in a very different mood.

Deserved and massive 3 points, more of the same against Palace please.


Craig Walker
55 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:27:07
Some pride back and the lads showed some spirit, at last. That was one of Richarlison's best performances for us. Thought we rode our luck at times but we deserved some luck tonight. Both VAR decisions seemed harsh to me.

Holgate still worries me though. My heart's in my mouth whenever he's on the ball.

Gomes was superb once he got up to speed. Allan and Doucouré worked hard. I was glad that Digne was dropped: he's been dreadful for months.

Gray is a great signing and an absolute bargain and we haven't had many of those over the past few seasons.

Robert Tressell
56 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:30:05
Brilliant. Midfield trio needed to get control of the ball. 3 of Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Gray and Townsend will do the rest.

Could have been 5-1 but for marginal offsides and Iwobi's late wobble.

Digne not missed either.

Joe Corgan
57 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:30:10
Rafa's interview comments regarding the DoF and Lucas Digne were interesting.

Whatever's gone on with Digne, I hope the decision to leave him out was genuinely in the best interest of the team. I've always liked Digne but, if he's a disruptive influence, you have to set him aside.

Fran Mitchell
58 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:33:52
Finally. Hopefully a corner has been turned.

Gray is a absolute diamond. A £40 million player.

Richarlison, for the first time in my opinion, showed himself to have the ability to play centre-forward. He was dogged, his touch was good, his movements, and clinical finishing.

Doucouré is our driving force, we are much better with him. He takes the team up the pitch unlike any other player we have.

Gomes showed class that we lack and his introduction won us the match, his play before passing to Gray was excellent and his patience in choosing Gray instead of the more obvious pass to Iwobi was key.

There are huge flaws still. We will not get ahead of ourselves. Our defence is still leaking goals, we are too open in the full-back areas and we still lack creativity and a cutting edge.

But the doom and gloom can now be lifted; a couple more performances and we could find ourselves ahead of the much lauded Leicester and in the top half.

This has to be a platform for further development.

Eddie Dunn
59 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:35:52
We deserved the win, great team spirit. We were, though, wide open whenever Arsenal really went for us and in that last minute that the odious Dean added, we could have been pegged back. Super stuff from Richarlison and Gray and a nice cameo from Gomes.

Rafa must learn from this and drop Townsend in favour of a midfield three. The awful Allan cannot cope in a two. I think Godfrey needs his head examining – total nutcase.

Finally – thought that this season VAR was not going to nit-pick on an inch or so... I recall the strikers were given the benefit of the doubt early on.

Bob Parrington
60 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:37:04
Good team effort with high work rate and great leadership from Richarlison in particular because he didn't let his head go down after the two disallowed goals. But, every player put in a shift.

I'd likely make Gray and Richarlison MotM joint winners but I agree with others that Doucouré does make a difference plus Gomes did well when he came on.

Emotional game to watch, never mind play.

Footnote: it was good to see that only a small number of the crowd left at 27 minutes.

Bobby Mallon
61 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:39:10
MotM, the crowd... then Richarlison, best he's played all season.
Gavin Johnson
62 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:42:02
What a win! Just the kind of character, grit and determination we've craved for a long time.

Bet Richard Keys is fuming tonight.

Rick Tarleton
66 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:48:23
We won, I'm not sure how in terms of quality, but we did. What is more we showed spirit and determination. Arsenal's younger players looked slightly intimidated as the game wore on and the crowd had a lot to do with that.
Richarlison looked like a Brazilian international and Gray scored a superb strike. It's lovely to have that feeling that by sheer determination our team managed to turn a game round that for the first sixty minutes we looked like losing with more of a whimper than a bang.
It's a long time since Everton gave me that lovely warm feeling. Thank you.
Stephen Brown
67 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:52:08
Richie header was phenomenal!!
Benn Chambers
68 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:54:35
Just got home from the game. Goodison was a bear pit tonight and that’s how it should be. A crunching Ben Godfrey tackle set the tone.

Every player to a man showed effort and fighting spirit and that has to be the bench mark now in terms of effort. We’re not stupid, we know we miss DCL, we know we need a centre back who isn’t made of weetabix, to partner keane (Mina has to go now, he’s not worthy of a new contract and we need to sell to get a fee) and we know Coleman is finished at the top, we need a rightback, but tonight is proof, that when we are aggressive and relentless, we can beat anybody at goodison.

Richarlison and Gray were superb. Allan and Doucoure relentless and Gomes added that but of quality when he came on.

Man of the match was the crowd. I was delighted that when the minority walked out on 27 minutes, the stadium erupted in to song in a show of togetherness and spirit.

You fight for us and we’ll fight for you.

Superb performance tonight and we battered arsenal in terms of desire. We put 4 past them and they’re weak as piss.

Let’s build on this v palace now and on a final note, I’ve just seen Rafa more or less say Digne is out through attitude. He’s stunk the gaff out for 12 months. He’s a poor defender anyway but was was great going forward, he’s not arsed now and it shows, Godfrey is a much better overall fullback, we’re more solid with him at left back. I’d happily sell Digne in January and get a replacement whilst loosening the FFP noose. Same goes for Iwobi. He’s an oxygen thief.


Brendan McLaughlin
69 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:55:03
Siephen #67
Match of the Day should lead with it for a decade!
Jerome Shields
70 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:56:05
Two great goals scored, Two great goals disallowed. Like others I thought those fraction offsides where to be more lenient this season, as VAR was fine tuned.
Jay Wood

71 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:56:20
Before tonight Arsenal's record this season after scoring the first goal in games is W 7, D 1, L 1.

Gutsy comeback by the Blues in all sorts of adversity, on and off the pitch.

Terry Farrell
72 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:56:48
So made up. Rafa earned his luck tonight he is hard as nails with rhino skin. Won't see him looking like a ghost like ole and silva. He and Brands obviously didn't get on. Let's get behind the team now and give him some support. 1 win is nothing overall but you have to start somewhere and we deserved the win. We need to stick behind the team and get out of the FFP strangle hold and into the new stadium. Coyb
Christy Ring
73 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:57:12
Massive win Richarlison and Gray superb, thought Gomes made a huge difference, and Rafa has to play 3 man midfield with Andre the playmaker. Interesting to hear Benitez more or less say Digne was dropped, as he praised Godfrey, there could be more to this especially when he didn't even make the bench, but he has been shite all season.
Paul Hewitt
74 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:58:29
You can't say that team ain't playing for Benitez. So let's get behind the manager, and stop the moronic sack him crap.
Peter Neilson
75 Posted 06/12/2021 at 22:59:18
Atmosphere was best in a long time. Well deserved win. Thought we were much the better team and good to see the effort and competitiveness needed. Yet again VAR alongside the ridiculous off side rule farcical. If it’s to be so microscopically analysed change the law so that if any part of the player is onside then it’s lawful. Anyway minor quibble after a cracking win.
Ciarán McGlone
76 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:00:36
Jerome, on the second var disallowed goal.. I think it was more clear cut than people think.

Richarlisons foot was in the air at the crucial moment and the angle of the picture made it look marginal, when it wasn't.

Sam Hoare
77 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:05:13
Finally. Great result and very decent performance. Not loads of quality but certainly bucket loads of effort.

Richie was immense, Gray scored one of my favourite Everton goals, the Duke did not stop running and Godfrey brought the thunder (though was a bit lucky!). And Gomes (who I have often and will often slag off) made a big difference. No doubt 433 still seems our best bet.

A platform to build on.

Peter Mills
78 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:05:38
A cracking night at Goodison under the lights. Everyone shows their support in different ways, so I have no gripe with those who left on 27 minutes, but those who remained carried the team over the line.

Some very determined performances, Richarlison was immense.

There is much to be fixed, but the attitude and commitment was excellent.

Oliver Molloy
79 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:08:28
Terry @ 72,
Don't think it's any secret that Brands didn't want nor back Benitez appointment, but that's not what got him sacked.
In my opinion what got him sacked was his remark to the guy in the stand "is it only the players " after the derby defeat.
That's Brands calling out the manager, the owner, the whole fucking club, trying to cover his own ass.
Moshiri obviously took exception !

Tony Hill
80 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:15:19
Fabulous atmosphere, one of the top Goodison nights. I think that was the best all-round game Richarlison has played for us and I echo others' praise for Gray, Gomes and Godfrey (what a hard lad he is).

The manager has kindled something but it needs to be kept burning.

Let's give ourselves a break and enjoy the night and the next couple of days.

Sean Kelly
81 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:15:49
I’m not a Benitez fan but give him credit when he’s up against the wall he’s not afraid to stand up. Dropping Digne sends a message out that if you are not giving 100% you are out. I think that attitude should also be reflected throughout the club.
I just want everyone giving their all even if they are not the most gifted or are in the twilight of their careers. Digne isoniazid amongst others are Sterling a living from our club.
Finally tonight is 3 points gained. This is a starting point in our season and it counts for nothing if we revert to type against palace and through dec and jan
Jay Harris
82 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:19:42
Lets hope that rebuilds some confidence and we now go on a bit of a run.

I still don't like Godfrey at LB but he did do a better job at defending than Digne. Its just a shame he has no left foot. Loved the Phil Neville moment though.

