Often last season when Everton put in a shift as a team it was difficult for fans to choose the ‘Man of the Match’, with a number of players grading high. Monday’s game was similar, with the Blues working hard all game long and some stellar performances all across the pitch.
However, one player stood head and shoulder above the rest when the final whistle blew, and it was clear to all. Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a game to remember, and was a well-deserved Man of the Match award winner.
There were 202 votes in all, grading the players on a scale of 1-5, and here is how they tallied up.
Man Of The Match
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (4.73 out of 5)
Those football fans who did not pay attention when he scored the winning goal to give England its first Under-20 World Cup tournament win earlier in the summer certainly sat upright as he gave Manchester City’s plodding backline the runaround on Monday night. Also had the assist for Wayne Rooney’s 200th Premier League goal.
Honorable Mentions -
Wayne Rooney (4.14)
Apart from the milestone goal to join Alan Shearer in the 200 goal club, Rooney was his usual composed self and has been a right revelation to all who expected his return to Everton was just a swansong.
Jordan Pickford (4.09)
The young goalie was expected to be good, but he’s been really good so far. All the negativism about the record price tag has evaporated as we see how he commanding he has been around the box. Also his distribution is ridiculously good, though still prone to the occasional error. That will happen, and it’s fine.
Phil Jagielka (4.00)
The venerable club captain was expected to leave this summer to play out his career with former club Sheffield United. Not only is Jags not going to do that, he is playing well enough to snatch back the starting role again. Whatever fitness regime he was on during the offseason has worked for him as he has been nothing short of excellent so far.
Ashley Williams (3.35) - His departure with half an hour to go seemed to tilt the game towards the hosts.
Michael Keane (3.83) - Keane didn’t put a foot wrong all night long.
Leighton Baines (3.89) - Kept the left side quiet, but didn’t do much pushing forward either.
Morgan Schneiderlin (3.08) - Harsh red card, but also should have known better than going to ground against a con artist.
Idrissa Gueye (3.75) - Excellent performance hounding David Silva.
Tom Davies (3.14) - Didn’t really get into the game, could have gone off earlier.
Mason Holgate (3.57) - Very unfortunate to get punished like that for a bad clearance, but it was a bad clearance.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (2.92) - Harsh grade for his first 30 minutes of action in Blue when under siege like that.
Davy Klaassen (3.18) - Was everywhere in the few minutes he played, including an amazing clearance off Silva’s head late on.
Muhamed Besic (n/a) - Didn’t get sent off in the handful of minutes he was on, whew.
Thank you all for your feedback on the player grades. We’ll change the scale to 1-10 starting Sunday’s game at Chelsea, and make this recap an earlier and regular feature going forward.