Fulltime Thoughts - That was a much better second half from the Blues, showed a lot more intent and purpose. Watford were hapless and never really looked threatening while the Blues only got better as the game wore on.
Into the quarterfinal draw for the Blues, onward and upward Blues.
90+2’ - Deulofeu has now gone up 1-on-1 twice against Coleman, and the veteran has foiled him both times. He has a shot at well from distance, but it’s blocked well.
The Blues break, Tosun finds Richarlison streaking away.. he cuts in from the left, dummies Mariappa and beats Gomes into the far corner! 2-0 Everton!
90’ - We’re going to have four plus minutes of time added on.
88’ - The Blues have been doing a decent job defending as Watford push forward. Looking to just hold the ball now and kill off the clock.
85’ - Deulofeu with another deep freekick, but at least three Watford players were yards offside.
80’ - Off goes Dominic Carabao-Lewin, unfortunately did not get a goal today to match his exploits from the two previous rounds, and Cenk Tosun is on for him. All six subs have been made now, and Will Hughes needs attention.
77’ - Watford put in a deep freekick into the box, Gomes goes to clear and the ball ricochets off his arm! Watford fans and players want a penalty, but there’s no VAR in place today and the Blues survive.
72’ - GOAL!! HOLGATE!!
Watford had been struggling to clear their lines, and off a Digne corner Iwobi crossed into the box.. it overshot everyone and fell to Walcott, who put it back into the six yard box and Holgate stood tall and headed it home!
68’ - Doucoure goes in the book for tugging Gomes down, and concedes a freekick, nearly thirty yards out.
Digne takes, deflected off the wall and hits the crossbar! The resulting corner is cleared as well.
66’ - Oooh! Iwobi clatters the bar with a lovely snapshot, ball headed down by DCL from a Delph cross. That makes it three on the season by my count.
Old friend Gerard Deulofeu is on now for the Hornets, Pereyra goes off.
64’ - Iwobi finds Richarlison to run down the left, his pullback into the box is too far behind anyone.. but Gomes is able to wrap his left foot around it, and his shot is parried by his namesake.
That launches a counterattack which Everton finally smother.
60’ - It’s come alive now as both sides have woken up from their respective slumbers. Digne wins a freekick down the left off Prodl, the Frenchman takes.. Keane heads unchallenged and it’s straight at Gomes. How many times have we seen that happen.
55’ - More space for the Blues midfield in the second half, as Watford have backed off.
Gray beats Holgate to a long ball and then fires off a shot from distance that Pickford parries well. The resulting corner is cleared too.
53’ - DCL wins a freekick on the left touchline. Digne takes it, low into the box and it ricochets off Keane and out for a goalkick. He never seems to have any idea where the ball is at set-pieces.
48’ - Iwobi sees Walcott streaking in behind the defence, but Gomes is quick off his line and saves.
46’ - Silva is making a second sub - Theo Walcott is coming on for Moise Kean. The Italian youngster had looked lively but nothing was quite falling for him.
Halftime Thoughts - Everton don’t really look like a coherent unit today. There appears to be too much emphasis on holding the ball and being patient instead of trying to get vertical quickly like they did against West Ham.
45+2’ - That’s the halftime whistle, and there’s some boos to be heard after what was a pretty dour affair.
43’ - Nathaniel Chalobah with a poor giveaway just outside his box and Iwobi pounces, his snapshot doesn’t beat the goalie though, he was looking to chip Gomes into the far corner.
41’ - Oh boy. Yerry Mina’s return is to be cut short, he’s limping heavily and now Michael Keane is coming on. Did the Blues rush the Colombian back from injury too early? He looked to have stretched something during that last corner.
37’ - Quina is going off injured, and Everton target Abdoulaye Doucoure is going to come on for him.
Gomes’ cross into the box is cut out for corner which is cleared away easily.
34’ - Iwobi dekes and jukes on the left and finally gets in a cross, but it’s too close to Gomes again and he claims it.
33’ - Coleman loses the ball in a dangerous area and that allows Watford to attack in numbers, but Holgate first and then Mina do well to hold them up and then clean up.
30’ - Pretty dull football so far, to be honest. Everton are either tapping it along sideways until they lose it, or else going long ball, and losing it. This really looks like what it is, two of the poorest sides in the Premier League playing each other.
