Despite keeping 58 percent of the possession and putting seven shots on target, Everton left Vicarage Road with a 1-1 draw against hosts Watford on Saturday.
The two goals scored in the game came from unexpected sources, James McCarthy for Everton and Jose Holebas for Watford. Both came in first half stoppage time.
The McCarthy goal was a tad fluky. Watford defender Miguel Britos played around with the ball a bit too much at the back before losing control of it. The Everton man swooped in and then easily slotted it past Heurelho Gomes for his first goal of the 2015-16 season.
James McCarthy's goal v. @WatfordFC!— Pulse Ghana Sports (@PulseGhanaSport) April 9, 2016
Live: > https://t.co/lyMeAYfmpm#EFC #watfordfc #BPL
[SOURCE: @Half_A_Goal] pic.twitter.com/4azPy2VpPt
When it looked like the Toffees would head to the dressing room up 1-0, the Hornets had other ideas. John Stones made a bad pass to Joel Robles, who had little choice but to put it out for a corner. On the ensuing corner, the delivery found Holebas's head, followed by Seamus Coleman's back and then the Everton net. It was 1-1 just moments after being a scoreless tie. It was an eventful end to a rather plain opening 45 minutes.
Everton vs Watford.— Fleeflo (@fleeflodotcom) April 9, 2016
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The second half brought numerous chances for both squads, but each goalkeeper put on impressive displays of shot stopping. In a Twitter poll we are conducting, the Everton keeper is running away with the Man of the Match award.
Who was Everton's man of the match against Watford?— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) April 9, 2016
It's well deserved. Joel had four saves, many of them of the sprawling, out-stretched variety. And he was aware at the back, coming out when he needed to and just doing things that good net-minders should do. Perhaps he could have done more on the corner kick that led to the Watford goal, but it took an unlucky bounce off of Coleman.
But perhaps the more impressive goalkeeper on the day was Gomes. He was the difference on the afternoon. The goal he allowed to McCarthy was from point blank range, so he cant be faulted for that. Beyond that, he frustrated the Everton shooters with finger-tip saves and being in the right place at the right time.
Overall, the Toffees seemed a tad out of sync all day. Gerard Deulofeu was blowing past defenders, but then failing to finish the play. He would beat his man, and then either deliver an awful cross or flub the dribble by trying too many step-overs.
Romelu Lukaku was invisible most of the game, mainly because of the poor service for Deulofeu. But at one point, the big Belgian had an open net where he would put it away nine times out of 10, but this time he hit the crossbar. Shocking stuff, really.
Ross Barkley continued his poor run of form at the moment. He feels like the X-factor player for Everton. When he goes, the rest of them go as well. Unfortunately, he has been bad lately. As a result, the team has suffered. He was subbed off with about a half-hour remaining.
On the positive side, Aaron Lennon looked much more effective than he did against Manchester United last week. He was getting off shots and causing problems for the Watford defense. I wish that the team would use the left side of the field with Lennon and Leighton Baines more. It used to work so well when it was Baines and Steven Pienaar, but they have all been abandoned in favor of the Coleman-Deulofeu connection. I get it, but Deulofeu couldn't finish today, which means it was time to change things up mid-game.
Well that is enough rambling. This was an OK game. Still a disappointment, but it's difficult to leave this one thinking Everton deserved any more or any less than the one point they got.
It is a quick turnaround this week. The Toffees take on Crystal Palace on Wednesday and then host Southampton on Saturday.
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