How quick can we get the 4G laid before Sunday Bill?
BSCYB 1 Everton 4: Men Against Young Boys As Blues Triumph
A plastic pitch that initially induced nightmares of past struggles against Luton Town and Oldham Athletic was the setting for our best attacking display of the season. The Europa league comfort blanket just got that bit cozier.
It was simply a sight for sore eyes to see us at our menacing best and put one foot firmly into the last sixteen of the Europa league. The ever superb travelling army of Evertonians and blues back home had a night to bring the smiles back with Everton full value for this emphatic victory.
It’s great to have that warm fuzzy feeling back again Everton. I’d totally forgotten what it felt like.
Let’s have it right, it’s only one match, we haven’t invented the wheel or erased the memory of a disappointing league campaign and a still pressing engagement with the danger of relegation. But this goes some way to breaking the ice.
After three games where we played austerity type football, it was great to see the blues splash the cash in an attacking spree that echoed the great sides of, well a year ago.
Hopefully this change from recent approaches will see the blues flourish from now until seasons end. We’re due some happiness and we certainly have the players to keep the smiles right side up.
There were minuses, but lets not dwell too long on them, John Stones, such a magnificent footballer and a real star for us when we’ve needed it this season, didn’t have his best night here.
I hate to criticise a talent such as Stones, but he did appear a little too over-confident tonight and must realise sometimes the row z option isn’t the worst. Stones over elaborate display rounded off with a brain-dead red card with over an half hour to play.
Thankfully, Everton’s attacking prowess and Hoarau’s Roberto Baggio impression, meant the blues were not made to sweat in the last half hour of the game. The Europa league love in continues to blossom.
We started with purpose, knocking the ball around lovely and having a menace about our play. So refreshing considering our agoraphobic approach to the Chelsea and Liverpool games.
Great credit to the blues for adapting so well to the pitch, helped by the preparation on the Widnes Vikings synthetic pitch earlier this week. The groundwork clearly paid off.
In classic Everton style, despite our impressive start, we fell behind to Young Boys first strike on target.
Hoarau curling home from the edge of the area with Howard’s positioning all over the place. Admittedly the closing down from Everton was poor, but it was a ridiculous goal to concede frankly.
Despite this, there was a great aura to our play, totally unrecognisable to the last four games. I hope I’m not sounding too Mills and Boon, but tonight represented the Everton that had us all beaming last season. To quote Roberto, our footballing arrogance had quite simply returned tonight.
Everton had threatened through Lukaku as early as the third minute. The Belgian’s glancing header, similar to his equalizer, drawing a good save from Mvogo. Shortly after Young Boys had taken an undeserved lead, Lukaku tested the reflexes of Mvogo once again with a curling strike.
Aside from his hat trick Lukaku was imperious. His hold up play, ability to bring others into the game and his desire to chase and harrie made for a perfect centre forwards performance. We can forget for one moment what Lukaku said off the pitch this week, and concentrate on what he did on it.
It makes for happier reading.
The blues got the equalizer their approach and play had deserved in the 21st minute. Gareth Barry putting a great ball in for Lukaku to glance a powerful header downwards. Mvogo could only palm it into the bottom left hand corner and the blues were level.
Happy to be fickle here after venting some spleen ahead of the game with the knowledge that Barry had been included ahead of Besic tonight.
For what its worth, in my opinion Barry was excellent, two assists back that up. Credit where its due, but his inclusion, despite a poor showing at Chelsea, had me irritated to say the least.
The blues were soon deservedly in front after great move, albeit with a suggestion of offside, saw Naismith gather Barkley’s return pass and head towards the byline before drilling his cross through Mvogo’s legs to give Seamus Coleman a simple tap in to put the blues ahead.
The fact Coleman was the furthest man forward shows the level of ambition and intent we haven’t seen all season. It’s this belief we have to take into all our remaining games and quite simply squeeze every last bit of positivity out of what’s left this season.
Tim Howard, making up for his elder statesman-esque reflexes for Hoarau’s opener, drew two great saves from the Frenchman, and the sliding in Steffen, as the Swiss turned up the heat. Steffen really ought to have scored from less than six yards out but thankfully Howard was on hand to smother and keep the blues advantage intact.
