Funes Mori’s 68th minute opener is cancelled out by Mané’s goal on 76 minutes.
Match Report via McBain.
Do we care? It’s the current line of thinking in a season beset by opinions from far and wide. Was there a banner? I didn’t see it in my foggy post midnight post crazy work week haze. Finally got around to watching ‘Creed’ yesterday, and there we were, plastered all over a Hollywood Iconic franchise villain in resplendent blue, the Grand Old Lady featuring and looking pretty good under the lights. The baddie was never quite the baddie though, just high profile opponent with a high profile ego. Young Creed and the old foe go toe to toe, but it’s never a patch on the original series of films. Balboa v Creed. Legends slugging it out. So competitive they even couldn’t put it aside when both are in wheelchairs recovering.
That’s the benchmark we strive for. For every moment of that fleeting time on the pitch you put it in and you leave it there and we can’t ask any more of you.
Most of us here remember those days and hold them dear, some of us remember further into the flickering past and the legacy created through willpower and skill. We share the collective groan and rejoice in the collective thrills. It’s been a strange year for the League and a bamboozling one for us in the League. Round Thirty Three sees Southampton turn up for a dead rubber for us and must win for them to keep their hopes alive for Europe. We can still get to the same place they want to be, but not through this competition. Was there another Banner? There was a pitch invader at some point but the Director was having none of it and focused on the other end of the pitch.
The game itself saw a host of changes and players you forgot we own contracts to. Gibson. Osman. Besic. Kone up front. Oviedo. Attackers Delofeu and Mirallas, Stones and Mori at the back with Coleman and Jo-el in Go-el.
An even start to the game had us on the front foot early, Forster dropping a clanger with no one quick enough to capitalise and Robles palming a mishit cross from Martina over the bar. We probably had the first chance with Del getting down the line, pulling back smartly to Kevin who hit it first time but straight into Fonte. A couple of efforts then to Soton, flashing wide and with Tadic starting to test Oviedo. Mirallas is unlucky not to grab a blatant foul from Fonte, but the Referee and even linesman miss it completely. Mirallas has another go, before Fonte goes off after a head clash with Arouna on ’37. Replaced by Yoshida. Southampton have grown into the game, and they look good technically. We, on the other hand seemed to missing a gear. It felt like another game the Manager was relying on the same plans, the same blueprints but with different players and expecting different results. That’s the definition of something isn’t it? Arouna with the bicycle kick on ’39 FYI.
Southampton finished the stronger of the half and had a couple more chances to trouble the scoreboard. Gibson sythes down Long after a Mori mess up, and Long gets on the end of the ball at the front post from a corner and hit the far upright before Van Dijk flashed wide.
Tadic rattles the crossbar after the break, beating his markers again to skip inside and skim the dome of a well positioned Gibson on the way to the woodwork. The visitors had the upped hand, with the hosts being pushed deeper and deeper into defending. Gibson often found himself in the backline and we had so little time on the ball as they chased us down at every turn.
’54 sees Coleman chase down Bertrand but getting up, looks to the bench with a pained expression. He’s replaced by a new face in 18 year old Callum Connelly. Big cheer for the youngster, lets hope he survives against an opposition in ascendancy. We have another Right Back??
Delu has been fairly ineffective and off comes Ross Barkley to hopefully liven things up. I, as an auld arse always get annoyed at Barkleys work rate and for me he responsible for their goal. He fails to track Tadic on the rebound. I’m getting ahead of myself but watch it again and refer to my opening stanza. Pelle is replaced by Davis.
It’s surprising that we go ahead on ’68, Ramiro Funes Mori retrieving the ball after winning the head from a rare corner to slam it past Forster from a Bertrand deflection. It is, of course, little held; as is our current mentality, and the impressive Mane beats out the young debutante to get a toe to the ball and level the scores on ’75. Rodriguez has come on at some point for the tiring Wanyema.
1-1 then. Long gets in again and Mori slides across to cover. We are hanging on. Minute 82 sees Gibson off for another new head and this time it’s 17 year old Tom Davies. He looks straight from 1994 and is he going into central midfield? Okay then. He starts buzzing around and actually looks good. Huzzah! Young Davies pulls of a cracking tackle in the box and feigns a dummy. He looks like he was born to play on the green green grass of Goodison. Linking with Connelly, something is beginning to happen here.
And then it’s full time. So at least it’s not a loss. We were outclassed, which is a worry, yet we have alot of changes, but Coleman got injured, but we hopefully saw a glimpse of the future. I don’t know. It’s 2am by this stage and the toothpicks keeping my eyes open snap and darkness ensues. I have a weird dream that my children are Aliens. Everton That.