It’s back to the bench for Salomon Rondon as Frank Lampard decides it’s time to give Amadou Onana his first Premier League start, next to Alex Iwobi. Up front we’re going to have the semi-fluid front three again of Anthony Gordon, Demarai Gray and Dwight McNeil.
Vitaliy Mykolenko returns to the side after the midweek win at Fleetwood Town and Nathan Patterson keeps his spot. In defence it’ll be Mason Holgate, Conor Coady and James Tarkowski with Jordan Pickford captaining the side again.
Everton actually had a good start in this one, holding the ball well and moving it around in the early stages of the game. Unfortunately, without the focal point of a striker up front, they would have to resort to passing the ball around the opponent’s box before putting it high or over.
Brentford showed their danger early on the counter though, and even the Toffees’ three-man backline was not enough to ensure that the Bees weren’t going to get chances. The hosts came closest to scoring hitting the post with Jensen’s shot from long distance coming back off the upright before the Toffees struck.
A beautiful long ball over the backline saw Gordon collect and charge at goal, before tucking it into the far post past David Raya to give Everton the lead.
Almost immediately after that the Bees took over the game, controlling possession and almost creating chances at will as Ivan Toney hit the other post and a number of other chances went begging with the Blues desperately seeking the halftime whistle. The Toffees did get a couple more chances to extend their lead just before the break but went into the dressing room leading 1-0.
The second half started with more of the same but the game continued to get more and more fractious as the scoreline held and the home side got more desperate, with the Toffees giving as good as they got.
Soon into the half Jensen hit the woodwork with an overhead kick and Pickford was aware of the danger as the ball hit him, grabbing it before it rolled in.
Lampard’s hesitation to make any changes continued to keep the pressure on the visitors, but it was Thomas Frank who blinked first making a triple change and it was the subs he brought on that made the difference.
The unyielding aerial assault finally told from a corner late on as a Brentford corner fell kindly for unmarked sub Janelt to tuck home with Pickford given no chance. Gray’s missed chance to score when through on goal against Raya would come back to haunt the Blues who really should have left London with three points, undeservedly even.
Dwight McNeil is really short of confidence right now and it’s affecting his game adversely. is passing is poor, shows little vision with the ball when he gets it and has been a turnover machine for the last couple of games.
How is this defence still so shaky? Even the additions of Coady and Tarkowski haven’t made a difference, every aerial ball into the box is a heartstopping moment, ridiculous.