Everton made to work hard by Sevilla
A quick fire strike from Sandro Ramirez and a late penalty from Kevin Mirallas saw the spoils shared in this final pre-season run-out for the Blues.
Everton wound up their pre-season schedule against top flight Spanish opposition in the shape of Sevilla on a cool blustery Sunday afternoon.
Fresh from progressing to the final qualifying round of the Europa League where Hadjuk Split of Croatia will be the next hurdle to overcome, Everton needed to get fully ready for their Premier League encounter against Stoke next weekend.
With rumours rife of more incoming signings, Danny Welbeck, Thomas Vermaelen and Gylfi Sigurdsson and possible departures of Gareth Barry to West Brom and Derby trying to loan Ademola Lookman for the season, the revolving doors at both USM Finch Farm and Goodison will need plenty of lubrication between now and the end of the transfer window.
For the challenge posed by Sevilla, Ronald Koeman selected a starting eleven of: Pickford, Baines, Jagielka, Keane, Holgate Davies, Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Ramirez, Calvert-Lewin and Rooney.
Eduardo Berizzo for Sevilla, on their third tour game in three days, lined up: Soria, Escudero, Lenglet, Pareja, Mercado, Pizarro, N’Zonzi, Correa, Banega, Ben Yedder and Montoya.
And the Blues got off to the perfect start as good early pressing won the ball and a precise pass by Tom Davies found Sandro Ramirez on the edge of the box and he collected, turned, rounded the onrushing goalie and coolly slotted home on just 32 seconds.
? | Well played, @sandroramirez9! #EFCmatchday pic.twitter.com/NDEm656C8B
— Everton (@Everton) August 6, 2017
It was just the start Everton needed and immediately made Sevilla have to come out and it also raised the tempo resulting in a couple of poor challenges being made. First Pizarro clattered into Mason Holgate and then a forward surge by Correa saw him push off Schneiderlin before Klaassen brought him down and he reacted. Both were booked for their petulance in the backchat to each other.
Holgate chopped down Escudero and received a stiff talking to from ref Mike Jones as he tried to keep things calm.
Correa was proving a bit of a handful and some trickery saw him gain the Everton penalty area but his close range cross was easily dealt with by Jordan Pickford.
Lenglet was next to see yellow for going through the back of Wayne Rooney. From the free kick, Everton kept a high press down their left flank with Davies breaking into the box before going down… and picking up a yellow card for a dive while the crowd expected the spot kick decision.
Correa again worked well down the Sevilla right side to get a cross inside for Banega whose Moshiri shot was cleared over the bar by Leighton Baines.
Pizarro fed Ben Yedder a nice pass and Pickford saved well with his legs and finished a competent opening 45 minutes with a nice stop from Montoya.
Half Time: 1-0
Cuco Martina, Ashley Williams, Gana Gueye, Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas appeared for the second half replacing, Baines, Jagielka, Schneiderlin, Klaassen and Rooney respectively.
The five changes seemed to disrupt things a little as Sevilla started the second half much the brighter and Pickford was called upon to deny Muriel with a smart reaction save.
The visitors were knocking on the door and Pickford again denied Corrwa before the deserved equaliser came in the 58th minute, Banega sweeping home with a low shot just inside the post.
Sevilla were awarded a penalty two minutes later as Barry upended Nolito and Banega converted low to Pickfords right hand side.
As Everton tried to regain the initiative, a nice move involving Ramirez, Martina, Mirallas and Davies ended with Gaba Gueye screwing his shot horribly wide of the target.
With twenty minutes to play, Everton made three more changes with Jonjoe Kenny, Mo Besic and Ademola Lookman coming on for Holgate, Keane and Ramirez.
Besic was booked for his first, rather clumsy tackle and then the injection of pace from Lookman created an opening for DCL, who was adjudged offside.
Everton drew level on 79 minutes as Lookman caused the trouble and Kevin Mirallas was bundled over in the box, the Belgian picking himself up to score somewhat fortuitously, the keeper going the right way, but not getting enough of the ball to prevent the goal.
A header by Ganso from a chipped cross by Krohn-Dehli came back off the post and Pickford saved well from the follow-up shot.
Lookman brought a super save out of Soria jinxing right then left before firing his shot that was turned away at full stretch for a corner.
DCL flicked on the corner kick and Williams was unlucky to see his back post header cleared off the line.
Full Time: 2-2
⚽️ | Miss today's final pre-season game against @SevillaFC?
Watch all the goals ? pic.twitter.com/zgds8pmHpr
— Everton (@Everton) August 6, 2017
Ronald Koeman noted, “We had a great start, moved the ball quickly and well, and it was a nice finish by Sandro”.
“We lost our way and Sevilla got into the game and made it a good challenge, a good pre-season friendly. The changes at half time didn’t work as we’d have hoped, and we needed the other changes later to give us a bit more direct play”.
Asked about McCarthy and Lennon, Koeman advised, “Neither were 100% for the game, so didn’t make the bench. We are still being linked with players and we would like to make three more additions if we can”.
“Overall, I’m happy with the pre-season and I think we’ll be fine for our opening game of the league campaign”.
“Jordan Pickford did very well and I was pleased with his performance against a good Sevilla team who came and gave us a good workout”.