Nothing less than 3 points would have done! And that’s exactly what we got (and what we deserved). Some brilliant performances right across the pitch and an all round better team performance.
Tim Howard- 6 – I think the only obvious weak link in our side this evening. He made an error that may have led to a QPR opener in the first 10 minutes, when he flapped at a cross and missed the ball. The American also has to take blame for the QPR consolation goal as he parried a shot straight back out to oncoming traffic, instead off pushing it to a safer area. Not the best night for Howard and he needs to improve.
Seamus Coleman- 7- A lot of you reading this may be thinking Coleman had a pretty quiet night and I’d agree in parts. However, I noticed him making over-lapping runs and looking to take on the fullback instead of cutting inside, like we saw at Tottenham and at home to Hull. He was a lot more positive and confident tonight and that helped us have an outlet other than through the middle of the park.
Phil Jagielka- 7- Jags did everything he needed to. He made a couple of important challenges and controlled the defence well. My only slight criticism of Jagielka is his distribution and decision making. It seems as though he isn’t interested with clearing the ball. Now all that’s great until you get caught out and give momentum to the opposition or worse give the opposition chances on goal. Jags needs to understand when to clear and when he can play around and restart an attack.
Sylvain Distin- 7- Not a bad performance from the oldest outfield player currently in the league! He doesn’t show it though and his efforts tonight were enough to help us to a clean sheet for the majority of the game. He and Jagielka once again linked well.
Leighton Baines- 7.5- Now you might be think what Baines did to deserve the extra 0.5 on his rating, well he, as Coleman was, was more positive going forward as we’ve seen him do so many times. I was calling for Garbutt to get a chance to start over him tonight and I don’t take that back, however Baines has put his fair argument forward and once again found a link with the winger in front of him, something he had struggled with in recent weeks. A better game from Bainesy!
Muhamed Besic- 9- Honestly, I am struggling to put his performance today into worthy words! He was our rock all game, he settled the game down when QPR began to string passes together and his eagerness and willingness to break up plays and stop passes is something I’ve seen little of in any midfielder before. When I watch him I think "he has some bit of Everton in him". He does! His drive, determination and battle hardened approach is something we need in our side without doubt.
Ross Barkley- 8.9- Ross has been questioned in the last couple of weeks by too many people for my liking. They were questioning his ability and his potential. Well his potential, his class and his ability can be found in the top corner of the Park end goal after tonight. He just misses out on my man of the match, but that isn’t to do ill justice to his application tonight at all. Once again, as I’ve made clear to his doubters, he drives us forward and has a hand in most of our goals. The kid is going to be great for us and we have to keep him. Mark my words, he will be one of the best in the league one day and that needs to be at Everton. A great performance topped with a sensational goal.
Aiden McGeady- 7- Great determination was shown by McGeady tonight. However, I feel he was trying a little too hard and didn’t allow himself to relax. He made space for a few chance for himself and almost scored in the first half. One thing he needs to work on is his obsession of coming back inside with the ball. He has the ability to get the ball into the box as we saw with his spectacular cross and assist. He is too happy to pass inside or run inside instead taking on the man in front of him and getting down his wing.
Steven Naismith- 7.5- A real pleasure to see Naisy back in the side. The Scotsman was the link between our defence and attack we’d been missing at Tottenham, Hull and Man City. For me, the number ten role is his best position on the pitch and that’s the player we bought from Rangers a few seasons back. Naismith creates space, creates opportunities and scores goals.
Kevin Mirallas- 7.5- Gutted! If his injury keeps him out I’ll be gutted both for the team and for Kevin himself after just getting back from injury. Put that aside for just a moment and his game tonight was brilliant. He performed brilliantly and helped us have width and confidence going forward, he adds pace to our attack and that bit of class on the ball. We as a team didn’t make the most of the challenge from Jordan Mutch that saw him stretchered off. Mutch came in at a fair pace and from the back in a scissor motion. That’s a Red card, plain and simple. No doubt the review panel won’t even have a second look at it though.
Romelu Lukaku- 6.5- It's easy to be harsh on Lukaku for his lack of contribution tonight, but in all honesty he didn’t need to get involved. He was in the right places most of the match but play just didn't run through him for our three goals, a wonder strike from Barkley, a free kick from Mirallas and a back post header from Naismith. Just on Naismith's goal, Lukaku's run in the middle attracted the attention of 3 defenders, one center back, one midfielder and one fullback, which left all that space for Naismith at back post. He didn’t do a lot wrong upon reflection, just a bit quiet.
Pienaar came on in place of McGeady 20 minutes from the end of the game and didn’t really have chance to make any impact. Eto'o replaced Lukaku 15 minutes before the full time whistle and his position and quality being such he hit the post in that short time. Kone replaced the injured Kevin Mirallas 10 minutes from the end of the game and almost scored from a driven cross from Naismith.
Man of the match: Mo Besic
Just one final note to fans. Please don’t boo your team when you're winning 3-1 at home. Not only is it embarrassing but it puts a negative on an otherwise good performance. I can’t get my head around the booing at all ; vent your frustrations that you may have on our forum instead!