Richy was like a man on fire tonight. He deserved a hat trick for his contribution but Demari Gray is just class. Just a pity DCL cant feed off these two.

Richard Mason
83 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:20:24
I wish Benitez would just play a 433 now. 4411 hasn't worked out for us. Gomes composed, hopefully he can find some consistency.

I wonder is Digne gone for good now. Benitez does not take shit.

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:22:33
We deserved the victory because we fought for every minute and never dropped their heads after losing the goal just before half time, came back out and and carried on going forward more than most times this season, another disallowedVAR goal never put us off our aim to win the game, two great goals clinched the win that the “ whole man of the match” celebrated at the end of the game in the stands and passageways all round the ground and out on to Bullens Road and Gwladys Street with Everton Everton Everton loud and long ringing out.

No we were not great and there were plenty of mistakes but we tried and wanted to win and deserved a bigger result, Arsenal had one shot on target in the first half and scored from it!!

I could pick a few very good performances but essentially it was a team win with some of the players as good as the crowd who roared the team on from that Godfrey tackle n the first few minutes right through ‘til victory was gained.

We are still going to have some bad results but the fight that lots of us fans thought wasn’t there was prominent tonight and hopefully will stay and ease any thoughts of were we could end up in.

Another great night to add to plenty of past Goodison Floodlit nights we have savoured.

Gary Smith
85 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:22:57
Paul, it’s easy to say they are playing despite him. Mina, Holgate, and Iwobi decisions typically moronic. Zonal marking for Odergaard goal even more so. I’m buzzing off the win, but it was the 12th man, not the fat man, that saw us home.
Don Alexander
86 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:23:06
Regarding the 27th minute walk-out protest (which I respect) I know many of us are familiar with the "fan-limiting" structure of all four sides of our venerable home but, just in case some of us aren't, I can tell you that, on a good day, before you try to leave your seat for any reason you need to give a few minutes notice to everyone between you and the aisle, then be possessed of the agility/balance of an Olympic gymnast to squirm past those inadvertently in your way, and then require the negotiating skills of Henry Kissinger to fight your way back to your seat past the now even more pissed off fellow fans who allowed you to wriggle past in the first place.

That's why a new stadium has been a priority from before the start of Kenwright's, erm, self-serving posturing.

Roger Helm
87 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:27:03
Hopefully will be a turning point in the season. Lots of good performances tonight and the spirit in the side looks good. It seems Godfrey has recovered from his virus, he was immense tonight, though lucky not to get a red card.

We have now scored more points than anyone in the league from losing positions- we just need to avoid getting into losing positions!

Barry Hesketh
88 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:27:16
Deserved victory, although at times it didn't look to be Everton's night, BBC headline on red button text is confusing "Gray stunner helps Arsenal beat Everton' I'm glad I was at the game and not relying on the beebs headline to guide me.

As Dave above has mentioned, plenty of spirit and fight on display but I could have strangled Iwobi when he didn't put that gilt-edged chance away which would have settled the game earlier. A Very welcome victory and a great winning goal by the impressive Gray.

Phil Lewis
89 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:29:31
What a brilliant night to savour! Long overdue. The obvious candidates for praise Richarlison, Gray and Godfrey. But everyone gave their all. You can't ask for more. We were unrecognisable from recent performances from the word go to the final whistle. The crowd immediately sensed that and to their credit got right behind the team.
A special mention for Andre Gomes. His guile and class is exactly what we've been missing. You can lose form, but you don't lose ability. What pleased me most, was that for the first time since his injury, his tackling was committed and full blooded. He looked fully fit. Long may it continue.
Lynn Maher
90 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:32:19
Barry @88. I have just said the same to my husband. We have only just got back from the match.
I had to read it twice! The beeb really don’t like us 😕
Peter Mills
91 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:32:34
Dave#84, I’m made up that you were fit and well enough to be at Goodison tonight. Keep it that way.
Soren Moyer
92 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:33:39
Greate win. Well done. Richy, Gray, Allan and Doucoure where immense. Seamus too. Just a word of advice: Whatever you do, don't pass it to Iwobi lol.
Si Cooper
93 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:35:47
I considered this a genuine acid test as many of our key players are finally getting back up to pace and it is one we passed pretty well.
Ben Godfrey getting back to his peak, same for Richie, the Duc and Demarai.
Doucouré on song makes Allan’s job much more straightforward so you get the best out of him as well.
I still think there is a player we can use in André Gomes, Anthony Gordon will get better and better with experience (but needs to cut out some of his jumping into tackles) and Andros Townsend is a honest pro.
I thought Yerry Mina showed he brings a real presence to the centre of the defence, although he’s not perfect, and calms Michael Keane a lot.
Apart from Chelsea there are a raft of fixtures coming up that offer the chance of a welcome boost or a metaphorical swift kick in the goodies.
Justin Doone
94 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:37:57
Happy days. 3 points, mostly a good atmosphere.

Scrappy, some panic moments and wobbles but also effort and fight.

I'll have too watch it back but Godfrey a little lucky not to pick up a 2nd booking?

yes it was a great goal but what pleased me most is that he was prepared to shoot.

It really pees me off when on the edge off the box, nothings else on our player's don't shoot.

Instead it gets slowed down and we lose possession cheaply.

Have a go, create some luck by being positive and shooting.

Secondly if the ball is teed up, shoot 1st time, an extra touch to control the ball isn't needed.

Kieran Kinsella
95 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:38:18
Night ruined for me when they showed Kenwright at the end
James Flynn
96 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:39:28
Don't know it, but with the window opening in a few I'd guess Digne has a club in Spain or France lined up. Might explain his half-assing it for a while.

I wonder if Carlo, who heaped praise on him last season, wants him at Madrid.

Dave Abrahams
97 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:42:02
Peter (91), thank you, went last week to The Derby game and again tonight, determined to keep my place from now on!!

Lovely to see all the happy smiling faces at the end of the game and on the way home. I know you will be as happy as me tonight, long may it continue!!

Dale Self
98 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:48:42
With you on that Kieran. However he did have that forced composure look of a less powerful man. That will probably be the way the networks and commentators will fuck with us on our way back up.
Bill Gienapp
99 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:48:56
Kieran (95) - that did cross my mind when they showed Kenwright applauding, more than a little smugly. "See? Everything's fine. They love us. The board can do no wrong."

I have mixed feelings on Benitez being handed the recruitment reins, but if he can bring in another 3 or 4 Demari Grays, we'll be in good shape.

Rob Halligan
100 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:53:01
Commitment, effort, desire, everything that was lacking against Man City, Brentford and the RS, was in bucket loads tonight. We may not have the most technical players in the league, but all us fans ask for is what was shown tonight. Richarlison was absolutely immense, and a player we seriously need to keep hold of next summer. I doubt very much he will be off this January. Also Demarai Gray must be the absolute steal of all steals. This season he has scored some good goals for us, but that tonight was just a pure “Send a crowd absolutely wild” moment. Talking of the crowd, probably the best atmosphere at Goodison all season. Although very few took the 27 minute walk out, I have no problem with those who did, but I didn’t expect Yerry Mina to join the protest and walk out!

Overall, a well deserved victory in my opinion, and providing we can get something from the palace game, even now I will take defeat against Chelsea providing the commitment, effort and desire shown tonight also turn up at Stamford Bridge. Having a much needed drink now as I feel totally drained after tonight.

Kieran Kinsella
101 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:53:57

My wife was puzzled why I went from glee to raising my middle finger at the TV

On Rafa, I was reading earlier about his 60 odd signings for Liverpool. In fairness a lot were kids bought in for little or nothing. He certainly had some bigger name flops but his record isn’t as bad as people would have you believe. Do I trust him though? We just have to hope for the best

David Pearl
102 Posted 06/12/2021 at 23:59:27
Just back from the game. Loved the 27th minute when 99.9% of our support stayed to shout on the blues.

I think the connection players to fans was there and it was helped by Arsenal time wasting.

Two goals disallowed you would think it wasn't our night but we battled on and it was great to see all the fans happy and bouncing.

Disappointed if our second captain was left out for an attitude problem but he hasn't had an assist in months. We need all the players pulling in the same direction. Fans too.


Kris Boner
103 Posted 06/12/2021 at 00:03:29
Gary Smith - I'm not sure what decisions you are getting at being moronic here: "it’s easy to say they are playing despite him. Mina, Holgate, and Iwobi decisions typically moronic."

People have been screaming for Yerry to return as the only person in our team who can defend corners. Holgate came on when Yerry got injured and we didn't exactly have a tonne of defenders on the bench. Sure he threw Iwobi on for Gordon which you could criticise if the kiddo hadn't had 86 minutes to affect the game.

My favourite is this one though: "Zonal marking for Odergaard goal even more so." I didn't realise you could do Zonal marking in open play, or better yet I didn't realise that you were supposed to do man marking only in open play.

I considered that the Arsenal player drifted to the edge of the box where the midfield wasn't paying attention. But sure, if you are going to criticise the team for zonal marking at corners then why not in open play too.

Rob Hooton
104 Posted 06/12/2021 at 00:05:14
Much needed and well deserved win, 10/10 for every player on the pitch for effort and determination.

