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Lille vs Everton: Match Review

European football, what's the point?

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Well that was all a bit underwhelming in the end wasn't it? A massive Everton contingent travelled to France and had to put up with unacceptable treatment from both French police and French thugs weren't even given an Everton goal, nevermind a win, to celebrate. The trouble that British fans face abroad is a story for another day though, this is the match review.

And sadly there's not a whole lot to review. A strong looking Everton team, even with a number of changes from the weekend, couldn't break down the stubborn Lille defence, marshaled superbly by Danish rock Simon Kjaer. The rotation from Roberto Martinez looked eminently sensible with Steven Naismith, James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman, and Romelu Lukaku the most noticable absences from those fit and available.

A poor pitch contributed to a game of few chances where Lille seemed happy to play on the break for the first chunk of the match before stepping up to take control for the periods pre and post half time.

Returning to the side Sylvain Distin looked a little rusty and is definitely showing signs of age catching up with him, although despite a hairy moment here and there, he and Phil Jagielka restricted the French attack, including Liverpool's Dirk Origi, to a few potshots. Unfortunately the Blues frontline didn't fare much better, Samuel Eto'o was isolated and dropping deep whilst Aiden McGeady had one of those games where he might as well have been a ballboy for all the good he did on the pitch.

The second half livened up and the Blues got more of a foot in the game once Lukaku had been summonsed from the sidelines, it gave the midfield a focus of attack and finally started causing the immense Kjaer some problems, it was good to see the big Belgian using his strength the hold off the blonde haired stopper.

Positives were some bright play by Ross Barkley in the first half, a more than decent showing from the returning Tony Hibbert on the right and the usual sprinkling of creativity from Leighton Baines on the left. Mo Besic continued to show why he has only been seen in flashes with his eagerness to impress giving the ball away once or twice.

But a cleansheet against the top ranked team in the group, top place in the group, and an unbeaten record so far is a decent enough first half of the group campaign. Up next a home game against the same opponents on the 6th November. A win there and qualification is almost certain.