Let’s take a look at how this date shaped Everton history as we know it! With the football season usually winding to an end by this time, it’s been harder to find significant news that happened on this day, but today’s has been pretty pivotal to the club’s fortunes for the last couple of seasons.
2017: Lukaku scores final goal for Everton
With the Roberto Martinez era over at Everton, it was time for new beginnings at the club as the board brought in Ronald Koeman to fill the managerial void. With some talent brought in that year and an influx of cash coming from Farhad Moshiri, things were looking up and they would look even better once the 2016-2017 campaign got underway. The Toffees started the Koeman era in impressive fashion, drawing their first match before winning the next 6 in all competitions, but things would fall apart quickly. The next 15 matches were hard to watch as Everton won only 2 of them, putting the team in a difficult position come mid-December. With 22 games left in the season, the Toffees needed to respond to the adversity and they did. The team started to find their form and they were scoring goals and winning games behind the strength of Romelu Lukaku up front. The Belgian was having his best season as a Toffee by far and he was an integral part in Everton finding form again. But, because of that success, the rumors started swirling. They had been around before the season, but they were starting to get more profound and the possibility of Lukaku moving on after the season was becoming more of a reality. That brings us to May 21st, 2017.
On the final day of the season, Everton were set to travel to London to take on Arsenal, a team they had already beaten once that season. Unfortunately, this time wasn’t as pleasant. Just 8 minutes into the game, Hector Bellerin netted the first for Arsenal and it wouldn’t take long for them to get a second as Alexis Sanchez bagged a goal in the 27th minute to put the Gunners up 2 at the break. Everton would fight back into the game in the 2nd half, though, as they earned a penalty in the 58th minute, giving them a chance to cut the deficit in half. On what many thought would be his final game in a Toffee kit, Romelu Lukaku stepped up to take the spot kick and calmly buried it into the back of the net. It wouldn’t be enough, though, as Arsenal outlasted Everton 3-1 that day, but the goal was Lukaku’s 25th of the season in the league and 26th overall, both records for the club in their Premier League history.
Lukaku would officially leave the Toffees about a month and a half later as he was sold to Manchester United. He departed with 68 Premier League goals in the royal blue shirt, the most goals scored by an Everton player since the club joined the Premier League in 1992.
And THAT is today in Everton history!