Everton Make Light Work of Wolfsburg/Palace Preview

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Well that was easier than we expected wasn’t it? Or was it?

A thumping 4-1 victory against a tough German outfit has to be celebrated as some great link-up play and goalscoring gave the Toffees a convincing win, but it doesn’t quite tell the whole story!

Everton started cautiously, as did Wolfsburg as they tested each other out, but made the breakthrough after 14 minutes as a great move involving Baines fed Naismith who cleverly knocked it into the net via the keeper, their defender and the keeper’s face. Textbook.

A second goal came shortly before half-time as the excellent Baines followed up after the German club’s Timothy Claypole-faced keeper slapped the ball back into his path. Baines knocked the ball back across goal where Coleman was for some reason hanging around to nod in. Coleman would leave the field later with a head injury but should be fine for Sunday’s game.

The second half started with Wolfsburg clearly fired up and passing the ball with intent. Across their own box. To McGeady. Who then got fouled outside the box.

As ITV kept on mentioning the RS all match the ref clearly got confused about where he was and pointed to the spot. Baines dispatched and we assumed the Germans would surrender (sorry).

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Instead, Wolfsburg regrouped and battered Everton for the rest of the game, with our defence looking very shaky at times. Howard had a magnificent game making 12 saves as the Germans completed 20 shots at goal as opposed to Everton’s 10. Some magnificent blocks from the midfielders really got Everton out of a hole.

Towards the end of the game Darron Gibson came on to prove he was still alive and did quite well, and Samuel Eto’o came on to show us that he is absolute class. A turn inside two players and ball to Naismith had the crowd off their feet, and it was his ball through to Miralles to calmly stroke home that was perfectly timed.

Unfortunately Wolfsburg got a great goal back with the last kick of the game with a magnificent free kick that Howard had no chance with, but 4-1 on our return to Europe is an excellent result.

As for Palace on Sunday – well last season they pretty much stopped any thoughts we had of finishing 4th by winning unexpectedly at the second time of asking (following ‘Windy Wee Wednesday’) 3-2.

Hopefully the Pulis-less side, now coached by Neil ‘tit’ Warnock, will put up less of a fight although they largely have the same personnel they did last season.

Personally I’d like to see Eto’o being given a bit of a chance, maybe in a 4-3-3 with Naismith and Lukaku still involved. I’m not sure how that would really work as a formation. I’m not paid to make those decisions! A win is very much needed though with games against Liverpool and Man United, both away, coming up as our next two games.

Lose that and we could potentially be looking at being in the bottom few places going into the next international break. Time for Roberto to start firing up that league. Momentum is a wonderful thing!

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