Atmosphere sounded electric!

Kieran Kinsella
105 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:10:21
Townsends ball for the 2nd non goal was something special. For all the hype, Sig seldom delivered that quality from set pieces.

As for Gray? He had issues with Rodgers but I remember watching that RS documentary when Rodgers went ballistic on Sterling seemingly just to humiliate him for TV. In contrast you have his endless praise of the lesser young talent Harvey Barnes. what’s the difference? that apart his spell in Germany started well but was derailed by the managers sacking and Covid. So I’m thinking Gray has probably matured a bit but also benefits from not being under a manager who seems to profile players.

Mike Gaynes
106 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:10:51
Obviously sacking Brands made the different tonight.

Dave A., I'm ecstatic that you were there to see it.

Colin Glassar
107 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:20:07
That’s all most of us have been asking for ie a bit of grit and effort. I saw signs, sporadic I know, against Brentford and the shite that made me feel slightly optimistic about tonight. That the will to come out of this horrific slump we’re there.

What we lacked in quality we more than made up for in heart. Well done to the lads but in particular, Doucoure, Gray and Richarlison.

Brent Stephens
108 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:22:06
Gray's goal was sheer brilliance. I don't like to see us selling players but we could get double the money we paid for him!
Bill Gienapp
109 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:24:15
Maybe even triple Brent!
Brendan McLaughlin
110 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:28:07
Been a long time since we said that about one of ours..
Phil Smith
111 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:32:13
How was that 2nd one offside? Both players feet touching the line. Who can say when the ball actually leave Doucoure's foot? Far too close to tell so advantage should be given to attacker every time. If it's not clear and lines are needed then it's on. And using arms should not be used at all to gauge it! Ridiculous that. The quicker they change this stupid line-offside and give advantage to the attackers the better. Totally killing the game for me.
Derek Thomas
112 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:33:16
You're not..."Only as good as your last game" that's history now.
You're only as good as your Next game.

You have to do it again and again and...
The bar has been set for effort and commitment. This is now the bare minimum.

VAR? I thought they were "winding it back" or is that just for anfield and Old Trafford?
The same incidents there don't even get referred - you know it, I know it.

Offsides; I know there is no such thing as an 'Offside Position' now.
But are you really giving yourself...given the lottery of VAR and the crap PL reffs...the best chance, when, before the ball is kicked, the Blue shirts are nearer to the defending goalie than the red?

Defending corners; They have 1 keeper and 1 defender in their half - leaves 9.
1 guy takes the corner - leaves 8 .

We have 11 in our half and one of those 11 can, in theory, even use his hands.
We put an attacker up in the centre circle - leaves 10.
We put a player on our own 'D' for when it breaks - leaves 9 , one of whom can use his hands too.

But what do I know...anyway, smiles all round and one in the eye for that time wasting snidey shite Arteta.

Now do it again.

Mike Keating
113 Posted 06/12/2021 at 00:33:21
The decision by Gomes to ignore Iwobi in preference to Gray for the winner tells us a lot about how piss poor that waste of space is. He as much as proved this at the end when he was given the chance to make it three and opted to make a bollocks of it instead.
On a different issue, I feel a tad sorry for those who had the strength of purpose to leave in protest on 27 minutes (if they actually did) but can show no sympathy at all for the people in the Park End who made an early dart with 2 minutes to go and missed the most thrilling end to a game at Goodison in ages.
Kieran Kinsella
114 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:34:05

I agree on the second. it was ludicrous. Thankfully Rich wasn’t going to take no for an answer

Rob Dolby
115 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:37:49
Loved the effort tonight from everyone.

Digne will be gone in January if a half decent offer comes in for him. Shame really as he is great going forward but not so good at defending. Saka would have skinned him tonight.

The Godfrey tackle got the crowd going. The manager tweaked the formation with us packing the midfield more than usual.
Our reaction to their opener was good. They resorted to ridiculous time wasting and feigning injury.

Var is killing the game. We all want to see more goals. The rules need to change so that anything level is onside. Surely FIFA should be looking at this as.

Anyhow we deserved the equaliser and then the roof near came off with the winner.

Some big performances tonight from all areas. My motm Richarleson.

Danny O’Neill
116 Posted 06/12/2021 at 00:38:18
A much needed result. Good spirit. Just as good runs come to an end, so do bad ones.

I'm still on for my 7 points from the 3 games including tonight. A win at Palace followed by a point at Chelsea. Although knowing Everton we'll do that the other way around.

Demarai Gray ole, Deamari Gray ole, Deamari Gray ole, ole, ole.

Andrew Keatley
117 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:39:31
Gary Smith (85) - Please enjoy the win Darren. This isn't the time to stick it to Mr Benitez. I'm sure you'll get other chances in the coming weeks, so maybe let the rest of us enjoy the win for a day or two. There's a good lad.
Danny O’Neill
118 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:44:24
Marching onto Selhurst Park and Stamford Bridge.

As much as I dismayed at our mismanagement of the DoF model (different thread), maybe, just maybe this manager is what the club needed to shake things up.

And I didn't want him.

Bill Fairfield
119 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:54:16
Great effort and commitment by the blues tonight and what about the fans, absolutely fantastic. We deserve much better than this awful board of directors have delivered so far.
Brent Stephens
120 Posted 07/12/2021 at 00:55:18
Andrew #117 - yes!
Kieran Kinsella
121 Posted 07/12/2021 at 01:09:06

I always enjoyed going to Selhurst park (except against Wimbledon when we lost 4-0). I saw us pick up plenty of points there and I actually found their fans to be decent enough despite being from South London. Are you going to go with it being nearer your neck of the woods

Alan J Thompson
122 Posted 07/12/2021 at 01:39:23
Still having problems with the service provider but a friend fixed me up on another device and have just finished watching.

There was a lot more effort which is encouraging but it took until the disallowed goal and their strike after 40+ minutes for anything on target but that game demonstrated what is wrong with these rule changes especially the offside rule when two goals are disallowed because a left hand for the first and a couple of toes for the second are considered offside. I'd prefer they went back to the rule as it was of two players between you and the goal.

Mina made the defence look a lot better and while Holgate perhaps shouldn't have been drawn so far across somebody had to cover that space. I thought Godfrey's booking was more to make up for the accidental foot placement in the first half.

Richarlison was my MotM with Keane not far behind until that Gray strike which alone made him MotM.

A much needed win and makes me wonder if Benitez has seen the light or if the team changes were forced on him. Oh, and I thought that leaving Simms and Dobbin off the bench was a way of halting the youngsters arguement.

David Currie
123 Posted 07/12/2021 at 02:29:27
Rob 8, Have you got a spare ticket for the Chelsea game willing to pay over face value?
Great win tonight, 2 fantastic goals and the fans were superb.
Bob Parrington
124 Posted 07/12/2021 at 02:38:24
I watched the game on Optus Sport and agree with all those comments about the crowd. The support was immense. Well done to those who stayed and gave brilliant atmosphere to the game.
Steve Brown
125 Posted 07/12/2021 at 03:03:06
Thank goodness we won that game! I fear what would have happened if we lost.

A solid game plan, commitment and passion. We don't ask a lot as fans.

Barry Jones
126 Posted 07/12/2021 at 03:51:14
I have said it many times on here, Andre Gomes is a class act and he made all the difference today when he came on. He has strength and guile and movement. He puts a presence into our midfield which was sorely lacking in his absence. I hope he can stay fit for the rest of the season and Benitez has the sense to play him regularly.
Paul Kernot
127 Posted 07/12/2021 at 03:53:00
What an effort lads. That was a real Everton game. Way back at the start of last season under Ancelotti was the last time we saw that. We scored 4 goals tonight. Where the hell has that been during the last two months? Man did we need it though. Rode our luck a bit and god knows how we'd have reacted if Nketia's header from 2 yards out had gone in but we won. Halle bloody luyah.
Laurie Hartley
128 Posted 07/12/2021 at 03:58:27
What I enjoyed most about that performance was the way they kept at it even after the second disallowed goal - a lot of teams would have packed it in after that. Proud of them tonight.

I have seen some terrific footballers play for Everton and have a few favourites - Richy has become one of them. He is so committed that lad.

I have started wondering if he has the makings of a captain? Just a thought.

Don Alexander
129 Posted 07/12/2021 at 04:00:44
VAR is intended to correct "clear and obvious errors" according to those instigating it. It is therefore not intended to judge the length of an attacking player's toe-nails - as in the second disallowed goal.

Those deeming themselves in charge of football endlessly, and rightly, go on about wanting to see more goals in a game but then introduce such SUBJECTIVE assessment from someone with a microscope elsewhere to deny a goal on a SUBJECTIVE opinion that said scorer was millimetres, at most, allegedly, offside.


Nicholas Ryan
130 Posted 07/12/2021 at 04:18:57
Am I imagining things, or did we step up a gear when Andre Gomes came on? Also, he looked to be playing slightly further forward than before?
Bill Gienapp
131 Posted 07/12/2021 at 05:00:13
I would love nothing more than to see Andre Gomes find his form and become an integral part of this side... but we might want to cool our jets a little.

