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Everton disappoint in draw at Sunderland

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The Blues manage to equalize but can't find a winner.

Gareth Copley

Everton went into the game against Sunderland with what was probably the strongest lineup in weeks.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Everton team (to face Sunderland): Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, McCarthy, Barry, McGeady, Eto&#39;o, Barkley, Lukaku <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SUNvEFC?src=hash">#SUNvEFC</a></p>&mdash; Everton (@Everton) <a href="https://twitter.com/Everton/status/531423476574609409">November 9, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The First Half

The first half was a goalless one, but wasn't without chances. Samuel Eto'o and Romelu Lukaku had a nice link-up of passes that allowed Eto'o to shoot, but it went far wide. This was the first of a number of laughably bad shots that Blues' players would take.

The 10th minute saw Gareth Barry go down to injury after a poor Jordi Gomez challenge that resulted in a yellow card for Gomez. Barry already was an injury concern before the game and the fact that he went off on a stretcher make those concerns much worse.

Sunderland were mostly happy to allow Everton to play defense and counterattack. Aiden McGeady was able to get some crosses off on the right side, but the Toffees lacked a finishing touch.

The Second Half

Everton had a hard time getting the offense going in the second half. Seb Larsson was able to put a free kick past Tim Howard and a non-existent wall to give Sunderland the 1-0 lead. Seven minutes later Seamus Coleman was brought down in the box by Connor Wickham for a penalty. Leighton Baines stepped up to the spot and equalized, though it wasn't his best penalty shot. Both teams pushed for a winner, but neither could find it.

What We Learned

Everton will be happy to leave the Stadium of Light with a point, but the fans will be a bit disappointed. This Sunderland team is the one that were hammered 8-0 by Southampton less than a month ago, and not being able to take advantage of them, even on the road, is disconcerting. Questions aimed at manager Roberto Martinez about how European football affects the team in the league will surely be brought up again this week. There were a few good things to pull out of this game, so let's go over those.

  • Samuel Eto'o looks like a leader on the pitch, and his direction is having a positive effect on the rest of the team. His pass into Coleman on the penalty was the best of the day.
  • Seamus Coleman played really well in the second half, attacking down the right side and creating chances. He did well to win the penalty, and how did Lee Mason not book or dismiss Wickham?
  • Though it wasn't Baines' best penalty, he did manage to score after missing at Old Trafford. Hopefully that will give him confidence going forward.

Everton are back at Goodison Park on November 22nd, after the international break. Let us know your Man of the Match in the comments.