Everton went down a goal early against West Bromwich Albion this afternoon. They did not wilt.
Everton later conceded a goal while they were up a man. They didn’t wilt then either.
If you were to point to the biggest difference between this era and times past at Goodison Park, that might well be it. There is a new sense of belief permeating the atmosphere surrounding this club and it starts with a young English striker and a rejuvenated, peerless Colombian.
The Blues began their early afternoon by conceding a needless solo goal to Baggies’ youngster Grady Diangana, and it looked like it would be another day of Everton, that. Two steps forward, one step back.
Watch all the goals and red cards in the live blog below -
Instead, Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalized on a clever back-heel, and James Rodriguez’s mesmerizing left foot put Everton ahead just before the half. Kieran Gibbs was sent off for a ridiculous moment of anger, and it was off to the races.
Rodriguez and Calvert-Lewin, complemented by the endless energy of Richarlison, spent the remainder of their time on the pitch terrorizing a helpless West Brom defense. There are Everton fans of a certain age who have not seen this kind of quality in attack their entire lives.
There are still areas to improve, of course. The absence of Mason Holgate is obvious, for example. What’s clear, though, is that this is a different kind of Everton side than we’re used to seeing. They’re talented, yes - but they’re ruthless, too.
Three wins from three competitive fixtures to start the season. It was messy at times today, but the right result at the end of the day.