Fulltime Thoughts - As a Blue you always know when these things are going to happen, the Blues either dominate a game or else waste a bunch of chances and it comes back to haunt them. It did today.
90+7’ - Attwell blows the final whistle and Everton lose to start the new season, 1-0 to Fulham.
90+6’ - Long freekick in, Keane header saved, but he was offside anyway. That should be that I fear.
90+3’ - Danjuma through on goal and shoots wide with just the goalie to beat! Offside. Don’t know whether to be relieved or not.
90’ - Blues corner, Leno punches, Gueye shoots, deflected and a corner. Deep cross into the box, Tarky diving header and it goes inches wide of the far post! Keane and Danjuma were not close to it.
Six minutes have been added on. Marco Silva is booked protesting about the penalty that he felt should have been given.
88’ - Mitrovic swivels and shoots, comes off Tarky’s arm at point-blank range and no penalty despite Mitrovic’s wild protestations.
85’ - Ohh Iwobi! Deep cross comes to Iwobi and Leno foils him.
Another low cross into the box and Leno grabs it in traffic. Argh.
84’ - Another sub on now, with Lewis Dobbin coming in for Garner. Iwobi has gone back to the right, and the youngster is on the left.
81’ - The Blues are stretched now trying to find the equalizer, and Fulham have spurned a couple of chances to end this as a contest.
73’ - Just like that, Fulham lead. Perreira gets behind Tarkowski and puts the ball across the goal, Pickford wrong-footed and scrambling and the completely unmarked Decrodova-Reid puts Silva’s side ahead. Argh, Fulham’s first shot on goal is a goal.
71’ - Still no real movement on the Everton bench even as the camera shows Dele sitting in casual clothes. Surely Arnaut Danjuma has to come on soon?
Dyche reads my mind, here he is, with Maupay coming off!
70’ - Wilson with a chance after nutmegging Gueye, but his shot is wild.
68’ - ARGH!! BAR!! Iwobi cuts in on the left, curls a shot that Leno can only parry away.. it falls to Patterson and the he can’t corral the rising ball and it goes off the crossbar, oh boy.
66’ - Iwobi still running gingerly after looking to have stretched something in his upper leg a few minutes ago.
65’ - Mitrovic is off, looks like he rolled his ankle, and Vinicius on for him now. Nope nevermind, they have changed their minds.
62’ - Sixth corner of the game for the Blues from the right, fizzes through the box and misses everyone, Gana’s shot blocked for another corner.
Iwobi now, headed out for an Everton throw. Mitrovic is down in the box, having just come on.
60’ - Garner does well to control and then win a corner off former Blue Antonee Robinson. Short this time, cleared, Patterson with a fearsome volley that’s blocked.
Another delightful cross into the box from the left, Garner sets up for a header but Robinson’s touch takes it past him.
57’ - Raul Jimenez cracks the post! Cross into the box and he does really well to volley low and it beats Pickford and comes back off the upright. There’s another shooting chance but put well wide.
That was his last action, and now Marco Silva throws on two of his best players from last season, with Mitrovic and Andreas Perreira coming on.
55’ - Tarky concedes a needed foul at the edge of the defensive third when Tete was looking to break into space. Freekick taken short, and the opportunity to cross is gone.
51’ - Patterson stretches for a cross that was going nowhere and gifts Fulham a corner.
That one is taken short and then put out by Young for another one. Keane hoofs half-clear and a shot from distance is put wide by Fulham.
46’ - Second half underway now. One change at the break with the visitors bringing on Bobby Decordova-Reed for Willian out wide.
Halftime Thoughts - Neal Maupay and Stuart Atwell have combined to keep this one scoreless at the break, it’s 0-0 somehow.
45’ - Onana breaking down the right now, strong cross that Maupay controls well, but falls shooting from the edge of the box and Leno takes.