Panic over, the blues pressed ahead. This is totally foreign to what I’ve written all season – no sitting back, no caution – we could have scored six or seven tonight with our attacking intent nothing short of ruthless, led by the marvelous sight of Ross Barkley enjoying his football once again. He and Lukaku truly enjoyed themselves.
There was a reckless abandon to our attacking which brought back memories of last season and in a season of frustration it was hugely welcome. We believed we could hurt the opposition and right on cue the blues third arrived six minutes before half time.
Oviedo, who I thought was excellent tonight, back heeled into Barry’s path, his deflected cross found Lukaku at the far post for a tap in to give the blues a commanding half time lead.
That lead might only have been a slender one goal advantage but for James McCarthy’s amazing goal line block – deflecting Sanogo’s certain second for Young Boys onto the post with Howard beaten.
Everton continued to look dangerous on the attack after the break and Mirallas should have done better than to drag his left footed shot tamely wide. The blues threat was ever-present and given Young Boys record on this ground this was hugely impressive from the blues who showed the rest how it should be done.
Everton added more gloss to the victory and potentially crushed any remaining Swiss hopes of a comeback in this tie with Lukaku’s richly deserved hat trick. Of course, this is Everton and we can never be complacent despite the 3 goal advantage.
The big fella broke through on goal and showing composure and Ice coolness before lifting the ball over the onrushing Mvogo to send the magnificent travelling support into elation. Lukaku joined Alan Ball, Andy Gray and Yakubu in scoring a hat trick for Everton in Europe.
Fingers crossed, our record signing can continue in this vein on Sunday. Surely Leicester City’s defence will not have enjoyed watching this.
It’s just not Everton to have a plain sail and the evening took an irritating turn for the worse when Stones saw red for the first time in his career. Hauling down Hoarau when in on goal and conceding a penalty on top of his early bath.
The blues enjoyed a rare moment of fortune as Hoarau, was far too casual and saw his effort nearly clear the stand with a poor laid back penalty. Young Boys heads understandably dropped soon after.
We looked more solid with ten men than eleven but the real plus point was the way we attacked and attacked. There was no let up with the blues hungry for more despite the one man disadvantage.
Lukaku, amazingly not reading Garbutt’s low cross saw the ball going harmlessly wide as the score remained 4-1. And he was again denied his fourth goal, this time by a flying one-for-the-cameras save from Mvogo, after Rom had again broke clear. The threat from Everton never ceased all night and it was great to watch.
Lukaku was withdrawn for Christian Atsu and received a deserved standing ovation from the packed out blues following. Same again Sunday please Rom. We need it just as much at Goodison this weekend.
The curtain was drawn on a fantastic nights work for Everton soon after and that warm fuzzy feeling was back. We haven’t had it nowhere near enough this season and let’s hope we have an overdose between now and May. The Blues showed how dangerous they can be with Lukaku the star of the show.
Mirallas was quiet – is he still sulking over the Baines incident? On a pitch that brought the best out of Barkley and Lukaku you would think our Belgian would have made hay too but aside from a few forays he disappointed. Possibly harsh but such was the blues attacking threat, it was strange to see Mirallas on the periphery. We are going to need every one of our key players to hit the heights from now on so we can turn our season around.
Attention turns instantly to Leicester City. The big one. That it has become a massive game highlights how poor we have been in the league but the time for this team to stand up and make itself known in the Premier league has come. We have got to be every bit as ruthless on Sunday as we were on occasions against Young Boys. In approach and goals.
The smile has returned to the best supporters in the land and yes, its only one victory, but clearly something hugely positive has come out of this and we must carry it on at Goodison this Sunday. It doesn’t bear thinking what a negative result at will do. So lets not.
A word on Ross Barkley. I love the guy, he’s had a disappointing season, admittedly not helped by injuries and being played out of position at times, but he looked like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. His touch, poise, grace and quality were back in evidence here.
Truly great to see him enjoying his football, capped off by an assist for Lukaku’s hat trick, and there are few players like him in football when he gets it right. Let’s hope the rest of Everton’s opponents are on the wrong end of Barkleys confidence renaissance from now on. Starting against the foxes.
“When you see us play like that, we get back to memories of last season. In the league we have felt cagey. Europe is a fresh challenge.” Roberto Martinez
No room for error on Sunday Roberto, it’s time to open the cage door and let Thursday’s Everton out for the weekend.
COME ON YOU BLUES!!