Last Time We Met; Burnley (H)
Everton 3-1 Burnley
Saturday 15th April, 2017
Everton: Robles, Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Davies, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Barkley, Mirrallas, Lukaku.
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Ward, Mee, Keane, Boyd, Barton, Brady, Hendrick, Barnes, Vokes.
Everton were made to work extremely hard to beat a stubborn and defiant Burnley side the last time these two teams came head to head at Goodison Park.
After a rather drab, goalless first half, which saw the visitors have the pick of the better chances, including an effort from Michael Keane going closest, the Goodison crowd were understandably left feeling rather frustrated at the Blues’ failure to get out of first gear.
However, just four minutes after the break, Everton did take the lead and had clearly been given a firm talking to at half time. Phil Jagielka rose to nod home a header from very close range after an assist from Ashley Williams following a corner.
Soon after though, the Blues’ frustration continued, as Joel Robles fouled Sam Vokes in the penalty area, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Vokes himself stepped up and converted the penalty, meaning Everton had to start again.
With only 19 minutes left, Everton looked like they were running out of ideas in the final third, with very little spark and creativity in attack, despite the efforts of Ross Barkley to supply Romelu Lukaku.
However, it was Barkley himself who made the breakthrough. A hopeful shot on goal took a deflection off defender Ben Mee to send the ball past Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal to get the crowd on their feet. The win finally looked on again, despite the effort officially going down as an own goal from Mee.
And just three minutes later, the win was sealed and confirmed as Romelu Lukaku slotted home a left-footed shot from the edge of the area to ensure Everton were coming away with all three points in the bag.
With Everton’s spluttering start to the season continuing, today’s fixture is crucial in turning their season around. Nothing but a win today is good enough for all at Everton. If they fail to produce today, or an uninspiring starting line-up fails to offer the attacking threat the Blues’ so deeply need, then Ronald Koeman will be sure to have more than a few questions to answer after the game.
– Rich ( @Richie3986 )