When he came back from his terrible ankle injury, we brought him on for half an hour (against Arsenal, coincidentally) and he looked head and shoulders above any other midfielder on the pitch. It didn't last. He's always had fits and flashes of quality... but we need to see it consistently.

Laurie Hartley
132 Posted 07/12/2021 at 06:28:24
ooooh ooooh ooooooooooH
Gray has even got Martin Tyler at it.
Jim Burns
133 Posted 07/12/2021 at 06:29:49
Who was on VAR? Not Jon Moss again??
Kim Vivian
134 Posted 07/12/2021 at 06:31:28
I thought the idea of the offside rule was to negate the advantage that a player will get by being in an offside position when the ball is played. Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to bring this into consideration when reviewing calls, especially like those last night.

There was no advantage gained by Richarlison who was to all intents and purposes level with his man on each occasion. That second call especially was ridiculous – decided simply by the angle of each respective player's foot in the air.

No harm done as it transpired on the day because we went on to win despite their efforts and who's to say the game might not have panned out to our advantage if Richarlison had been awarded either of those goals?

I find it encouraging that we managed to score 4 good goals and, if clear chances had been taken, that game could have ended with a 5-3 scoreline.

Happy as a sandboy with the 3 points though.

Bob Parrington
135 Posted 07/12/2021 at 06:47:37
Don and Kim… well put! in situations like this it is nonsense to disallow such goals.

Not sure whether or not the refereeing of this game has been mentioned on here. But, I'd like to say that Mike Dean did a great job, keeping the game flowing as much as possible and so helping to add to the enjoyment.

Duncan McDine
136 Posted 07/12/2021 at 07:20:16
Feeling like a kid at Christmas this morning. Just when football was doing everything it could to piss me off, the Blues go and put on a real Everton show.

I was previously doubting my sanity in getting tickets for Palace, but now I just can't wait! UTFT

Rob Hooton
137 Posted 07/12/2021 at 07:28:02
David #123, I wish I had a spare, I'll be with the Chelsea fans as my mate has a couple of season tickets at Stamford Bridge and I'm taking his brother's seat. I don't live far from Danny, I'm down the road from Heathrow.

I will be trying to get a ticket for the Palace game and would love to be with our fans – I'm a member of too many clubs just to get hold of any old ticket lol

Andrew Ellams
138 Posted 07/12/2021 at 07:41:32
It was obvious the players had been stirred up in the dressing room last night but it might be worth bringing Godfrey and Gordon down a notch.

We were definitely the better team last night, but why did the commentators insist on going on about Ramsdale being a threat to Pickford and England? I can only presume young Arsenal players are this season's pet favourites.

Jason Li
139 Posted 07/12/2021 at 07:49:14
Very happy. Great attitude throughout the team and quality finishes by Richarlison, as well as Gray thunderbolt.

A lot of recent debate about the squad going backwards and I think we have in central defence. However, I think the squad is better in some areas compared to the Moyes era. Looking forward to a couple of January additions to push on.

Doucouré, Richarlison, Gray would be definites in that Moyes team.

Check out in this old Echo link:

What happened to David Moyes's final Everton XI?

Alex Winstanley
140 Posted 07/12/2021 at 08:00:30
I'm sure it's been said in previous comments but how good was Richarlison last night? We are lucky to have him. He has strength, great in the air, never lets defenders settle.

The header for the goal which stood was awesome. Anyone who has played football will appreciate how he adjusted his body, leapt and still had the ability to loop the ball past the keeper. What a player we have on our hands. Let's hope we can keep hold of him.

John Keating
141 Posted 07/12/2021 at 08:10:42
More than any performance was getting the win; to me, that was all that mattered. We are still well short but hopefully that will come with confidence.

Just had a look at the telly regarding the offsides. I had a feeling last night the first might be off but not the second.

My thoughts on VAR have not changed, it is ruining the game. Footy is all about "the moment" – the second it hits the net. Waiting ages, or what seems ages, for it to be overturned is soul-destroying. I don't know how Richarlison's second offside was a clear and obvious error???

Two great goals.

I thought Branthwaite would replace Mina. Sorry but every time Holgate gets the ball, I expect the worst. He just seems so lackadaisical in possession. Pity Man City didn't buy him for that £100 million??

The tweak bringing Gomes on and letting Allan play a bit deeper worked. Well done, everyone, but now we need a win at Palace

Darren Hind
142 Posted 07/12/2021 at 08:30:02
Said all along that Rafa would finish higher than Carlo. Not the highest bar in the world admittedly. It would represent tangible improvement.

On the game. I thought we defended better without Digne, but Allan continues to be carried. I lost count of the number of times he lost his man with his trundling running style. Especially for their goal. Left for dead twice in front of the Main Stand after selling himself. It kills teams when midfield players sell themselves like this, especially when he can't recover

Gray continues to be fantastic. The whole team seemed to be fighting for the manager. We need to beat Palace now.

Si Cooper
143 Posted 07/12/2021 at 08:50:12
Andrew (#138), which commentator was it?

On Sky, I expected Alan Smith to have some Arsenal bias but both of them (not sure of the other guy's name) were atrocious. Not a single doubt and very vociferous and judgemental about any Everton transgressions but all understanding and forgiving for the Arsenal ones.

I don't think Ben Godfrey cared over much that he was treading on the Arsenal right-back but I don't think he targeted his face and there was not full weight or a stamp involved. Not edifying but we've seen worse glossed over because they are supposedly ‘not that type of player'.

It's rapidly becoming another mildly spoken but concerted witch hunt on Sky for an Everton player to be retrospectively punished for recklessness. You just don't get the repeated showings and pontification of what ‘professional's know' over other teams' misdeeds.

There was an incident late on where Doucouré was penalised for pulling on Gabriel's arm. When the replays clearly showed Gabriel was unbalanced as Doucouré simply tried to reclaim half his shirt from Gabriel's grasp, the commentators became strangely fixated on something like whether Gabriel had been injured by placing his foot awkwardly.

On VAR, generally I think it is getting better. However, I was surprised at how sure they seemed to be that they had the correct frame for the ball at the point of release for Richarlison's second disallowed goal. Looked like something they should have spent more time establishing by cross referencing a couple of angles. I thought he had timed his move beautifully in real time and would have liked to see how clearly onside he was in the frame before the one they picked.

There is one other point to do with VAR that I noticed last night. Because of VAR, an on-target header and an on-target shot got scrubbed from the statistics, making it seem like a more even contest when they displayed the attempts on and off-target later on. That only makes sense if all on-target or even off-target attempts get the VAR treatment, which I'm pretty sure they don't. That would surely unfairly skew the much-vaunted xG numbers as well, wouldn't it?

Robert Tressell
144 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:00:17
I wasn't sure before last night whether Richarlison's heart was still in it for us. He put those doubts to rest.

The first goal was offside in accordance with the ludicrous rule. The second goal just wasn't offside. The third goal was very clinically executed.

The biggest thing though, for me, was dropping the out-of-sorts Digne and the trio in midfield.

At the start of the season, I likened Allan and Gomes to a poor man's Mascherano and Alonso. That probably makes Doucouré a poor man's Gerrard.

Flawed though each of our trio is, it at least gives us a chance to do something constructive with the ball and make life more difficult for the opposition.

As for Digne, I wonder if he's on his way – with us being heavily linked to Gomez, the Spanish left-back playing in Belgium.

As for Holgate, I've said before he should be phased out in favour of Branthwaite and I'm sticking with that view.

Jim Burns
145 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:19:18
Regarding the VAR decisions again – whatever happened to Mike Riley's promise to end extreme marginal offsides – toenails as he called them?

VAR spots Andros's high kick at Brentford and somehow misses Rondon's shirt being removed in Brentford's box shortly after. Bloody joke.
The mental strength that Richarlison showed last night – never mind his MotM performance – was immense.

Be in no doubt, Blues, with that attitude, we will be in a much better place by May.

Brent Stephens
146 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:23:14
Si #143,

"I thought he had timed his move beautifully in real time and would have liked to see how clearly onside he was in the frame before the one they picked."

I agree, Si. Interesting the way a possible LBW in cricket is always decided using a rolling series of visual frames (coupled with microphone indication) to judge, for example, whether ball has made contact with bat. "Rocking and rolling" the action is important.

Adrian Evans
147 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:30:43
Why have we had to suffer such a low to get a coaching and management performance out of Rafa?

Credit where it's due, he dropped Digne as he would have got skinned. He trusted Holgate, yep he is erratic, rash in challenges… but he's in a side that beat Arsenal!!!

Gomes is a class act; if he can build on that. Richarlison, what a shift: 110% committed. If Gray carries this on till May, who knows... England call-up!

But we are still vulnerable. One game at a time; 3 more points on Sunday. A free hit at the Bridge?? Anybody's guess.

Must win home games, start building walls to our fortress. Leicester, win, Burnley win, Newcastle win. Think positively, march up the table again.

Funny old game.

Shane Corcoran
148 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:34:47
So, to summarise the thread, and most threads on the site these days, everyone is out to get poor Everton. Refs, Sky, God… everyone.