27’ - DCL wins a long ball just outside the box but doesn’t realize that Gomes is way off his line, and the chance is gone. A quick shot there would have found the veteran goalie stranded.
19’ - Richarlison wins a corner of Foulquier, which is cleared away, but Alex Iwobi wins a freekick about 25 yards out on the left.
Digne curls it in but it’s too close to the keeper and Gomes claims it.
18’ - Everton exposed again on the left, and Pereyra crosses into the box but Quina’s volley is poor.
16’ - Oh Richie. Everton on a 3-on-2 break, Richarlison fails to pick out either DCL or Kean, and Femenia is back to clear for a corner.
A push in the box and it’s Watford’s ball.
13’ - Everton’s sideways passing out of defence is not going anywhere, because they lose the ball as soon as they get vertical. Watford looking quite comfortable.
7’ - Watford’s 3-5-2 is giving them plenty of width when in possession, and they’re getting lots of space on the Everton left.
6’ - Gomes sets off on a counter and finds Kean steaming in on goal, but sees his shot blocked.
4’ - Watford win a corner but ref stops it dead for a push on an Everton player.
1’ - Coleman wins an early corner that Lucas Digne takes short. Andre Gomes eventually crosses back into the box and Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets his head on it, but it’s well wide.
So here we go again, just three days after the latest frustration and heartbreak, the Blues are back in action, with a spot in the Carabao Cup quarter finals at stake.
Five changes to save Silva’s job! Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph return, Moise Kean gets the start as does Dominic Calvert-Lewin - that front four looks dangerous.
Watford are going with the 3-5-2 formation, Gerard Deulofeu and Doucoure on the bench.
These are troubled times for Everton, but the Blues face a very winnable Carabao Cup game against bottom of the table Watford FC at Goodison Park today, with a berth in the quarterfinals beckoning. Between now and the final whistle today you are going to hear a dozen times how this is the one competition the Toffees have never won in their storied history, so let’s get that out of the way right now.
Everton’s miserable start to the season followed by a run of four straight Premier League losses before the last international break gave rise to rumours that Marco Silva had been given three games to right the ship and show that he is indeed worthy of staying on as Everton manager.
Majority shareowner Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright watched on as the Blues dispatched West Ham United 2-0 at Goodison, and were also present to view the embarrassing capitulation on the South Coast last weekend at Brighton & Hove Albion. If the Blues lose today then more likely than not Silva will be sent packing from Finch Farm.
Plenty of column inches have been dedicated to where he has gone wrong with Everton, so let’s focus today on what he can do right. Beating his former side Watford would be great, for starters.
The Hornets are in disarray after their own tough start, and have already replaced manager Javi Gracia. New boss Quique Sanchez Flores isn’t off to a flying start either, but appears to have stabilized things with three straight draws.
They will be without club captain Troy Deeney and former Blue Tom Cleverley, as well as Danny Welbeck, Étienne Capoue, Ismaïla Sarr and Isaac Success.
Competition: Carabao Cup Fourth Round
Date and start time: Tuesday, October 29th at 12:45 p.m. PT / 3:45 p.m ET / 7:45 p.m. BST
Weather: 46°F/8°C, clear, 0% chance of precipitation, 10 mph winds
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Starting XI: Pickford, Digne, Mina, Holgate, Coleman; Delph, Gomes; Richarlison, Iwobi, Kean, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Lossl, Keane, Sidibe, Davies, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Tosun
Starting XI: Gomes, Mariappa, Prodl, Cathcart, Foulquier, Chalobah, Quina, Hughes, Femenia, Pereyra, Gray
Subs: Bachmann, Janmaat, Deulofeu, Masina, Doucoure, Kabasele, Dalby
The Blues played the Hornets early on this Premier League season, winning 1-0 thanks to a Bernard goal. The game was pretty closely-fought, and to be honest the hosts could have counted themselves fortunate to get all three points as the visitors’ finishing let them down.
It’ll be interesting to see if Flores is going to name a full strength side today, or give more fringe players a chance as he focuses on taking his side off the bottom of the table in the league.
For Everton, you can bet Marco is going to play his best side - so far that has been his modus operandi in the previous rounds too against lower league opposition, and with the stakes as high today as they have ever been for him, he’ll want to go out fighting.