Everton traveled to the John Smith Stadium this afternoon, and departed with all three points rather easily in the bag. Cenk Tosun and Idrissa Gueye got the goals, while Jordan Pickford was scarcely challenged. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen an Everton result with this level of comfort.
- A Nikola Vlasic sighting! How refreshing. The youngster looked predictably rusty at times, but was generally bright, and definitively attacking. Good to see you again, Niko.
- Everton’s opening goal was well worked, and a direct product of bypassing a wildly out of form Wayne Rooney in midfield. Theo Walcott went on a dash across the park, which created space for Cenk Tosun to run into. Walcott played the simple through ball into Cenk’s feet, and after a delightful far-post finish it was 1-0 to the good guys.
- Rooney was removed in the second half, and it was a rare good decision by Sam Allardyce. Defensively liable, the England legend can no longer complete even the simplest of attacking passes. Please give Davy Klaassen a chance in the final two games, Sam. Please.
- The Blues’ defense was hardly tested today, but once again strong when called upon. It’s weird what happens when you consistently field the four best defenders on the team, I know.
- Oumar Niasse and Leighton Baines combined beautifully to give Idrissa Gueye the easiest long-distance shot and goal of his life for Everton’s second, but from Huddersfield’s perspective, the defending was abject. If they do end up going down, that type of thing will be a big reason why.
- In recent weeks, Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye have turned back the clock to last season. Both midfielders have been superb, and play together so well. It’s getting to the point where Schneiderlin has likely earned an Everton stay next year - and with good reason. When the Frenchman is on form, he’s one of the best deep-lying midfielders in the Premier League.
- That’ll be points in four straight for Everton, and while they never looked particularly consistent in attack, the one thing that has improved is the midfield play. Of course, for those of us who want to see the back of Sam Allardyce as soon as possible, a string of good results is bittersweet. In today’s case, though, it was nice to enjoy a stress-free Everton win.
Two games to go, and not much to play for other than pride and the Toffees’ supporters. Southampton and West Ham await - two games the Blues should win. Might play a part in sending the Saints down, too.