Danny Baily
149 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:45:03
Been saying to anyone that would listen, we need some quality in the midfield. We've really missed you know who and Gomes.

Delighted with last night though. We really needed that. Far cry from this time last season (on our way to 2nd over Christmas) but much more confident we'll achieve a respectable finish.

Si Cooper
150 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:51:15
Shane, are you of the belief that all elements of the media and reffing cohort are without bias, either conscious or subconscious?

I like to comment on all elements of the games I watch and, for me, that experience can be greatly influenced by both refs and commentators.

I think I will continue to post on what I see as examples of inconsistency or technology which could potentially be improved, thanks very much.

Brian Murray
151 Posted 07/12/2021 at 09:58:39

Mark Halsey (now retired) said the Premier League refs are encouraged to give the Top 4 the benefit in tight calls because of the finance involved if they not in the Top 4 or are not a force. TV revenue etc. His words.

Something we have always known. Food chain if you like...

Kim Vivian
152 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:00:59
I don't really know why I need to harp on about this because we won... but it remains a bugbear with me.

I said above about the "advantage gained" view concerning offside, but I have often also speculated about the precise moment of frame freezing to judge microscopically if part of a player is offside or not. How is that decided?

If, certainly for the second goal, the image was frozen probably a 20th of a second earlier, the ball would still be appearing to be leaving Gomes's boot and Richarlison's toenail would have probably been onside. It's quite absurd that supposedly intelligent people cannot perceive all this.

In Formula 1 these days, there are numerous reviews by the FIA stewards (their equivalent of VAR) during races, whose job it is "to rule on racing incidents and apply penalties for breaches of the sporting code and technical regulations".

Sometimes, an incident, while technically being an infraction of rules, will not be penalised because there was no advantage gained (or, in the case of F1, no danger presented). And, for what it's worth, they are actually at the event.

They clearly are quite different sports but the common denominator is that they both are fast-paced competitive duels and these moments happen in a fraction of a second. I'm unsure if VAR constitutes a panel or is simply one megalomaniac official sitting in a viewing room hundreds of miles away, but surely a panel taking account of the advantage or otherwise rather than deliberating over a measurement of literally millimetres, would make sense and appease the sensibilities of the majority of football supporters.

One significant difference, of course, is that in F1, the deliberation can take place over the course of a few laps and football does not have the luxury of time in the same way. However (and it would have worked against us in the past on occasion) both last night's "offside" goals would probably have stood with this approach – definitely the second one. The FA would argue that it would equal itself out over a season but that is not the point, tbh.

Anyway, as I said above, it's immaterial so far as last night is concerned but, if we had ended up drawing or losing, this thread would be as much about VAR as our performance.

Brian Murray
153 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:03:45
Even the likes of Arsenal have a much bigger global fanbase than us. Thanks to our corner shop strategy, we don't need our shirts on display in airports etc – even our own (Speke)!

Yet another lasting legacy on the watch of this Buffoon who still clings on, dragging us down to his level.

Ray Roche
154 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:11:55
If Digne has left or is leaving, does anyone know if there's a recall clause in Nkounkou's loan agreement? Surely he'd get plenty of opportunities now?

Thierry Small might even have made the bench or first-team on occasions.

Derek Knox
155 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:12:58
I have just seen the highlights and the two disallowed goals, after being at the Match last night and not getting home till late. It's difficult to tell sometimes in real time, depending on your eyeline, position in the Ground, and how far away any incident occurs.

Looking at those highlights the first disallowed goal, at the Park End, it was pretty clearly offside, but then again the inconsistency, I have seen similar discrepancies given to 'certain teams'! The second was so marginal, even the pundits are saying it should have stood.

Anyway, no doubts about Richarlison's third attempt, what a beauty, completely catching Ramsdale and the Arsenal defence as bewildered onlookers.

The atmosphere from then on ramped up a gear and it was reminiscent of the Old Goodison Nights where the crowd noise virtually ushered the ball into the Gwladys Street goal at every 'near attempt'. What a piece of skill from Demarai Gray to put it well beyond dispute.

Tony Everan
156 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:16:43
Agree with the VAR comments, the person determining the frame on which the ball leaves the boot on the point of release to Richarlison is in a position of God.

That one person can determine the outcome of games, by choosing his favoured frame. More often than not, it will be a very tight and subjective decision to do that.

That's why there has to be a few inches margin of error in favour of the attacker to allow for this freeze-frame margin of error. It cannot be left to the whim of one man in the tech room – bias and corruption could follow? Last night that directive, for some unknown reason, went out of the window.

Is someone going to ask for an explanation and clarification of the rule?

Shane Corcoran
157 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:21:34
Si, I didn't suggest you change your approach nor did I refer to your posts. But the site seems to be an endless, tiresome and embarrassing list of how everyone in football wants to fuck us over.

To answer your question, there probably is some element of bias in the media as they're human and have allegiances of some sort.

But I listened to Alan Smith and I, a blue, didn't pick up on any bias and I actually try to listen out for it.

He pointed out the Godfrey incident, which is completely fair to do. VAR or the ref could easily have given a red.

I also don't think the VAR official thought "It's Everton, let's not thicken the line and have him offside."

I can't explain every decision VAR makes or decides or doesn't decide to look at. But I'll take serious convincing that there's an anti-Everton agenda.

Robert Tressell
158 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:29:55
Ray # 154, I don't expect we would try to recall Nkounkou in January even if we could.

He's clearly got rampaging ability going forward but no manager has treated him as a contender for left-back, plus Godfrey is possibly most effective there. He needed a season of games to learn the ropes defensively and mature.

If Digne is out of favour, then he will be sold surely as he will command a decent fee – circa £30M?

We're already very strongly linked with Sergio Gomez of Anderlecht who will probably be available for about £10M.

Alan McMillan
159 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:54:03
I agree with everyone on the frame selection re VAR... it's never really the focus of much attention but choosing a frame where the ball has fractionally left the player's foot will catch a forward offside by virtue of his movement.

Anyway, didn't Bill look very sheepish at the end of the night and Barrett-Baxendale looked like Miss Piggy caught in the headlights!

Coleman's interview afterwards was class, never one for the cookie-cutter clichés... a great night all round!

Dave Williams
160 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:56:48

What a fightback against the odds! Gray and Gomes were excellent but best for me were Keane, who brought the ball out of defence very well with excellent distribution, and Richarlison, who for me had by far his best game for us – he really was on a mission for his manager last night.

The TV commentary wasn't biased as such, but they and the studio “experts” had clearly written their scripts before the match and were desperate to follow the “Everton in crisis due to mismanagement” theme.

The quality of play was certainly below Top 4 level but, in the second half, we played pretty well and we did actually put four goals past Arsenal without our best striker!

The outstanding feature for me was the crowd. I loved the support they gave at the time of the walkout and they really did carry us to victory.

The Digne situation is interesting: Rafa gave me the impression that Digne will be on his way which will raise some decent funds from the sale of a player who has been well below his best for 18 months now. Godfrey was an absolute beast last night and, with Holgate and Branthwaite to cover at centre-back we will be okay with him continuing at left-back.

Fantastic night – I am off to watch it again now!

Barry Rathbone
161 Posted 07/12/2021 at 11:21:19
Beyond Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool, there really isn't that much to fear in this league; the puzzle is why spirit only appears at this club under the threat of doom?

Such wins are very nice but, for me, confirm the suspicion employees on and off the pitch use the place as a well paid holiday camp unless the shit hits the fan.

Thinking of the old TV message this morning: "Normal service will be resumed shortly"...

Rob Halligan
162 Posted 07/12/2021 at 11:33:18
Watching those two disallowed goals on SSN, and it’s really difficult to see how Richarlison is offside? For the first one, to me, it looks like the Arsenal right back, in between Ben Godfrey and I think Holgate, has his leg stretched out, and it seems that his knee is level with the knee of Richarlison. The only part of Ricky’s body in an “Offside position” is his arm, and we all know you can’t score with your arm. I’ve even froze the picture at the point of contact by Townsend, and I honestly cannot see how Richarlison is offside?

The second one is absolutely ludicrous. Again I’ve frozen the picture at the point of the pass by Doucoure. There is a blue line near the 18 yard line, then a red line nearer to the goal. It seems both Ricky and the Arsenal defender have a foot level with each other on the blue line, with no other part of Ricky’s body in an “Offside position”. This second goal should definitely have stood.

Having just checked the match day programme, and I see Stuart Attwell was the VAR official, so the least said about him the better.

Derek Knox
163 Posted 07/12/2021 at 11:34:47
I sincerely hope that last night, and the spirit shown by both the team and the crowd, hails the start of a long-awaited revival. Like someone on here said the other day, there are only 3 sides that are clearly in another class, and West Ham who seem to be having very good spell; the rest are almost also-rans so therefore beatable.

Having said all that, I hope that it doesn't paper over any cracks that have been gaping for far too long and a complete Boardroom shuffle is still on the cards. I was at the game last night and although I didn't advocate the 27-minute walk-out for various reasons, first and foremost being safety, I did however have my "Kenwright Out" pillow case which I held aloft but whether the cameras picked up on it, I don't know; nevertheless, I hope that change does happen and soon!

