SC Paderborn 3 – 1 Everton
Everton ended their pre-season preparations in Germany today with a defeat at the Benleter Arena against SC Paderborn, who will play in the German Bundesliga next season, marking a pre-season without a win for Roberto Martinez and his men.
With the continued absence of Romelu Lukaku, Chris Long was given a run out and had a chance to put the Blues ahead in the third minute when his run onto a long ball forward caused confusion just outside the Paderborn box but from an acute angle Long’s shot went just wide. He didn’t have to wait too long though as after 11 minutes he scored a wonderful goal after good work from Baines down the left. The left back beat his man and slid a pass into Long who showed good skill to drag the ball back before firing a pinpoint accurate shot into the far top corner.
The home side were gifted an instant chance to equalise thanks to a very cheap penalty decision which said that Tim Howard had brought down a Paderborn striker on the edge of the box, although replays showed that there was almost zero contact. After just a minute of being ahead though, Everton found themselves pulled back to 1-1.
New boy Muhamed Besic picked up his first booking in an Everton shirt, just two minutes into the game – that’s two minutes into a meaningless pre-season friendly – as he showed his eagerness to get involved. Roberto Martinez may well need to have a word with him before the derby!
Besic found himself lucky to be on the pitch at half time with several more fouls in the first half that had petered out to walking pace for a long time after the goals punctuated only by Besic’s lunges and poor control from Everton players in defence.
Everton started the second half much better, with Steven Pienaar in particular showing some skill while Muhamed Besic continued his fine passing form while also cutting out some of the fouls that had Evertonians concerned in the first half, and after 12 minutes of the second half Leighton Baines fired just wide from a free kick.
The Blues fell behind half way through the second half thanks to a fortuitous shot which was sliced and looked like it was going wide but was headed in off the underside of the bar past a despairing Tim Howard.
Everton were caught on the break after a sustained period of pressure in the 75th minute as the Germans broke in numbers and despite Tim Howard’s best efforts from the first shot, Paderborn were handed a tap in to put the game away from Everton.
The Blues have faced a lot of different styles of play this pre-season but one thing that needed to be cut out was the unforced errors and the lack of strike power. With Romelu Lukaku set to be eased into the season then there will be more firepower available to Roberto Martinez’s side, but more concentration is needed as Everton look to start the season more strongly than pre-season would hint at.