41’ - Lung-busting run down the left on a break by Iwobi, puts the ball across the field on a plate for Onana who decides to shoot but it’s straight at Leno.
Now Onana puts Maupay into a spot where he can shoot and once again he misses!! Leno saves again 1-on-1.
40’ - Patterson and Garner nearly combine but the latter is just offside.
34’ - Another lightning counter and the Blues overcook it.
Maupay from three yards out and is foiled again by Leno! Iwobi’s cross was chested down by Doucs, and Maupay can’t find a way past the goalie!
The corner is wasted, ball is punted back into the box, Leno collects the ball and then drops it on the way down as he runs into Tarkowski, and Keane deposits it in the goal! Ref Stuart Atwell immediately rules it out to Goodison’s outrage! There is really nothing Tarky could have done there, and it was not in the six-yard box either.
31’ - Willian with a horrid stamp on Garner’s ankle down the right, and he will be booked. Freekick delivered long by Young, Tarkowski stretches and gets a foot to it, but Leno can collect before any other blue shirts.
27’ - It’s been more of the same really here, Fulham dominating the ball, Everton happy to let them have it and pick them off on the break.
20’ - Woof Keane! A poor back pass without looking at where Pickford almost catches the goalie wrong-footed, then Gana loses the ball in midfield.
From that the Blues go on a quick counter, and again Iwobi with a shooting chance, just wide at the near post.
18’ - Delightful cross-field ball on a counter from Onana to Iwobi, shot blocked for a corner, from the right this time. Garner delivers, overhit again, and the Blues still can’t get a decent shot off.
17’ - Everton win a corner on the left, but overhit and the chance is wasted.
15’ - The Blues are not doing well with the ball when they get it, with a lot of passes overhit.
13’ - Early possession is all Fulham, but the Blues are keeping everything in front of them and not giving them anything in their own box.
8’ - Ashley Young showing off his vast experience shepherding a long ball out the end there.
5’ - Brilliant counter and a chance wasted! Iwobi found Onana streaming down the left, his ball into Doucoure is perfect, the midfielder has only the goalie to beat but Leno sticks out a foot and foils him.
The corner is overhit and wasted.
1’ - Underway at Goodison, a new season starts right now.
Maupay, just missed! Ran onto a long ball on the right and puts it just wide of the far post!
Starting Lineups - Wow, did not see that coming. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is not in the squad at all! Neal Maupay and Michael Keane start this one.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Sean Dyche said -
“The squad is in a good shape. We’ve got a few who are still playing catch up with minutes and the required fitness levels, but generally in the next 10 days we will have more or less everyone back.”
Which could mean we don’t get DCL back for next week away at high-flying Aston Villa either.
Everton take on Fulham at Goodison Park to kick off their 2023/24 season. Given how the Blues have been embroiled in relegation battles for the last two seasons, fans will gladly take a boring mid-table campaign with just enough points to stay out of trouble.
One suspects though that Sean Dyche, after a first full summer in charge, will be aiming for slightly higher than the average Evertonian, and if the club can continue to back him in the summer transfer window then we might all dare dream again. But for now, just a drama-free season please.
Visitors Fulham are embroiled in their own little drama, with former Toffees manager Marco Silva admitting he had declined offers to coach in cash-rich Saudi Arabia, and two key players in Aleksander Mitrovic and Willian both the subject of Gulf interest as well.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 1
Date and start time: Saturday, August 12th at 7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Weather: 69°F/21°C, partly cloudy, 4% chance of precipitation, 19 mph winds
How to Watch/Listen
Live stream: Fubo, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, DStv Now, RUSH, Hotstar VIP, JioTV
Gamethread: Live blog above starting one hour before game time
*Royal Blue Mersey has affiliate partnerships and may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links provided.
The Blues last played Fulham at home in mid-April of last season, and in one of those rare defensive capitulations under Sean Dyche, Silva’s side romped to a 3-1 win as the Blues struggled with the Cottagers’ pace.