I think and hope we will be going to Palace now with a renewed confidence and belief that we can at least get a point at the very minimum, but hopefully three.

Also hoping for more clarity on the Digne situation, a player I like but admittedly he has not been as good for too long now. Those runs to the bye-line, the pinpoint crosses and free-kicks, all seem to have evaporated or have they been coached out?

Maybe it's time to cash in while he still has value, as I only advocated recently a partial clear-out is needed both for the benefit of the playing style and to alleviate the FFP restrictions. Possibly a couple more going and an intelligent couple of purchases in January (tho not always a very good window to do it) may see us rejuvenated and be the team we all love and trust, week-in & week out!

Stephen Brown
164 Posted 07/12/2021 at 11:54:23
Gray’s stunning strike is getting nearly all the plaudits and he deserves them but I want to emphasise the quality of Richie’s goal again!

Such a difficult skill to judge that header like that and so little margin for error all done at pace! Quite superb!

Andrew Keatley
165 Posted 07/12/2021 at 12:04:22
Robert (158) - Perhaps Digne would be considered by Man City as a necessary replacement for the on-remand Mendy. Left-back and centre-forward are probably the only 2 positions where they might look to strengthen, and Digne at £25+ million would probably solve problems for both clubs. I could see it happening, if Pep fancies him.
Christy Ring
166 Posted 07/12/2021 at 12:15:18
Shane #148 & #157,

I don't know what channels you do be watching, BBC totally biased, Sky with Tim Sherwood and Merson never have a good word to say about us, and I listened to Alan Smith and I thought he was wearing his Arsenal jersey last night.

Robert Tressell
167 Posted 07/12/2021 at 12:24:47
Andrew #165,

That's a good shout. Digne would very easily slot in at Man City and gives them a genuine left-footed specialist full-back (which neither Cancealo nor Zinchenko are, despite being good footballers).

If this were summer, we might even get a (very good) squad player thrown in for good measure but most will be tied up on loan deals till January.

Despite financial constraints, I'm optimistic of a couple of new faces in January, one way or the other.

Sam Hoare
168 Posted 07/12/2021 at 12:31:47
A year or two ago, we would have oped to get around £40-50M for Digne but I guess covid and his drop in form this year has seen that drop. He still starts for France though and has some of the best creative figures for full-backs in Europe.

But if Benitez is here to stay and doesn't fancy him then we should cash in. There's a few interesting left-backs around. I like the look of Pedrosa at Espanyol, rapid!!

Shane Corcoran
169 Posted 07/12/2021 at 12:32:00
Christy, Merson never has a good word to say about us? Do you think he gives enough of a shite about us to take the time to dislike us? He’s been hugely critical of Arsenal despite being an Arsenal man. How does that figure?

I imagine being a non-Everton fan reading this stuff and laughing my arse off. We’re not that important. Nobody cares enough to dislike us but they’re within their rights to laugh at us at the minute.

Ajay Gopal
170 Posted 07/12/2021 at 12:32:58
I looked at my phone this morning with trembling fingers - and,... JOY! Such a relief to get 3 points and avert the very real danger of relegation that was hanging over the club. All credit to Benitez for motivating the players to put in a performance like that. Hopefully, with the players coming back from injuries, we will have enough to slowly climb up the table.

This has been a horrific couple of months for Evertonians, but yesterday feels like a turning point. Crystal Palace are no mugs – they ran Man Utd very close last weekend and they are a dangerous team under Viera. I am praying for a similar performance from our team, and then we can optimistically look forward to the January transfer window.

Danny O’Neill
171 Posted 07/12/2021 at 13:04:08
I am a fan of VAR. Like the DoF model, if implemented correctly, it works. You can't hide from it, just as we've seen in the Sky era on the countless occasions we've watched back replays pre-VAR.

For too many years we (football in general and Everton seemingly in particular) were on the wrong end of poor decisions by those officiating the game. VAR or no VAR, that hasn't changed.

The officials are generally sub-standard. In my opinion, as an outsider looking in, Rugby has a superior standard of officials. I'll leave that to any Rugby followers to comment.

Now a case for their defence. The second issue are the rules. Specifically the offside one. Change the rule. What happened to the "daylight" rule that gave advantage to the attacker?

So 2 things for me still remain, regardless of VAR. Interpretation of the rules by sub-standard officials and the rules themselves.

Stephen Vincent
172 Posted 07/12/2021 at 13:46:03
I think it should be pointed out that without VAR Everton would be much better off. Statistically we are the team that VAR has negatively the most.

From the various tables I've seen we would be between 3 and 6 places better off without VAR and obviously that situation will not have improved after last night.

Raymond Fox
173 Posted 07/12/2021 at 13:48:19
I told you we would win- no I didn't, just joking.
I couldn't bare to watch the game last night its been too painful lately, the result was oh sweet joy!

I did say before the game though, thats theres very little difference ability wise from 8th downwards and that we will finish where we expected when the season started in 10th to 12th, who knows maybe we might finish higher.
Oh, and lay off Iwobi its no help to him or anybody else.

Andrew Clare
174 Posted 07/12/2021 at 13:51:10
Delighted for the fans and the players. What a horrible two months we have had.
I would suggest everyone at the club should watch 14 Peaks on Netflix. If that doesn't inspire them to greater heights nothing will. Watch it and you will understand.
Well done Everton- brilliant!
Christy Ring
175 Posted 07/12/2021 at 13:55:56
Shane #169 You talk about Merson being critical of Arsenal, he said the were crap, but two weeks ago he tipped them for the top four? How does that figure?? He hasn't a clue.
Colin Malone
176 Posted 07/12/2021 at 14:43:16
A cloud has been lifted. Maybe its a 1st win in eight but I feel so much happier today.
Adrian Evans
177 Posted 07/12/2021 at 14:46:02
Merson,depends how much hes had to drink,or lost gambling.

Hes lost the plot but good tv.

Desire, never give up, and hope a little quality gets you over the line.
The Goodison crowd lifts team, intimidates opposition,bit of luck.

This will buy us time.

Pray Rafa starts becoming the coach he has been.Buys,loans in some quality, ships out who aint going to fit.

Climb table better than 8th.A Cup run, stay in it could he win it????
Fast track to Europe, maybe its knock out.

Graeme Beresford
178 Posted 07/12/2021 at 14:56:32
Going to be the bearer of bad news here. Yes, we won which is great and much needed. However Rafa got it completely wrong again. We had three shots on target the whole game and two of them went in, the other was a cross come shot from Doucoure.

The essence of football is shoot and try and score goals. The backwards passing, the passing it back to Pickford and all around attacking play was none existent last night. Gomes made a huge difference and maybe that’s what we should be playing. Allan, Doucoure and Gomes. With Richy, DCL and Gray.

We rode our luck. They should of went 2-1 up from the header which hit the post and they should of levelled in injury time. Rafa should of brought a defender on and went 5 at the back as soon as our second goal went in. And also Richarlison needed a proper rollicking the way he gave the ball back to them at the corner flag. Wolves did this against Liverpool and lost the game.

I am however delighted with Richy and Gray. I thought they looked a danger in the game but it’s so frustrating watching us go backwards all the time. We scored the first because Gomes has a shot and it’s blocked and falls to our man. See what happens when you shoot. It’s crazy. Having three shots on target in a game at home is criminal in my opinion. It’s insane. I’m so happy we won, however Palace will roll us over if we keep playing defensive football all game.

Trevor Cotterell
179 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:04:23
Perhaps those two VAR decisions were what both the fans and the teams needed... there seemed to be genuine anger, enough to inspire both to go "f*** the lot of you - we're gonna show you..." I think it was the nature of those decisions, the second especially both because it was oh so tight (and debatable) and because it was Richie again, that this time got everyone on the same page instead of everyone giving up.

I see the point of VAR but wasn't it originally supposed to be 'clear and obvious'? So my solution is that first the ref has to make a decision, then the VAR ref only gets (say) 30 seconds to review (similarly the actual ref). If they can't overrule it within that time, it simply isn't clear and obvious.

Last night shows that we do have some players when they show up and, perhaps, when they're feeling backed by the crowd. Perhaps now Brands has gone there will be a clearer approach to everything - I can't say that if I was a manager I'd want someone else picking my squad for me!

But it's not going to be quick. We still have a handful of people getting paid a lot for doing very little, and in the process stopping us getting replacements. I've said it before but I'll be happy with mid table this year. Look how many we've already got rid of recently and if we lose another half dozen we might finally be in a position to rebuild. I'm not anti Rafa... I don't think he's suddenly forgotten all he knows, I think he really wants to prove himself, but as yet he's had no chance to build a squad that works for him and yet another change in manager sends us back to the drawing board. There's a few decisions that bemuse me (Iwobi last night being an example - perhaps Tosun would have been a better choice but easy to say from the sidelines and after the event!)

Let's keep behind all of them. It may not seem like it but no-one seems to have noticed we're actually closer (in points) to Europe than relation now!!

Justin Doone
180 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:09:20
Small margins. Most games are won or lost through small margins.

VAR is here to stay. This is an area that player's and coaches need to maximise potential benefits from. Gain advantage from within the rules.

