Back in Europe, Goodison under the lights once more. Everton played midweek against Wolfsburg and didn’t just win, but humiliated their German opposition on opening night. It was a classic tale of jubilation to pure disgust as Yannick Bolasie latched onto a mistake from Leon Osman to put palace 3-1 up. Three days is not a long time but it is all the time in the world for Everton to make you feel like crap again.
Tim Howard – 3
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. In my last report Howard was one of the heroes of the day, keeping a clean sheet away to West Brom. During the week against Wolfsburg he tied the Europa League record for most saves in a single match with 12 saves. His confidence must of been high going into a home game against a team that had only scored 5 goals this season. Everton looked comfortable and cruising after going 1-0 up but a stupid mistake from Howard to bring down McCarthur allowed Palace into the game. He then proceeded to flail his arms at a Palace cross misjudging it completely which resulted in another sloppy goal to concede. 3 shots on target for Crystal Palace, and if you haven’t worked it out already that means Howard had 0 saves and allowed 3 goals from 3 shots. Not good, not good.
Leighton Baines – 7 (Man of the Match)
Shining light in this team for me, the only player to look good for the majority of the game. Defensively he had 3 tackles and 3 effective clearances. He also looked the most likely to create something with 7 crosses, 3 dribbles (most on the pitch for both) and 2 key passes. Not to mention a well taken penalty to give us hope at the death, thats 2 goals in 2 games for Leighton now and it seems when all else is hitting the fan he is the only player to be relied on.
Sylvain Distin – 4
If you look solely at Distin’s stats from the game you’d probably think he had a reasonable game despite conceding 3 goals. 1 tackle, 3 interceptions (most on the pitch), 7 effective clearences, 2 shots blocked and 100% pass accuracy (84 passes). You won’t see much better stats for any defender this weekend. However if you actually watched the game you’d almost certainly be screaming at him. Gave the ball away too easily a few times with 2 turnovers, won 0 of his aerial duels and didn’t look commanding at all. John Stones should really start Premier League games for us with Jagielka now. Distin can use his experience to play in Europa or the League Cup.
Phil Jagielka – 5
Jagielka didn’t have a whole lot to do which is bad considering we conceded 3 goals. He gets the base rate today for not influencing the game at all. Picking up 1 tackle, 9 effective clearences and 2 shots blocked. Our captain needs to lead by example and start making sure we don’t lose our heads, he hasn’t done that thus far this season.
John Stones – 6
Playing on the right, John doesn’t always look comfortable but I thought he played well on Sunday showing his versatility. Dribbling past 2 people and had a blistering run which ended in a chance created for Samuel Eto’o who squandered it wide. Versatility is becoming increasingly important for a defender in the modern game and John showed that. He also had more tackles than any other Everton player (4) and contributed 2 effective clearances and 1 shot blocked.
Gareth Barry – 5
Barry had 131 touches and 115 passes on Sunday, this is the most in both categories for any Everton player I have ever seen. Barry had more passes than the top 5 passers in the Palace team. Touching the ball 131 times is almost unheard of in a Premier League game, but somehow with all those touches he still couldn’t produce a single chance or an accurate cross. Its all very well saying he had all these passes but its how use them that defines your performance.
James McCarthy – 6
I have not been kind to JMac so far this season, but he showed up yesterday with some good tackles (4 – Most on the pitch) and a honest 92% pass accuracy off 83 passes. McCarthy was also in the right position to get a penalty for our second goal, which he did well to get. Although we conceded 3 he looked more on point than any game he has had this season. I am hoping this is the start of a boost in his second campaign as an Everton player.
Leon Osman – 4
A sublime pass for Romelu Lukaku to get things running was about the only thing Leon did right in this game. He missed a clear goalscoring opportunity, had 3 turnovers and was dispossessed twice in a game where he made sure Palace got the win by carelessly giving away possession just outside his own box. Leon has successfully proven that Steven Naismith is the man for this position, at least until Ross comes back.
Christian Atsu – 4
Not a great debut for Atsu who turned the ball over 4 times (most on the pitch) and only had 75% pass accuracy. I feel as though we shouldn’t read too much into this however, we all had questions over Deulofeu when he first arrived. He did create 2 chances and looked very quick. He will surely start from the bench most weeks but I feel like he can be an impact player when he wants to be.
Romelu Lukaku – 5
A good finish from Lukaku gives him 2 goals in 2 Premier League appearances, this is hopefully the start of a run we will never see the end of. 6 shots, 2 on target, 1 chance created and 2 dribbles for the big man. Him and Eto’o on the pitch at the same time was a huge risk that didn’t really pay off and they seemed to be able to roam wherever they wanted. There needs to be more structure in the team if we want to hold on to an early lead. He was dispossessed 4 times (most on the pitch) and his touch looked off. I’d like to see only one of our two super forwards play at once from now on, making sure Rom starts in the number 9 role and not on the wing where he seems lost at times.
Samuel Eto’o – 5
His movement was very good in this game and was popping around all over the place, this is a good thing for most forwards but not when we are leading and need to just maintain a lead. He managed 4 shots with 1 on target but couldn’t really get into the game a whole lot as much as he was popping up everywhere. We have two elite forwards for the first time in a long time and still no one is in the box to latch onto a Leighton Baines cross. Sort it out.
Kevin Mirallas – 6
Kev looked bright when he came on, creating 2 chances in only 25 minutes. He needs to start every week if we really want a chance of winning. It’s weather he can do it or not that is the question. An injury to Mirallas and we are looking very very bare.
Steven Naismith – 5
Should of started instead of Osman even if he was knackered. A half fit Naismith is better than Osman at the moment.
Darren Gibson – 5
No time to really make an impression for Darren and to be honest most of us had stopped caring at that point.
Overall Team Rating – 4.91
A great start to the game gave us false hope that it would be another 4 goal smashing of our opposition at Goodison. It wasn’t the case this time and Martinez needs to look at how he approaches each game much more. It is true that the squad needs to be rotated but it doesn’t mean you can play 74 strikers at home to a team who have a solid defense and were always going to sit back and wait for the counter. This one needs to be forgotten about very quickly as we play away at Swansea in the cup on tuesday and the derby is fast approaching us.
– Only Trevor Steven and David Unsworth (23 apiece) have scored penalties for Everton than Leighton Baines (19).
– We’ve only lost at home 3-2 in successive seasons to the same team on one previous occasion. Arsenal (1924-25/25-26).
– Everton have also now scored at least 2 goals in all of their first 6 games of the season – the last time that happened was 1938/39