Everton 2 v 0 Burnley (FA Premier League)
Everton Football Club welcomed the Clarets to Goodson Park as the visitors looked for revenge following a 5-1 defeat against the Toffee’s on Boxing Day. The home side were looking to continue their excellent run of form in order to finish the season in seventh place to guarantee a place in next seasons Europa League.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche made two changes to the side that lost to Manchester City on Sunday bringing in Robbie Brady and Johan Gudmundsson for Dwight McNeil and Jeff Hendrick who both dropped to the bench.
Everton started the game the stronger of the two sides and had the first effort of the game in the first minute, when Idrissa Gueye hit a left footed shot from outside the box that was blocked by Ben Mee.
The home side then had two more efforts at Tom Heaton’s goal in two minutes, the first of which fell Gylfi Sigurdsson who hit a right footed shot from the edge of the box which was well blocked. The second effort on five minutes fell to Richarlison but his left footed shot from the right side of the box went just wide of Tom Heaton’s post.
On seventeen minutes, the home side took the lead when Gylfi Sigurdsson found Brazilian Richarlison just outside of the D, he then lashed a left-footed goalbound shot that took a deflection off the knee of Ben Mee and past Tom Heaton into the goal to make it 1-0.
The home side continued to press and had two more efforts on twenty minutes, the first fell to Lucas Digne but his left footed shot from outside the box went wide of Heaton’s right hand post. The second effort fell to Dominic Calvert-Lewin but his left footed shot from the centre of the box was well blocked by James Tarkowski.
Everton extend their lead on twenty minutes, as Lucas Digne hits a shot from range the ball moves a lot in the air but Tom Heaton palms the ball out into the goalmouth, only to see Seamus Coleman available at the edge of the six yard box to head into the net.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin then went close for the home side with a header from the centre of the Clarets box, but he got to much on the ball and sent the header high over Heaton’s crossbar for a goal kick.
On thirty-five minutes, the clarets thought they have drawn level after Robbie Brady sent over a whipped cross which found Ashley Barnes free at the back post, he hooked the ball passed Jordan Pickford into the goal only to see the offside flag disallow the goal.
A minute later, Ashley Westwood picked up a yellow card for a hefty challenge Morgan Schneiderlin, which was a bit high and out of control leaving Schneiderlin with a nasty raking stud mark across his inner thigh.
Burnley should have pulled a goal back on thirty-eight minutes, when a Ben Mee free-kick found Robbie Brady at the edge of the six yard box, in the middle of the goal only for him to put his header wide of Jordan Pickford’s goal.
The final effort of the half fell to the home side on forty-three minutes, when Bernard sent Gylfi Sigurdsson into the area, but his shot across goal whistled past Tom Heaton’s far post to level the half-time score 2-0 to Everton.
Burnley found there feet in the second half and started well having a shot in the first minute. A free-kick was headed on by James Tarkowski and was collected by Johann Gudmundsson, but his left foot shot from outside the area was to high and went over Jordan Pickford’s crossbar and out for a goal kick.
On fifty-eight minutes, a Jack Cork headed pass found striker Chris Wood but his left footed shot from the centre of the box was saved by Pickford in the bottom right corner.
The Clarets were back on the attack just four minutes later, when Robbie Brady crossed to Johann Gudmundsson who again found himself free in the area, but his left footed shot again went high over Jordan Pickford’s Crossbar.
On seventy-five minutes, with the Clarets on top referee Chris Kavanagh made another poor decision as he saw Vydra go down in the penalty area following a clear push in the back by former Claret Michael Keane, instead of awarding a spot kick the referee waved way the appeals.
Everton finish the last ten minutes the stronger as the clarets pushed forward to try and get back into the game. Six minutes from the full time whistle, some excellent play by Gylfi Sigurdsson resulted in Seamus Coleman going to chip Tom Heaton but the Clarets keeper read the situation and saved well.
The home side also had the final effort of the game on eighty-eight minutes, as Lookman hit a goal of the season contender from the edge of the area, but his powerful shot smacked against the Clarets crossbar and away for a goal kick.
Speaking after the match Clarets boss Sean Dyche said, “In terms of our performance it was a game of two halves. We started the game sluggishly, but we have climbed a massive mountain in the second half of the season. It was a good reaction in the second half and we conceded two soft goals by our standards. I won’t over question the players after what they’ve done in the second half of the season.
The reward for what they’ve done in the second half of the season is obvious, ensuring our Premier League status is assured. In order to compete at this level we need all our players to be at 100% every week, but if we can get that extra 1% from each player it would make a big difference to us.”
Everton – Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin (Subs) Baines, Jagielka, Walcott, Tosun, Davies, Stekelenburg, Lookman
Burnley – Heaton, Lowton, Taylor, Mee, Tarkowski, Cork, Westwood, Gudmundsson, Brady, Barnes, Wood (Subs) Hart, Long, Hendrick, Gibson, Crouch, Vydra, McNeil
Goals – (Everton) Mee (17 og), Coleman (20)
Attendance – 39,303