Having player's clearly offside to confuse defenders but not interfer with keepers needs to be tapped into.

We see more and more blockers at corners and free kicks. We get caught out with this. So let's plan how we can mass block without fouling.

Lot's of ideas, some may not be 'sporting' but who cares if we gain from it. I call it smart.

Shane Corcoran
181 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:11:55
Christy, if he hasn’t got a clue why are you bothered by what he says and why bring him into the conversation to make a point?
Tony Waring
182 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:33:15
As a matter of interest does anyone know if Demari Gray was a "Walsh" discovery at Leicester and, secondly, was he given a yellow card for taking off his shirt in celebrating his winning goal ??
Mark Ryan
183 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:38:39
Adrian @ 147. I honestly think that last night was not so much about getting a performance out of Rafa. It genuinely felt like the players knew about the planned protest and were fired up because of that and solely because of that.
I think Rafa is Rafa and I believe ( I know I am in the minority here ) that he wants to be successful at Everton. I don't think he's an egotist, I think he's a grafter and he doesn't like shirkers hence Digne getting the hook before kick off.
I think last night was about the planned walk out. They looked a different team. Will that last ? hopefully it will have given them some confidence going into the Christmas fixtures
James Fletcher
184 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:52:20
Gray did get a yellow for his celebration
Dave Abrahams
185 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:53:06
Tony (182), yes Tony he was booked for taking his shirt off, an Everton player went over to Dean, the ref. who picked up the shirt off the turf and was walking towards Gray, the Everton player put his hand out to take the shirt, think it was Doucoure, but Dean put it behind his back and called Gray over and booked him.

Not sure if Walsh was responsible for him going to Leicester but Gray was well known to plenty of clubs who were interested in him including Spurs and Liverpool, he had made his debut when he was seventeen for Birmingham and he was well aware of how good he was and always wanted to better himself as a footballer.

Julian Exshaw
186 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:53:17
I think yesterday was a win for spirit and attitude rather than for good football but I'll take it any day. I thought Richarlison was magnificent and showed genuine leadership. Why not make him captain? Gomes coming on to make it a genuine three in midfield changed the game and surely Benitez will build on this. We aren't out of any woods yet but if we show the spirit as we did yesterday we won't be far away.
Christy Ring
187 Posted 07/12/2021 at 15:53:56
Shane #181 You're the person who made a skit of the comments saying that everyone was out to get poor Everton even God, so why wouldn't I mention Sky pundits including Merson & Sherwood. You mentioned Alan Smith and you didn't pick up any bias, well I thought listening to Smith you'd definetly know he was a gunner, which to be honest is understandable.
Steve Boardman
188 Posted 07/12/2021 at 16:20:13
Danny (171),

Everton are my first love but I’m a big Rugby League fan ( not Union which I don’t understand). League uses VAR far better. Firstly the ref makes a decision and VAR only intervenes if he asks. Secondly, on the offside rule for a Try, which is about the kicker being in line or in front of his teammates, the VAR official just has a quick look and says yeah or not. No slide rule measurements or lines on the pitch. Ok, sometimes they might make a mistake but generally far less contentious. Also the refs talk to the players using first names and ‘manage’ the game. Just incomparably better on any metric, meanwhile footy does its usual shite with ‘nothing to learn’ from other sports. Rant over for now!

Nick White
189 Posted 07/12/2021 at 16:21:26
Still shocked (in a good way) by the result last night, great stuff!

Does anyone know if we are allowed to sign loan players in January or are these also against FFP?

Robert Tressell
190 Posted 07/12/2021 at 16:41:52
Nick, I think we can loan and maybe buy because of the departure of Rodriguez after the last window closed. If we have no other outgoings then we won't have much to spend but I'm optimistic they'll be one or two new faces brought in.
Kim Vivian
191 Posted 07/12/2021 at 16:43:35
Danny - Have to agree that esssentially anything established with a specific objective if implemented correctly will work. There's the nub - "implemented correctly".

Now, who's to say what is "correct" in both these cases?

A DOF model cannot work if you've got two important protagonists pulling in opposite directions, and your coach/manager is of course, a major protagonist. It is the job of the employer (Moshiri) to get people on board who will actually gel with each other. You can't just say "here you go, fellas, you might have different ideas but get on with it".

With hindsight now it has become clear that Rafa and Brands were not seeing eye to eye. I cannot believe that Brands was not involved in the recruitment process and he will have been aware of Rafa's preferred modus operandi even if Moshiri wasn't, and by extension he should have made it abundantly clear to Moshiri (and Kenwright for that matter) that there was a good chance of the relationship breaking down. Maybe he did but Moshiri dug his heels in. I understand that BK was not in favour of Benitez getting the gig.

I do feel some sympathy towards Brands who drew a pretty short straw with the turnover and profile of managers he has been forced to work with, and looking back I think he probably did not fit well with Ancolletti or Allardyce either. Silva in view of his younger age may have had a more contemporary mentality. The others, one could describe as 'old school'and a little less enamoured with the DOF model.

I would not have been happy to see Rafa binned and yet another manager brought in on the off chance so hopefully Sunday's events will prove to be quite fortuitous. He may not be perfect but I think we may see a period of relative stability now. On balance I think the right call has been made this time. We shall see.

VAR is fundamentally flawed because of the rigid interpretation of the laws as written down. I would say again that the fine lines determined by timing of frame freezing leaves the VAR official(s) exposed. If a very slight adjustment makes the difference between offside or onside, then that surely has to rule in the attackers favour. It seems as though it's not possible for players to be 'level' anymore.

Someone else alluded to a rock and roll viewing of the offside moment (just as they do when determining foul or dangerous play). If it is going to take an age to determine, then it has to ruled onside, and that would surely clear up the controversial decisions. Yesterday I think we would have been awarded the second goal but not the first.

Having said all that I am not in principle against VAR - I think on balance it is probably better than it is worse but these debates will continue as long as the (VAR) rules remain as they are, and until the officiating improves. As a matter of interest I like to know if it causes so much debate in Europe.

Jay Harris
192 Posted 07/12/2021 at 17:01:32
Ive got no sympathy for Brands. He should have shown a pair of balls long ago when Kenwright and Moshiri were picking players, closely followed by Ancelotti.

He didnt he took the golden chalice instead and was appointed to the board and given a new contract,

It says it all to me that he wanted to keep Silva as manager.

Derek Knox
193 Posted 07/12/2021 at 17:11:31
Hi Dave @ 185, Great to see you on here again, don't know if you managed to go last night or not, but in all my years of going to Goodison I have never felt that atmosphere like there was in the second half for a long, long time. Let's hope it wasn't a one off, from the young to the old we were all united in spurring our boys on vocally and I think it proved it got through to them. Richarlison, and Gray worked their socks off and equally deserved MoM nominations.

Couldn't really fault any of them for effort, although Holgate has me on tenterhooks with his half hearted passing across the defence and usually a wild or rash tackle going in, in a dangerous area, but thankfully that was not evident last night. Take care Dave.

Brian Wilkinson
194 Posted 07/12/2021 at 17:32:37
Hi Danny, I follow rugby league, the proper one for us working class northern peasants , not the Eton British bulldog version union.

The ref and the big screen official are bang on, the ref will ask the man upstairs, if a try is scored and needs help, only then will the official review it, while it is also shown on the big screen, the ref normally either says I have try or no try, it is then up to upstairs to find a clear and obvious error, if no conclusion they go with the refs onfield decision.

They would never have a word in the refs ear, once a try is scored, it would be up to the ref to ask them to check it.

On every occasion, the fans can see clearly a slow motion and not just a screen shot of the incident.

That is the problem with var, they only show a still image and a line.

Matthew Williams
195 Posted 07/12/2021 at 17:39:39
The fans were the real stars last night,G.P was once again a bear pit and the lads responded,only Mina was a total let down for me,got to mention Keane a few dodgy clearances but his passing both long and short was great,Richy worked his bollocks off and young Gordon showed some much needed aggression I thought,we just need to show that passion down at Palace on Sunday and we'll bag all three for Gray's winner?...a beautiful strike that would've beaten two keepers...sublime!.
Shane Corcoran
196 Posted 07/12/2021 at 18:17:34
Christy, you mentioned Merson in response to my comments, so presumably it related to him being biased in some way.

Why his being stupid or not has anything to do with it is beyond me but carry on.

David Currie
197 Posted 07/12/2021 at 18:31:52
Rob 137,
Thanks will try and get a ticket outside the ground, if you are going to any pub before game will buy you a drink.
Roger Helm
198 Posted 07/12/2021 at 18:49:33
I agree with Brian and Steve 188, rugby league does it a lot better. The video ref has to be sure before advising the on-field ref to change the decision. That is unlike football, where there is very often a lack of certainty.

Both decisions against Richie last night were marginal to say the least and were certainly not obvious errors. The authorities don't seem to realise that there is a degree of observational error in these video images. The exact moment of contact with the ball cannot be known and neither can the exact position of the player on the pitch. Also the lines across the pitch are not real lines, just computer images; how accurate are they? Rugby does not use them, perhaps for that reason.

When it comes down to millimetres it gets ridiculous. Are they measuring the player's foot or shoulder, or the clothing covering them?

