Everton earn a point at Vicarage Road to end a run of three successive league defeats.
Blues held to draw down south. Written by Detroiturk.
Another week, another disappointing result in the buildup to the biggest game of Everton’s season. The Blues drew 1-1 today with Watford to drop further still down the table, this time to fourteenth in the table. A largely wasteful performance was the theme today from the Blues, as has become the norm in Roberto Martinez’s third season, one that may be his last if he doesn’t produce a FA Cup final appearance. Gareth Barry in for Tom Cleverley was the only tactical change.
Everton had their moments in this match, but they could have made a far larger dent into the scoreboard with more cutting edge in the Watford area. Eight minutes in, the neat first touches of Lennon and Lukaku set Barkley down the left, but his cutback for Deulofeu was smothered by a fairly resolute Watford backline. Despite his distribution being below par on the day, Joel made a couple important saves on the day, the first one coming 17 minutes into the match, as Jurado’s shot was headed for the top right corner before being palmed aside.
The rest of the first half was a bore, to be honest. It came as a surprise when Miguel Britos was caught in possession on the edge of his area, as James McCarthy, of all people, dispossessed and rolled the ball into the bottom right corner, putting Everton up 1-0 and going into the break one up despite a poor performance. Of course, it came to pass that a couple minutes later, a Stones backpass was sliced out by Joel for a corner, which Ben Watson crossed to the back post for Jose Holebas to head home. 1-1 at the break, and no more than Everton deserved for a first half of poor passing and lack of tactical cohesion.
The second half, thankfully, was better from both teams. Lennon, Lukaku, and Deulofeu started to show the flashes of brilliance that can produce goals at times for this Everton side. Lennon was the one that came closest most often, as Gomes needed to be sharp in the 55th minute to palm aside the winger’s low shot and keep the rebound short enough to gather before Lukaku could get a shot away. Cleverley came on for an ineffective Barkley, and Lennon again could have scored a go-ahead goal after a Lukaku backheel, but Gomes again came up with an excellent save.
Late on, Kevin Mirallas was a bit of a change of pace for the Blues, as his running drew a free kick with a couple minutes left, which was again saved by Gomes, but the rebound from Lukaku was smacked off the bar. Not surprising from this season’s version of Everton, who have frustrated at almost every turn this season. From here, it’s counting the days to Wembley.