Goodison Park welcomed a new manager with a slight bit of trepidation as Frank Lampard named five defenders for his first line-up against fellow league strugglers Brentford. The new manager wanted to make sure that the Blues were not overrun in the middle especially with the number of players out due to injury or being cup-tied.
It looked like it worked for the most part, as the wingbacks provided extra cover for Allan and Andre Gomes and the Blues controlled possession and looked to attack at every opportunity.
The one off-note from today’s win will have to be Ben Godfrey hobbling off, looking like he hurt his knee. Yerry Mina came on for him and immediately made a difference, climbing highest to head home the opener from a corner.
Brentford looked to be working their way back into the game before the break, but soon after halftime Richarlison made it two after a delightful dinked cross from Allan. That started a spell of shambles in the defence and Brentford will be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of three clear chances sandwiching the penalty from Ivan Toney which briefly gave them hope.
Another corner saw Mason Holgate react quickest to head home to make it 3-1 and in time added on Andros Townsend dispatched a fourth goal after lovely build up play from Alex Iwobi and Cenk Tosun (yes, yes, I can’t believe I typed that).
4-1 and into the hat for the Fifth Round draw to be conducted tomorrow, and Lampard can now turn his attention towards Tuesday’s Premier League clash at Newcastle United which will be a much bigger challenge.
Andre Gomes had a pretty good game, looked composed on the ball and reinvigorated. Still made the same errors he does, but not bad. Allan next to him was everywhere, as he usually is, and was not hesitant to get into referee Michael Oliver’s face for booking Anthony Gordon.
Clearly Lampard has said something about going for goal as the players looked a lot more direct and quicker to shoot. When even Gomes is willing to pull the trigger, something has changed for sure.
Brentford had two great chances to score just before their penalty, and then once more after that as Everton looked ragged, and the visitors could have easily been level 2-2. Lots to work on defensively still, especially communications between the players.
Richarlison looked hungry and wants the ball all the time, which is a very positive sign. If he can stay healthy now, he should be in for a cracking second half of the season.
There are not enough plaudits to give Demarai Gray. He always shows up to play, and always looks dangerous whenever he has the ball. Signing of the season candidate for sure.