Jaded Blues have to settle for a draw at Watford

Wednesday, 11 May, 2022 0comments  |  Jump to last
Watford 0 - 0 Everton

Richarlison's deflected shot was well saved by Ben Foster in the second half, the only time the Hornets' keeper was really tested during the 90 minutes

Everton moved a point closer to safety with a subdued, somewhat casual and overall lethargic display at Vicarage Road where depleted and already-relegated Watford held out for their first clean sheet of the season.

The Blues created all the chances of note, particularly in the second half, but rarely threatened Ben Foster in the Hornets' goal and the performance fizzled out to a goalless conclusion despite a couple of late substitutions from Frank Lampard.

From the highs of Sunday's win at Leicester, Everton fell a little flat in what was, on paper, the more routine fixture. Watford's fate had been sealed at the weekend with defeat at Crystal Palace and, apart from the packed away end, there were thousands of empty seats in the Hertfordshire club's stadium.

Lacking tempo and urgency, Lampard's side started a little cagily but when they did get forward in the early stages, they found Watford's back line in the way. Anthony Gordon's excellent run led to an attempted cross that was blocked behind and from the resulting corner, Richarlison's shot was charged down amid a melée of bodies.

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Richarlison then sent Alex Iwobi into space down the channel but the Nigerian international elected not to shoot and his cross deflected behind for a corner before Gordon despatched a half-hearted volley high over the crossbar and Abdoulaye Doucouré had the only effort on target of the half when he looped a header that Foster comfortably caught.

Watford, who were without an almost a team's worth of senior players, lacked conviction themselves and were reduced to pot-shots from distance from Samuel Kalu and Dan Gosling which were skied into the stand behind the goal. Meanwhile, Pickford's only real involvement was to punch clear a dangerous free-kick from the right in the 17th minute and play sweeper-keeper early in the second half to snuff out a rare attempted breakaway by the Hornets.

Everton came closest to scoring the one goal they needed to take themselves within touching distance of safety in the 53rd and 62nd minutes. First, Foster pawed Richarlison's deflected effort wide with an impressive save; then, after Michael Keane's shot off a corner was blocked behind, Demarai Gray played a one-two with Iwobi but dragged his shot across the face of goal and past the far post.

Lampard belatedly looked to change things with 13 minutes left when the threw Dominic Calvert-Lewin on in place of Gray and, later, Allan for Fabian Delph but apart from some fairly tame shots from Gordon, Doucouré and Vitalii Mykolenko, the Blues didn't make much of a fist of a late push for a winner.

Defeat for Leeds at home to Chelsea, where they lost another player to suspension when Daniel James was sent off, means that Everton now sit two points above the drop zone with three to play.

 


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