Anthony Gordon on target once again as Everton go four unbeaten in all competitions following draw at Elland Road
Everton were back in action on Tuesday night as Frank Lampard’s toffees travelled to Elland Road to face Jesse Marsch and Leeds United. Neal Muapay was still not yet available for Everton, and Mason Holgate missed out due to injury. Due to Holgate’s injury, Lampard chose to switch up the formation for the first time in the league this season. He set up the blues in a 4-3-3 with Iwobi, Davies and Onana set up in the midfield in front of the same core of defenders and behind the same core of attackers that have featured regularly in the league so far this campaign.
A raucous Elland Road saw Leeds United get out on the front foot in the first 15 minutes, holding possession well and dictating the flow of the match early on. Despite the early pressure from the hosts, Everton dug in well and held their shape and were rewarded for their persistence in the 17th minute. Dwight McNeil and Anthony Gordon played a fantastic one-two before the ball was laid off to Alex Iwobi, Iwobi played an inch perfect ball through the Leeds backline and Everton’s number ten finished with aplomb, registering his second goal in as many games to put the visitors up 0-1.
Leeds nearly equalized only five minutes later, as Jack Harrison’s cross just escaped the foot of Rodrigo who would have had an easy tap-in to beat Jordan Pickford. The 28th minute would see Leeds lose their talisman however, as he came shoulder to shoulder with Jordan Pickford and came off after sustaining a shoulder injury. Despite the abundance of possession from Leeds in the first half, the hosts struggled to create any clear chances and Everton would go into the break leading 0-1 on the road for the second match in a row.
Aaronson would have a chance just on the other side of halftime as the American latched onto a pass from Harrison and fired at Jordan Pickford, but Pickford denied the effort well. The pressure would continue to mount as the atmosphere in Elland Road grew with the attacking football Leeds played, and the hosts would be rewarded with an equalizer. Luis Sinisterra would strike well from outside the box and place his effort in the bottom corner to level the match at 1-1.
Just five minutes later, tempers would boil over as Anthony Gordon and Rasmus Kristensen would clash heads following a hard off the tackle shove from the Everton number ten. It was an endeavor that saw both players receive a yellow card. It looked as if Everton had equalized just six minutes later, as Anthony Gordon unlocked the Leeds backline with a through ball to Demari Gray who finished well to put the visitors back in front. However, Gordon waited just a millisecond to long and Gray’s knee appeared just offside with VAR disallowing the goal.
The 74th minute would see a great chance for Leeds to go in front, as the substitute Gelhardt fired at Pickford from close range. Fortunately for Everton, Pickford made a great save to deny the striker and keep the match level. In the 80th minute, it looked like Onana was destined to score as a corner fell to him and he fired at goal, but unfortunately for him the effort was deflected before it had the opportunity to rattle the net.
Nathan Patterson would get an absolutely golden chance in the 84th minute, racing into the box for a one on one opportunity with the Leeds goalkeeper. His effort was hit powerfully but the young right back couldn’t find the placement and his effort was saved to deny the blues what would have been a massive second goal.
Despite Leeds being on the front foot for most of the match, it might be the case that Everton felt three points were there for the taking. A couple of massive missed chances will be rued certainly, but the blues stuck in and held defensive shape wonderfully to deny the hosts a second goal to hang on for a point. Although he missed his goal-scoring opportunity, Patterson was superb in his first game as an out and out right back and showed why the club have put their trust in him. Iwobi showed off his massive work rate once again in the match and bagged a wonderful assist to go alongside a complete performance on both ends of the field. Gordon’s goal was well taken and he seems to be coming along well in his decision making in the final third, although he would want that pass back a fraction sooner to Gray for the second goal. A number of positives as Everton remain winless through their first five league games, but yet improve to four games unbeaten.
Everton are back in action on Saturday afternoon for the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park.