The Tale of Two Substitutions
Leon Osman and Bafetimbi Gomis were both subbed off early in the first half due to injury and both subs has a big impact on their respective teams. Gomis was looking dangerous in the attacking third early on and forced an excellent save from Tim Howard. The Swansea attack was forcing Everton's defense into some panicked clearances and looked as though they might pull ahead early. But after Gomis went off with a hamstring injury, the Swansea attack looked toothless and unable to threaten in the final third.
Osman's injury on the other hand had a vastly positive effect on the Everton attack and play of Steven Pienaar was instrumental in Everton's opening goal. For all the positives that Osman brings to the team, he is not an ideal wide player due to his lack of pace and tendency to drift inside. Pienaar's positioning had a positive effect on the game and allowed Aaron Lennon to find the space needed to score.
Aaron Lennon Continues to Impress
The Everton loanee has easily been one of the teams best players in recent weeks. His pace and dribbling are game changers and he looked dangerous going forward. Lennon put himself in great position to score Everton's lone goal and continued to threaten the Swansea defense throughout the match. With Kevin Mirallas and Aiden McGeady struggling through injuries and poor form during this season, Lennon has been a much needed shot in the arm. This Everton squad has been generally poor in the wings, but Lennon was a consistent threat.
An Awful Decision by Seamus Coleman
Seamus Coleman was having himself a very solid game. He was dangerous offensively and doing a fine job in the defensive third. Expecting a foul to be called, Coleman blatantly handled the ball in his own box, forcing the referee to call a penalty that Jonjo Shelvey would eventually convert. The shame of this play is that is cost Everton two points and turned an overall solid performance from Coleman into a moment he wish he could forget.
Arouna Kone Ineffective
With Romelu Lukaku out, Kone was called upon to be the squad's lone striker and failed to make much of an impactwithout his usual strike partner. Kone's touch was poor, his hold up play was lacking and he never seemed to be a threat in front of goal. Kone can be useful as a second striker or as a substitute but when called upon to be the starter he has largely been unable to affect the game in a positive way. Lukaku will need to get healthy quickly in order for this team to have solid production from the striker position.
Everton Failed to Test Fabianski
Aside from their one goal, Everton failed to get any significant shots on goal throughout the game. Ross Barkley tried for a handful of shots outside the box, but they were easily collected by the Swansea keeper. The only shot that forced Fabianski to make a tough save was Seamus Coleman's low, powerful shot. The Toffee's seemed unable to get any quality shots in the box and instead played wide and pumped crosses into the box all game. Fabianski was able to collect the majority of the crosses and looked every bit of a confident and capable goalkeeper.