How dare Everton lose 3-2 to the best team in the league who so happen to be challenging Liverpool for the title.
What a disgrace of a football club we are that we don’t want our close rivals to win a major title. If like me you couldn’t make it to the game on Saturday you will know all about the atmosphere at Goodison this weekend. Sky Sports didn’t talk about anything else for the entire 90 minutes, Martin Tyler talked more about Liverpool and how ‘horrible’ Everton fans were than he did the actual game. It amazes me how blatantly obvious the media is that they want Liverpool to win the league, yet little old Everton get no praise for securing a 5th place finish and European football in a managerial transition season.
Tim Howard – 6
Howard conceded more than 2 goals at Home for only the 3rd time this season, He perhaps should have done better with the first City goal; getting beat at his near post. He did however make two saves and completed 16 of his 19 distributions.
John Stones – 6
Stones won 3 headed duels, had 2 blocked shots and made 4 clearances, but won just two of his five contested tackles. Once again he showed great passing ability with a 91% completion ratio. John did play quite a lot of the game at right back where he doesn’t seem as confident. It was interesting to see Martinez play 3 at the back on Saturday, he has so many tricks up his sleeves it is frightening. What a difference it makes that opposition now come to Goodison with a game plan and Martinez just changes everything at the last minute, beats playing 4-5-1 every single week under Moyes.
Phil Jagielka – 5
A massive boost going into the last game of the season to see that our Captain is back and playing. Unfortunately, I thought he lacked match fitness and wasn´t the commanding centre back we all know and love. He did Make five clearances and three interceptions, while completing 97% of his 60 attempted passes, misplacing just two.
Antolin Alcaraz – 4
The fans were on Alcaraz’ back for long spells in this game, i don’t think the Goodison faithful have fully made their mind up about the Paraguayan. He Made four interceptions and eight clearances, while winning four of his eight aerial duels. Although he misplaced quite a few passes and constantly kept trying to go long, which I am sure Martinez hasn’t told him to do, (5 of his 17 long balls going astray).
Seamus Coleman – 7
Seamus completed every single one of his 50 attempted passes, made three interceptions and won four tackles. This is the first time an Everton player (that isn’t Gareth ‘Iniesta’ Barry) has had a 100% pass success when playing the full 90 minutes. I think Coleman enjoyed having a role that was a bit further forward and caused Clichy a lot of problems throughout.
Leighton Baines – 6
Completed 89% of his 72 attempted passes in the game, 2 key passes, 1 dribble, 5/5 accurate long balls. Uncharacteristically of Baines however was that 6 of his 7 crosses didn’t go to a blue shirt. He made up for it though when the left back put in one of the crosses of the decade that lead to the Lukaku goal.
James McCarthy – 6
Lead the field in passes in the absence of Gareth Barry with 82 (83% pass accuracy), almost double what the top passer in the City team accumulated. McCarthy made three interceptions and won three tackles, had 11 accurate long balls and blocked 2 shots.
Leon Osman – 7
Completed 78 passes with an accuracy of 90% and completed two of his three take-on attempts, Osman and Baines worked well together and had a partnership of 37 passes between them (most of any partnership on the pitch). Osman’s link up play was very good against City and he showed real maturity in the centre of midfield.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
Ross Barkley – 9 (Man of the Match)
If you have read my previous two reviews you will see that I have knocked Barkley for letting his form drop of late. Our scouse wonderkid came out on Saturday and didn’t half show us all why he is the real deal. His statistics back up what a tremendous game he really had, completing 70 passes with an accuracy of 91%, touched the ball more than any other player on the pitch (98 times), 2 key passes, 2 accurate through balls and achieved 9 successful take-ons (dribbles). This was a higher total of dribbles than the entire Man City team managed in the game. Lets not forget the goal, oh lord that goal. Barkley who saw his goal against Newcastle voted as the EFC goal of the season could have had this one as another contender. You will not see a better goal scoring technique than that all season, Man of the match for the blues by a country mile.
Steven Naismith – 5
Naismith managed one of his three shots on target and won two of his four headed duels, while he also drew four fouls from the visitors. Steven didn’t have much of the ball and only Howard had less touches than the Scot. After three games writing these reviews I have struggled to find any interesting statistics for Naismith and its hard to give him a score higher than the base rate of 5. Can we afford to have one player in the starting line up who doesn’t do anything for 3 successive games, i ask you.
Romelu Lukaku – 4
It was suggested to me that Lukaku is trying not to put himself through too much strain, saving himself for the World Cup in June. He looked uninterested for most of the game, but did score with his one shot on target which was put on a plate from Baines. Romelu also won five of his six aerial battles.
Gerard Deulofeu – 6
Completed two of his six take-ons and 10 of his 11 passes. Came on and added a bit of excitement to the Everton attack with one amazing run with a shot at the end of it.
Aiden McGeady – 5
Completed nine of his ten passes and made two successful take-ons. Start McGeady against Hull please. I’m begging now.
Overall Team Rating – 5.91
A disappointing result in a well fought out game, I honestly believe a fully fit and functioning Everton in a rocking Goodison park would of wiped the floor with that City team. However, there was some positives to take from the game for sure, one being that we seem to have handed Man City the Premier League title. Oh goodness, what a shame. The ‘Istanbul’ boasting from Liverpool fans still carries on 9 years later, Imagine if they won the league, your Grandchildren would be hearing about it from their mates. I know I will be singing Blue Moon for the last two games of the season.
Interesting facts 1) This is only the second time Everton have lost this season after scoring first, 3-1 Away at City was the only other occasion. 2) If Everton win next weekend it will have equalled the biggest points tally in the Premier League that a team has achieved without qualifying for the Champions League. 3) Everton still hold an impressive record against Manchester City at home, last 5 games (W4, L1).