Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 81st strike made it 1-0 on the night, and 2-0 on aggregate to see Everton through to the fourth qualifying round draw of the Europa League.

Job done and again, that’s all that really matters. Everton have come through their first European tie since 2015 with two wins and two clean sheets, albeit against far inferior opposition. As was the case with the first leg at Goodison, Everton were far from their best but did enough to keep the battling Ruzomberok from really getting into the game. Many may say that the overall performance from the two legs shows that we’re still a long way short of challenging the top 4 however it’s important to remember that not only is it still practically preseason, we also started last night’s game with 5 new signings. Bringing in so many new faces and getting them playing the way you want takes time and patience.

Our performances over the two legs were undoubtedly sluggish to say the least, but naturally players will struggle to perform to their best when they are playing a team they know they should beat comfortably, especially when it comes only 3 weeks into preseason. Rooney and Sandro really struggled with the latter spending more time falling over than hitting the target. He’s energetic and tries to make things happen but he never really clicked with anyone for the 69 minutes he was on the pitch. Rooney’s performance can only be described as flat and whether he can nail down a regular starting place remains to be seen as he had very little impact despite being played in his favoured number 10 role.

Two big positives we’re the performances of fellow new boys Michael Keane and debutant Jordan Pickford. Keane was arguably our man of the match and never put a foot wrong whilst also looking promising when he did venture forward. Pickford also had little to do but commanded his area well when he had to. He was forced into a smart save early on and looked composed from Ruzomberok’s corners, claiming a couple confidently.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, for all the uncalled for stick he gets on Twitter, showed again that he can be a valuable asset for us this season. His strength and neat footwork gave us a different outlay and he finished his goal expertly. We still need another striker and I would be worried it we relied on Sandro and Rooney to fill the void left by Lukaku but Calvert-Lewin certainly has promise.

Our focus must now turn to the Premier League and our tough opening fixtures but with a crucial Play Off tie against Hajduk Split in two weeks, the race is on to get everyone back up to speed.

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robbo1957
Member

While there heard that those who ordered and didn't collect will get a 2 match ban for the next away Europa games if we qualify for group stages.

bigjonnyIt begs the question why did they order them and not turn up ?.They won't get the credit and people on 20 or 19 credits have missed out.

bigjonny
Member

jaybx1878I agree that people should not have ordered them with no intention of going but once the collection time of 7pm had passed the club should have given them to the fans who were left outside rather than leave them standing there after they have travelled thousands of miles to get there.

Yes, there was plenty of room in our section.

jaybx1878
Member

bigjonnyIt begs the question why did they order them and not turn up ?.They won't get the credit and people on 20 or 19 credits have missed out.

I agree that people should not have ordered them with no intention of going but once the collection time of 7pm had passed the club should have given them to the fans who were left outside rather than leave them standing there after they have travelled thousands of miles to get there.

bigjonny
Member

jaybx1878About 800 i reckon, loads of tickets in our end went uncollected but the club wouldnt give them to the lads locked outside after the collection deadline had passed, disgrace really.

It begs the question why did they order them and not turn up ?.They won't get the credit and people on 20 or 19 credits have missed out.

jaybx1878
Member

evo1878How many Blues made it there do you think mate?

About 800 i reckon, loads of tickets in our end went uncollected but the club wouldnt give them to the lads locked outside after the collection deadline had passed, disgrace really.

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