As we sift through the wreckage of Everton’s 10th-place finish it would be easy to forget that there were some high spots during this season.
The wonderful start to the campaign set the platform for what should have been a successful quest for a top seven finish, while some unwanted records were finally broken on the road as the Toffees enjoyed their best run of away form since the mid-80s.
To try and give us all a boost as we head into what should be yet another busy summer, here is a countdown of what we think were Everton’s top five matches of the season:
Fifth: Everton 4-2 Brighton (October 2020)
I found the fifth game on this list the most difficult, with honourable mentions going to the opening day win at Spurs, beating Leeds United and Leicester City away, and home victories in front of fans against Arsenal and Chelsea.
However, I have gone for the 4-2 win against Brighton & Hove Albion, mainly because of the style by which it was achieved and the (ultimately unfulfilled) optimism it generated.
This was the bold, forward-thinking version of the Toffees, who instead of trying to cling on to a 2-1 lead pushed instead for more, with a second-half double from James Rodriguez sealing Everton’s seventh successive in all competitions and ensuring they went into the first international break top of the table and top of the charts.
Fourth: Everton 5-2 West Brom (September 2020)
The sun was beating down on Goodison in late September as the Toffees dismantled West Bromwich Albion to make it back-to-back Premier League wins to start the season. It was the day James announced his arrival in the Premier League with a sensational performance, bagging himself a bottle of Echo Falls after the game in the process. Dominic Calvert-Lewin confirmed his emergence as a Premier League-quality goalscorer with a hat-trick.
Heady days indeed.
How about this for an assist @Everton?⚽️ Welcome @jamesdrodriguez! pic.twitter.com/u0VwztP9nf— Echo Falls (@echo_falls) September 22, 2020
Third: Man Utd 3-3 Everton (February 2021)
Not a win, but a credible performance away at Manchester United and a draw that kept Everton in the hunt for a European place (sob).
What was impressive about this display was the character shown by the side in the face of adversity. So many of the results during the second half of the campaign were based around snatching a goal and grimly hanging on to it. Here, Everton were down and out at half-time after falling 2-0 behind, but hauled themselves level within seven minutes of the restart. Then, despite Robin Olsen’s feet getting stuck in concrete, allowing Scott McTominay to head United in front once more, a last-gasp leveller from Calvert-Lewin earned Everton a point.
Second: Everton 5-4 Tottenham (February 2021)
One of the most ridiculous yet thrilling FA Cup ties of recent times, it’s such a shame that no fans were able to see it in the flesh.
Defensively both teams were all over the place, but it contributed to a shambolically entertaining 120 minutes.
Everton were awful early on and deservedly fell behind, only to race into a barely-deserved 3-1 lead. Tottenham Hotspur fought back to level at 3-3 before Richarlison edged the Toffees in front once more. Harry Kane’s late header sent the game to extra-time, where little Bernard popped up to volley home the winner.
First: Liverpool 0-2 Everton (February 2021)
The easiest choice of the whole lot. Everton finally ended their 22-year wait for a win at Anfield with a 2-0 victory back in February. It was richly deserved too, with James’ laser-guided pass releasing Richarlison to fire the Toffees in front early on, allowing them to then sit back, soak up the pressure and hit on the break. One such late break resulted in Calvert-Lewin being fouled by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the area, with Gylfi Sigurdsson confidently dispatching the spot kick.
There is plenty to be frustrated about when we look back at this campaign, but the huge psychological boost of ending the Anfield hoodoo – as well as ending long waits for wins at Tottenham and Arsenal – should hopefully stand them in good stead when they return next season.
Which was your Everton 2020-21 best game of the season
This poll is closed
Everton 4-2 Brighton
Everton 5-2 West Brom
Man Utd 3-3 Everton
Everton 5-4 Tottenham
Liverpool 0-2 Everton
Other (add in comments below)