Everton drop two points in a frustrating 0-0 stalemate with Swansea City at Goodison Park.
Under Moyes we saw our fair share of 0-0 draws at home, it seemed a thing of the past when our new suave spaniard manager came in with his free-flowing football mentality, promising endless amounts of goals and consequently – limited clean sheets. However the Swans had other plans on Saturday and set up shop with two banks of four, their primary focus: preventing Everton’s attack at all costs. The plan worked, so we see our first 0-0 draw since Palace(A) 12 months ago in November 2013.
Tim Howard – 5
1 shot on target to deal with. Pitiful from Swansea, they caused Howard no real problems throughout. Howard’s pass success was at a wasteful 63% but we can’t read too much into this for goalkeepers. A clean sheet is a clean sheet at the end of the day and they have been few and far between this season. See the bottom of this article for what this clean sheet means to Howard.
Leighton Baines – 4
Baines had a frustrating afternoon on Saturday, he was denied his usual domination down that left side, he had a season low 83.3% pass success with only 1 accurate cross out of 12 attempts. Baines’ set pieces were fairly horrible, free kicks were way off and the corners barely made it past the first man. Still, Leighton somehow managed to created 2 chances and attempt 3 shots.
Gareth Barry – 7
Barry was pushed back to an unnatural position at centre back just half an hour into this game. I thought he took on the roll superbly and showed his undeniable experience at being able to play any position. 91.1% pass accuracy with the second most touches on the pitch (90) winning all of his aerial duels, making 3 interceptions and 3 effective clearances. On top of this he managed to create 1 chance and get a shot on target in the mix of it. Solid.
Phil Jagielka – 7
Capitano was fantastic on Saturday, seeming all over the pitch making 2 tackles and 5 interceptions as well as managing 2 shots and dribbling past 3 people. Jagielka had the second highest pass accuracy on the pitch with 97.7% and won 100% of his aerial duels. Dominant performance from Phil who seems to be the only CB on our injury-prone roster.
Seamus Coleman – 5
Similar story for both fullbacks against Swansea as they often had a lot of the men on both wings to stop the attacks that Coleman and Baines love to get involved in. 95% pass accuracy, created one chance and 2 successful dribbles.
Muhamed Besic – 3
Not as effective as he probably would of liked, Besic seemed lost for large parts of the game, I would of given him credit for staying out of trouble but he collected another avoidable yellow with seconds left in the game. Literally as ineffective as you can be in terms of stats, 0 tackles, 0 interceptions, 0 aerial duels won, 0 clearances and 0 shots or created chances. Not good at all Muhamed.
James McCarthy – 8 (Man of the Match)
Ran the defence: 4 tackles (most on the pitch), 4 interceptions (most on the pitch), 3 clearances and a blocked shot.
Showed lovely pieces in the attack: 1 shot, 2 chances created and 3 dribbles.
Without Barry, JMac stepped up and showed that he can run the midfield very effectively, a mature performance from the 23 year old.
Aiden McGeady – 4
Showed some pretty nice stuff in the first half, with 4 shots, 1 on target but relatively ineffective in the second half and was substituted fairly quickly. These are the game that you might of thought Mirallas would have capitalised on and got the only goal. McGeady needs to step up relatively quickly or he could be looking at bench time.
Ross Barkley – 5
Created one chance, dribbled past 4 people (most on the pitch) and was on the ball more than any other player with 92 touches. You’d of thought Ross could of made more of this many touches and could produce at least one attempt on goal. Frustrating for Barkley who managed to trip over his own feet on the wing as well as watching one of his shots collide with the corner flag.
Steven Naisimith – 4
Too many players did nothing with all the possession we were able to have, 75% pass accuracy is not great for Naisy, who gave the ball away far too much when the attack looked to be developing steam. Steven did create 2 chances but other than that did relatively little.
Samuel Eto’o – 5
After scoring 2 goals against Burnley, Martinez elected to start Eto’o in the hopes he could build on his tally. Unfortunately he just didn’t have the service on Saturday and only got away 2 shots in the entire game. Eto’o did show some nice bits in possession creating 2 chances and only gave the ball away once which is good for a centre forward.
Subs: Antolin Alcaraz – 5
Subbed off early on in the game due to an injury, he managed 2 interceptions and 1 clearance. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery otherwise we will be seeing Hibbert at centre back or something absurd like this.
Steven Pienaar – 4
Not much going on for Pienaar when he came on, dispossessed twice and managed 1 shot
Romelu Lukaku – 5
Came on with 20 minutes to go in the attempt to grab a goal, didn’t achieve this feat. What else is there to say?
Overall Rating – 5.18
A pretty average performance for the blues in a game that was very winnable, our attention now turns to Lille on thursday where a win would put us in a comfortable position at the top of group H.
1) Our ongoing run in Saturday 3.00pm KO’s is now W15 D5 L0
2) Everton run of 19 league games unbeaten v Swansea, this is longest against any side, previous 18 v Birmingham (1972-1982)
3) The clean sheet for Tim Howard against Swansea is his 120th for us in all competitions that puts him level with Ted Sagar in 3rd place on our All-Time Clean Sheets list.