Kim Vivian
199 Posted 07/12/2021 at 19:10:13
Roger - perhaps software should be developed which "undresses" them"! If Richy's boot had been removed he would have been onside last night (second goal).
Barry Hesketh
200 Posted 07/12/2021 at 19:19:53
For those unable to attend last night and particularly for those who reside overseas, a 20 minute summary of the game from Everton TV. A raw viewing of the highlights of the game, which closely captures what it's like to be inside the stadium.


Brian Wilkinson
201 Posted 07/12/2021 at 19:47:01
Derek@193, that was what I was trying to say for the Derby, if we could create a Bayern type bear pit Goodison.

We saw last night how the players responded when the crowd got right behind them.

I have been visiting every night the Royal hospital, so last night was a tricky one to get to, I did manage to watch it on my sky app in the hospital, and agree the crowd played it part on creating an atmosphere.

Been a good while since I heard the old lady like that.

The only thing that spoiled it for me was when the whistle went, the camera went on Bill Kenwright, looks like he has got out of jail yet again, but do not worry, our next slip and he will either throw Denise or the manager under the bus.

He will be cutting the ribbon at Bramley Moore for sure.

Ian Bennett
202 Posted 07/12/2021 at 19:58:50

Under the lights
Boisterous crowd
A bit of spirit
Southern softies opposition

Arsenal were beaten as soon as they left the M25. UTFT.

Brian Murray
203 Posted 07/12/2021 at 19:58:54
Brian post 201. You know the old saying give someone enough rope.. no way will bk survive to get anywhere near bmd although the silent majority eg last night look like they can’t or wont protest enough to get rid of him. Our best hope is this manager who we know hates ineptitude and now he has more power he and hopefully the owner will see him for what he is. A curse and totally wrecking any plans we have to go forward or be professional. New ground or not.
Si Cooper
204 Posted 07/12/2021 at 22:33:24
Shane (157),

My point about VAR use last night was more a technical one and about bringing more confidence that everyone gets the same treatment, rather than saying Everton had been targeted. I thought the overall principle was the attacker gets the benefit of any doubt.

When you are still deciding offsides on inches (not clear or obvious error), then you kind of have to show you are judging it as precisely at the point the ball leaves the passer.

If you can't ably demonstrate that you have captured that moment, then it makes more sense to have a look at two consecutive frames, one were the ball is definitely still in contact with the passer and one when it has definitely lost contact, then look at the lines you draw for each to judge how far the attacker has moved in whatever fraction of a second it is between frames.

If the ball moves 12 inches and the attacker several feet but he only ends up less than 6 inches offside, then I think they should get the benefit of the doubt.

On the point of bias of commentators, why does it matter? Because neutrals and opposition fans also watch these games. Going beyond the simple appeal for fairness, the way the media present incidents can have real world implications.

You may believe nobody else forms an opinion about clubs other than their own but I know that simply isn't true from multiple personal contacts.

Even I loathe Man Utd primarily because, even when we were clearly the best team in the (old) First Division and they were decidedly average at best, in the Sunday papers we got, you still had to search out our match reports amidst the much bigger and detailed United puff pieces. It's irrational but the drip, drip, drip does get to you.

On the Godfrey ‘off the ball' (their words) incident, the Sky commentators and pundits to a man took pains to make it clear that it was deliberate and were surprised a red wasn't the outcome. For starters, it wasn't an off the ball incident, it was simply the aftermath of three players converging on the ball where one player ended up flat on the ground and another took to the air to avoid being flattened himself. None of them stated exactly ‘what' was deliberate; not avoiding landing on the player, not avoiding landing in the chin, neck, upper chest area, or actually stamping on the player?

For me, the only thing he can actually be accused of is not actually trying to avoid landing on the player, though he clearly doesn't stamp and I think he tries to lessen the weight when he actually realises how close to his face he ended.

So the question becomes: How hard should you try to avoid landing on an opponent when they are flying into challenges with you? Are you obliged to contort yourself and risk an awkward landing and possibly injuring yourself? We prefer the gentlemanly stuff but let's not pretend that players don't get the digs in when they can.

This was an incident that looked worse than it was and deserved a yellow at most for the careless quality. The pundits offered it up as potentially something a lot worse. Was there a bias because it was Everton? Can't say for sure, but you don't seem to hear ‘he's not that type of player' excuses so much when it's one of ours.

Derek Knox
205 Posted 08/12/2021 at 01:26:31
Brian @ 203 hope you are right there regarding Kenwright being History by the time BMD gets under way. I was very disappointed last night after all the build up to the '27 minutes' which was eagerly awaited to see exactly what sort of reaction unfolded.

I was glad in many ways there wasn't a Mass Exodus, whether it was to be permanent or temporary, because of the Safety aspect and glad there no reports of anyone being injured. Equally though disappointed to see there was a distinct or noticeable absence of banners or placards. I almost felt embarrassed that I was the only one around in my section in the Main Stand who stood up and brandished a Pillow Case with Kenwright Out on it. I doubt whether the cameras picked it up and watching the footage after saw very little evidence of any support for the much vaunted '27 minutes' !

Kenwright probably feels that yet again he has dodged another bullet ! I am also surprised at how few posters have commented post match, on what was a brilliant second half performance, and hopefully the turning point, in our thus far disappointing season. If we had lost, there would have been twice as many posts on here.

Would I be forgiven in suggesting TW is comprised of a lot of 'moaning minnies' who relish defeat, but are nonplussed when a Victory as significant as last night has happened ?

Bill Watson
206 Posted 08/12/2021 at 06:11:22
Raymond #173

I've seen every minute Iwobi has played for Everton and can assure you he's one of the worst signings we've ever made and the fact he cost circa £30m is simply astounding.

He shouldn't be anywhere near the first team, including the bench. He's a total waste of a shirt.

Dave Williams
207 Posted 08/12/2021 at 09:20:21
Derek #205,

you are quite right – bad news brings them all out whilst good news is often passed over.

Before the game, all the talk was of a relegation battle – we were all worried. It's still there but an 8-point gap now and we are very much in touch for Europe too.

The protest was aimed at mismanagement by the Board. Well, it could be that things are moving. The medical unit has been changed; Brands is gone; rumours about the CEO going shortly; Steinsson now rumoured to be going from scouting – it seems, if these rumours are true, that Rafa has been charged with sorting out the footballing side from top to bottom.

If so, it is a risk in putting our faith in him like this but he is a ruthless manager who won't care who he upsets to get his way. I suspect the Academy coaches and management are looking nervously over their shoulders now and the row with Digne will tell the players that no one is safe if they are not prepared to toe the line.

He could just be the right man at the right time...

Kim Vivian
208 Posted 08/12/2021 at 09:25:46

It is much easier to criticise than praise, as well as being kind of cathartic to share the pain of another loss. There will always be diverse opinions and debate about the reasons.

Make no mistake – there was plenty to critisise on Monday but it would be a bit dispirited to be critical after such an uplifting evening (for Evertonians). I think we are all just basking in the sunshine of the moment on a foul and stormy night.

It was a great evening but, speaking personally, pretty hairy for the first 80 odd minutes, although I really did feel that we were going to win that match. I said as much on the Live Forum at about 7:30. The atmosphere sounded great on TV and wish I was able to be there. Hats off to the proverbial 12th man.

But you're right – if we had lost, or if that Aubameyang chance had been taken at the death, there would be twice as many comments.

I'm just looking forward to a similar feeling on Sunday afternoon.

Laurie Hartley
209 Posted 08/12/2021 at 09:28:55
David Pearl
210 Posted 08/12/2021 at 09:55:28
Thanks Laurie!
Lynn Maher
211 Posted 08/12/2021 at 11:08:56
A lot has been said about media bias. When we got home from match on Monday night (and very enjoyable it was!) I switched television on to see BBC headlines

"Premier League: Gray stunner helps Arsenal beat Everton" You really couldn't make it up.

I immediately contacted them but headline was not changed until Tuesday evening.

Brian Wilkinson
212 Posted 08/12/2021 at 13:53:40
You are spot on Derek.

I think Brands going on Sunday, Benitez more control and dropping Digne for not following orders,had given the other players a kick up the backside, a wake up call, also the fans in the stadium as well helped big time.

Whatever anyone thinks of Benitez, let’s just hope he is here long enough, to make further changes in the board room, academy, and get some proper professionals in.

Benitez could just be the man to sort this sorry mess out, not just on the pitch, but throughout the club as well, for too long now from the very top right through to finch farm, this club has stank of amateurs and lazy personel.

It is well known Benitez does not like working with a d.o.f so was half expecting him to have more power in the transfer market, Rondon not worked out but by god Gray has.

I just hope we do not bring another Director of football in.

Whatever happens now, Digne and Brands clearly shows Benitez is fully in charge, let us see what happens in January, if he has a budget to bring in more players.

Phil Smith
213 Posted 09/12/2021 at 03:05:17
Just watched the behind the scenes footage on the site:(
Really was an eye opener on how up for it most the players were and how together they were at the end. Richy gave everything in that game. One of his best performances in an Everton shirt that. Godfrey played like a man possessed at times as well. COYB!

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