Overall it was a pretty poor game from both sides. Everton looked like most players had already checked out for the summer while Aston Villa played like a side that kinda wanted to stay in the Premier League, but didn’t care too much either.
Carlo’s First Repeat Lineup
Took the manager 19 games to do this
Just a couple of things Everton fans need to be reminded - when Marco Silva was sacked earlier this season, the Blues had sunk to 18th in the table, and a whole number of players have struggled with injury issues this season.
With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carlo Ancelotti’s lineup yesterday was the first time he had replicated a starting XI in his entire 19-game tenure with the Blues.
In his first 18 matches as #EFC manager, Carlo Ancelotti used 18 different starting line-ups.— Steve Johnson (@stevejohnson95) July 16, 2020
Today's starting line-up, his 19th, was the same as Norwich away on June 24.
Jarrad Solid in Home Debut
Young defender did not look out of place in substitute appearance
18-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite had a bit of a nightmare debut coming on at halftime at Wolves. Given a chance at a redo yesterday when he came on for Mason Holgate after just 16 minutes, the youngster asserted himself physically and came out with a pretty tidy performance.
Touches – 54; Successful passes – 45; Successful forward passes – 32; Successful long balls – 4; Pass accuracy – 91%; Successful tackles – 2; Clearances – 2; Blocks – 3.
The teenager looked comfortable with the ball at his feet and did decently defending as well.
Gomes: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
The Portuguese midfielder showed us the whole spectrum yesterday
Andre Gomes has been infuriating at times since football resumed this summer. Whether it’s that he has not fully recovered from his horrific injury, or is still somewhat gunshy after that horror tackle, or cannot handle the defensive responsibilities of playing midfield in a 4-4-2, or is just simply exhausted, Gomes has been pretty terrible recently.
The first half was all bad Andre, missed tackles, poor positioning, misplaced passes, you name it. However, in the second half and late in the game he seemed to find an extra gear when attacking. He could easily have had two or three assists, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin putting a precise centre from Gomes just wide of the post before Theo Walcott rose well to head home the equalizer from another Gomes cross.
Andre Gomes' assist for Theo Walcott's goal against Aston Villa was only his second Premier League assist. His first was Richarlison's goal against Watford in December 2018. #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) July 16, 2020
A decent winger.. a decent winger.. my kingdom for a decent winger
Ancelotti decided to give starting berths once again to Bernard and Alex Iwobi, and the two repaid him with nondescript showings once again. While both were involved in play early on, they were mostly fringe features in a game that saw the Blues put in 30 crosses into the box, with only seven coming from Iwobi (6) and Bernard (1).
The little Brazilian was particularly wasteful on the ball, giving it away 5 times while Iwobi lost it once, with the pair coming off soon after the hour mark. While Iwobi was actually often involved in the build-up on the right, Bernard’s only role was to support Lucas Digne in the back and stay out of his way when attacking. He did hit the bar from a fortunate cross, but that was it for his contributions.
11 games unbeaten at Fortress Goodison
Blues still strong at home
Ever since that chastening 2-0 defeat at home to Norwich City in late November when Marco Silva was still in charge, the Blues have done decently at home first under Duncan Ferguson then Ancelotti. Of course, with just four wins of those eleven, there’s still lots of room for improvement.
Think about it, if even three of those draws had been turned into wins, that would have added six points to the Blues total and would see them right in the midst of the Europa League battle.