Everton falling apart in the last two minutes of time added on yesterday at Goodison Park was a thing of beauty. That is, if you consider epic Greek tragedies beautiful.
In a season that has basically comprised so far of unending kicks to the nether regions, the Toffees somehow snatching a draw from the snapping jaws of victory is the latest swift one that will have us doubled over for the next week and a half while we watch other teams in the FA Cup, the exit from which was another boot to the aforementioned gonads not so long ago.
If you really want to know how it ended, then go watch the goals in the live blog. Or read our incredulous instant reaction which had pretty much written itself over 90+ minutes only to have to be edited in full in the last ninety-odd seconds.
So naturally the fuming Everton fanbase expected new manager Carlo Ancelotti to launch an invective- and spittle-filled outburst at his inept players while simultaneously cursing himself for the substitutions he made wherein he unleashed a plague of ineptitude on the pitch in the form of Tom Davies.
And thus it was with great surprise that we read Carlo Fantastico (aka Carlo Magnifico) was almost benevolent to his charges after the game, consoling them for what had happened. Surely this mollycoddled lot of weak-willed jelly beans posing as Everton footballers didn’t need to be pampered after that bottle job? Well, the manager thought so.
“I think that the idea of the way we played was good. To follow this idea, to continue to train well, to work hard, to have a clear idea – everything was ok today offensively and defensively.
“We played more vertical to the last games we played, so I am really pleased for this.
“Of course the players are really sad in this moment. I said to them that I lost the final of the Champions League winning 3-0, so it can happen sometimes.”
Ancelotti appeared to be trying really hard to zoom in on the positives from yesterday.
“There are things in football that are unpredictable. Until the first goal, no-one thought Newcastle could draw the game. We played really well, we deserved to win but we have to accept the result. We could stay more focussed on set pieces, but the team played a fantastic game for 90 minutes. We are disappointed but we are pleased with the performance.
“I said to my players that sometimes it can happen. It is unusual to concede two goals in two minutes when the performance was at the top, in my opinion, and for this reason I look forward. If we are able to play like this, I think we will win most of our games.
“We had good balance, we tried to press forward. [Fabian] Delph and [Morgan] Schneiderlin did a fantastic job. I have nothing to say to my players because they did really well.
“We could stay more focussed in the final minutes but they are really little things. We were punished too much after that performance.”
Earlier before the game, Everton had had schoolchildren draw in the faces of the players in the starting lineup announcement. Those children displayed a lot more coherence and focus than the eleven on the pitch that finished the game.