Carlo Ancelotti made three changes to the side that suffered late heartbreak against Newcastle. Kean, Schneiderlin and Bernard all dropped out with Iwobi, Sigurdsson and Richarlison all returning from injury.
Both teams looked hungry for three points from the outset, as both sides looked to recover from the late heartbreak suffered in previous games, but you’d have more luck on online casino live roulette than predicitng what would happen over the 90 minutes.
The early chance fell Everton’s way as Iwobi did brilliantly and fizzed the ball into Richarlison who fired well over. Despite the early Everton pressure, it was Watford who opened the scoring.
The ball found it’s way to Gerard Deulofeu, previously of Everton. Geri laid the ball inside to Adam Masina and the left back fired an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner, leaving Pickford with no chance and Watford with the lead. The goal was incredibly poor from an Everton perspective as Watford easily cut through the Blues’ defence.
This goal seemed to give Watford a lift, as they raised their intensity and began to dominate the Blues in the central areas. Troy Deeney was typically causing major problems as he bullied the Everton back line and kept the pressure on the Toffee’s. Going forward, Everton struggled mightily as a lack of quality in the final third was evident. Throughout the first 40 minutes it appeared as though Watford were the most likely to hit the second goal of the game and on 42 minutes, they did. Fabian Delph inexplicably gave away the ball and Deeney was first to react. The Watford number nine turned and rolled the ball into Roberto Pererya who had just Pickford to beat.
The Argentinean made no mistake, firing the ball into the roof of the net.
The game appeared to be slipping away from Everton, as Watford were cruising. However, in first half stoppage time, the game flipped on it’s head. A quite superb Lucas Digne corner caused mayhem in the Watford penalty area and the ball fell at Yerry Mina’s feet. The colossal Colombian poked home to breathe life into an otherwise lifeless Everton performance.
Just 4 minutes later, Everton were somehow level. Another superb corner, this time taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson, met the head of Mina at the back post. Mina made no mistake and powered his header into the top corner. 2 set pieces, two goals in added time to make the game 2-2, sounds familiar doesn’t it?
The second half started with Everton clearly spurred on by their late comeback. Everton’s early pressure was very nearly rewarded by yet another fantastic set piece. Once again, Sigurdsson swung in a superb ball which cannoned off two Watford defenders and looped just over the Hornets goal. Following this, the game opened up. Nigel Pearson introduced Danny Welbeck and switched to a 4-4-2 formation. With both teams playing this formation, there was a tremendous amount of space in the midfield.
Nevertheless, both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances and lacked quality in the final third. Ancelotti introduced both Moise Kean and Morgan Schneiderlin and Everton appeared to be regaining their control over the game. However, just as the Blues appeared to be on top, referee Craig Pawson made a quite frankly shocking decision. Fabian Delph dove in and tripped Pererya.
The incident was seemingly innocuous, however the Watford fans and players pleaded with the referee to award Fabian Delph with a second yellow card. Pawson gave in and sent off the midfielder. It was a silly foul but was most certainly not worthy of a second booking.
Nonetheless, Delph was off and Everton were in trouble. Ancelotti responded by introducing Michael Keane for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and sliding Mason Holgate into the midfield. Holagte responded magnificently, looking as assured in the midfield as he did in the Everton defence.
It was clear that Ancelotti was happy with a point having seen his side reduced to 10 men. However, his players were not content with just a point and with just 1 minute of normal time remaining, they snatched all three points.
Richarlison broke down the left flank and played a superb ball into Moise Kean, with just the keeper to beat. The 19 year old could only scuff his effort but inadvertently set up Theo Walcott at the back post. The winger, who had not scored all season, slid in a fired Everton in front. The travelling Toffees were sent into pandimonium as incredible scenes of celebration followed the goal.
The Blues played out injury time with ease and ensured there would be no repeat of the Newcastle nightmare. The game ended with Everton securing three incredible points. What a performance. What a comeback. What a result.
Man of the Match – Mason Holgate
Despite Yerry Mina’s vital double, man of the match goes to his centre back partner, Mason Holgate. Holgate was once again magnificent and displayed an exceptional level of composure and confidence for such a young player. He dominated at the back and stepped into midfield seamlessly. His consistency this season has been unparalleled and the centre back looks set up to feature for the England team in the near future. Maybe he should try his luck in a live social casino.