A goal at the 15th minute and 3 goals in the last 15 minutes led to a 2-2 draw for Everton and Watford at Goodison Park on Saturday.
In the early stages of the match, Everton easily held more possession. However, they did not make very good use of the ball. Watford showed off their hard press in the opening minutes to prevent Everton from scoring.
In the 14th minute, Watford scored with a volley from Mexican international Miguel Layun. He shot it across the face of the goal and Tim Howard could not stop it. The Everton defense were not aware of Layun’s darting run and were stunned. 1-0 to the away team, Watford.
Everton were great at creating space and making clever passes to retain possession of the ball. However, they were not making smart shots and Heurelho Gomes did really well the entire game. Gomes was comfortable coming out of net and making saves and punches.
One of Everton’s best chances in the first half came in the 30th minute. Barkley received a back pass from Cleverly and took a hard shot but Gomes tapped it out by his fingertips.
In the 40th minute, Watford had a great chance when Nyom snagged the ball and eventually got it to Capoue. Unfortunately, he took a slow, straight, rolling shot that was much too easily stopped by Tim Howard.
In the first half, Watford had 17 tackles, Everton with 5. The number of tackles seemed due to a gritty defensive style (symbolic to the Premier League). However, there was simply more need for Watford to tackle because Everton just had the ball most of the time.
Watford’s defense was in fact adept at clearing the ball when it came in from corners or free kicks. It was great at closing down Lukaku when necessary. They pressed very well and Everton could not get past them. Gomes also had a fine half in the net without conceding any goals. For Everton, they were making good possession but were really unable to get the finish, as Watford closed down.
In the second half, play proceeded similar to the first. In most plays, Everton came storming up the pitch and had clever passes. Then they would fall apart at the very last minute. Watford seemed the opposite as they rarely got the ball but were able to break through at least twice.
In the 65th minute Holebas was deep in the box and could have had a great chance. The defenders boxed him out for Howard to pick up the ball. Watford looked as if they just wanted the game to end so they could snatch the win.
Just a few minutes later, Gareth Barry crossed the ball to Mirallas who was in a perfect position. Mirallas could not stop the ball cleanly and it rolled to Gomes.
Finally in the 75th miute, Kone received the ball in the box. He dropped it back for Barkley, who slammed it into Gomes’ upper left corner. Gomes was too late and it was even for Everton, 1-1.
Watford scored then in the 82nd minute. Ighalo took the ball in himself and darted around John Stones, easily scoring and making it 2-1.
Everton then equalized in the 85th minute with a goal from Arouna Kone. Lukaku received the ball at the edge of the box and made a clever turn. He passed to Kone who shot across the face of the goal. Gomes came out of the net, so it was easy for Kone to slot it in past him and make the game 2-2.
At least both teams earned a point, but Everton will have been more disappointed. They were struggling to beat a team who has not been in the league for 8 years now. Watford will have been pleased by this result.
Next, Watford will face West Bromwich Albion at home and Everton travel to Southampton.
Date: Saturday 8th August 2015
Venue: Goodison Park
Referee: Mike Jones
Score: Everton 2-2 Watford
Scorers: Miguel Layun 15’, Odion Ighalo 82’; Ross Barkley 75’, Arouna Kone 85’
Yellow Cards: Troy Deeney 41’, Seamus Coleman 53’, Jose Holebas 65’
Red Cards: None
Everton: Howard; Galloway (Koney 63’), Jagielka (c), Stones, Coleman; Barry, McCarthy; Cleverley, Barkley, Mirallas (Oviedo 77’); Lukaku (Naismith 91’)
Watford: Gomes; Nyom, Cathcart, Prödl, Holebas; Capoue, Behrami (Watson 79’); Anya, Jurado (Ighalo 74’), Layun (Paredes 59’); Deeney (c)