For one half, at least, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Barcelona showed up at Goodison Park this afternoon. Everton came out and blitzed Southampton with brilliant goals from Theo Walcott and Richarlison, and despite a second-half wilting and Danny Ings marker, that would be enough for all three points.
- Talent was never going to be an issue, and it’s now abundantly clear that Everton’s preferred four attackers - Gylfi Sigurdsson, Theo Walcott, Richarlison, Cenk Tosun - are going to be a serious problem for opponents all year long. All four were superb in this match, and it also served as a good reminder that Tosun doesn’t need to score to make an impact.
- Marco Silva must have watched a lot of the World Cup or been trying to impress Gareth Southgate (who was in attendance) because the Blues tried stuff from the training ground when granted a set piece from Lee Mason. The best routine ended up in the back of the net, as Morgan Schneiderlin no-looked a pass from Leighton Baines onto the boot of Theo Walcott. 1-0.
- Once more, Everton’s wingers were the star of the show. Walcott scored the first and created the second for Richarlison via a beautiful cross. Either player could have been fairly nominated as man of the match, even if Theo later missed a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
- It wasn’t all puppies and rainbows, though, as Morgan Schneiderlin picked up what appeared to be an early hamstring injury and was forced off for Tom Davies. The Frenchman had an assist and generally looks quite rejuvenated under Silva. Lets hope the injury is minor and his substitution was merely precautionary.
- Everton were quite a bit less effective in the second half - hurt, no doubt, by Schneiderlin’s injury - and the worst aspect by far was their set piece defending. Either the players need to learn it, quickly, or zonal marking needs to go. The system directly led to Danny Ings being afforded a wide-open tap in from a few yards out off a corner.
- There was no debut from Kurt Zouma, the absence of Lucas Digne in the 18 was perplexing, and Ademola Lookman did not see the field. These are minor complaints, though, particularly when viewed through the lens of last season.
Four points from two games. We’ll take it. Mediocre opposition, to be sure, but Everton look a completely different side under new management. Bournemouth awaits.