Two new signings made their Everton debuts this weekend as the Toffees were beaten 2-1 at Aston Villa to make it two defeats in two games for Frank Lampard. Central defender Conor Coady started in the heart of the three-man defence and was a vocal presence throughout the game, but was unable to prevent the first Villa goal as the Blues were stretched on the counter before leaving the game after 81 minutes.
Young midfielder Amadou Onana became the Toffees fifth addition of the summer transfer window this week, and came on when Coady went off as the Blues moved into a 4-3-3. The Belgian international immediately impacted the game with his driving runs through midfield. He was dispossessed by Villa captain Jamie McGinn and watched helplessly as the backpedaling defence were unable to keep out Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Buendia from making it 2-0.
Still, Onana persisted and his powerful run into the Villa box created the Blues’ only goal of the game as his cross caused chaos in front of goal. He even had a chance to level the tie after seeing his stabbed effort from a cross blocked and bobbling inches wide of the post late on.
Speaking after the game, Lampard was encouraged by the debuts of both players.
“I thought Conor was very good. It’s a back three that has never played together before and will get better. Conor had a bang on the head and a little bit of cramp, but there’s no problem.
“Amadou came on as well and people will look at the first goal but I like the bravery he showed for that, then we have to deal better with that transition.
“After that, he showed a little glimpse of what he’ll give us going forward [for the Everton goal]. He’s not really fit to play yet but he had to come on today.”
Everton still have work to do, but a lot of it starts with Lampard starting Salomon Rondon or another player ready to start at this level right away.