Full Time: Swansea City 1-1 Everton
Everton, following a scoreless draw at Goodison Park against Merseyside rivals Liverpool, were back in action once again this afternoon, this time away at Liberty Stadium to contest relegation battlers Swansea City, who have significantly recovered since Carlos Carvalhal’s appointment.
The game, however, proved to be a lucky escape for Sam Allardyce’s men who, despite being sloppy all afternoon, managed to clinch a 1-1 draw as they could not retain their first-half lead, conceding midway through the second-half when Jordan Ayew thumped an equaliser for the Swans to salvage one massive point in the race for survival.
Everton had a dreadful inception with lots of lost possession and troubles. However, the hosts failed to capitalise on it due to the sharpness of custodian Jordan Pickford. They paid the price when they conceded in the closing minutes of the first-half when Kyle Naughton, unfortunately, put the ball back into his own net.
The Toffees, meanwhile, opted to sit back and keep hold of the narrow lead but failed to do so when Jordan Ayew, back from his suspension, earned his side a well-deserved equaliser.
At the other end, Seamus Coleman’s header clattered the crossbar minutes after the Swans’ goal and both the teams failed to grab a late winner to bag three points from this entertaining encounter.
Everton Players Rating
Jordan Pickford (7)
The English international was spot on with his outing, saves, punches and clearances. Could have done little to deny Jordan Ayew’s thumping strike that earned the hosts a second-half equaliser.
Seamus Coleman (6)
Unlucky not to find the winner as his header rattled the woodwork but the right-back was at fault in Swansea’s equalizer as his poor clearance allowed Tom Carroll to whip in a cross for Ayew who made no mistake to make it 1-1. His cross, however, earned them a first-half lead following a series of events.
Phil Jagielka (7.5)
The veteran centre-back lacked accuracy, was dispossessed once and misplaced some of his passes but managed to win the duels and make a number of crucial clearances and dominate the game aerially.
Michael Keane (7)
Had early moments of shambles but recovered with time and dominated the game both physically as well as aerially alongside Jagielka in central defence.
Leighton Baines (7)
Lost possession dangerously on one occasion but made some crucial defensive contribution to hide his side’s shambles in the early minutes. Offered presence up front with timely runs and crosses.
Morgan Scneiderlin (6.5)
The Frenchman protected his defence, tried to win back possession in the midfield, maintained a decent passing accuracy and was spot on with tackles. However, he lost a few duels under pressure.
Idrissa Gueye (5)
Played his part in their first-half goal but had a shocking afternoon as he kept on losing possession poorly, causing troubles for his own defensive line time and again. Was taken off in the second-half and was replaced by youngster Beni Baningime.
Wayne Rooney (6.5)
Worked tirelessly in the middle of the park to win possession and constitute counter-attacks. Created a few chances but could not trouble Lukasz Fabianski with his efforts. Was replaced by Nikola Vlasic in the closing minutes of the game.
Theo Walcott (6)
Had a couple of impressive moments down the right flank and created chances for his side. The ex-Arsenal star, however, was pretty average otherwise.
Yannick Bolasie (6)
Played his part in Naughton’s own goal but offered little throughout the game and was eventually replaced by Ramiro Funes Mori in the second-half.
Cenk Tosun (6)
Did not see the ball much but the striker made a significant contribution at the other end when he cleared Federico Fernandez’s header off the line, midway through the first half. He whipped in a decent cross late in the game, which was connected well by Coleman, only to be denied by the woodwork. Could not make contact with Walcott’s cross, which could have earned his side an injury-time winner.
Beni Baningime (6)
Was combative, offered fresh legs to bring pace to a tired Everton midfield.
Ramiro Funes Mori (5)
His first action was conceding a free-kick which Tammy Abraham failed to convert after failing to get to Jordan Ayew’s cross.
Nicola Vlasic (N/A)
Replaced Wayne Rooney in the 87th-minute.