Everton 2 Cardiff City 1

train wreck

Results like this one remind you of just how futile all the discussion and analysis of games ultimately is.

Because if Seamus Coleman hadn’t shanked home a jammy volley deep into injury time, sending all the Evertonians home elated, then we would have been glumly dissecting the Blues’ tactics and Roberto Martinez’s substitutions while the visitors giddily celebrated a ‘well-earned point at a really hard place to get a result’.

Coleman did mishit his smash though, after Gareth Barry headed Aiden McGeady’s deep cross back into play, and even man-of-the-match David Marshall was left completely bemused by what ended up looking a John McEnroe mid-court drop shot.

The Cardiff keeper made a handful of great saves, especially in the first half from Gerard Deulofeu’s sweeping shot and Romelu Lukaku’s piledriver at the end of the sort of run from the halfway line that he is always desperate to make. For all his success this season, you can’t help feeling that the buccaneering Belgian often looks a bit frustrated by our patient build-up; he just wants to knock the ball into space and kick the stitches out of the ball. At home at least he almost seems ‘too mobile’, if that makes any sense.

Talking of frustrations, Deulofeu is something of an odd player. At times he just gets his head down to the point of becoming predictable, and even prompted the observation that ‘Barcelona’s B team must be shite’ during the first half. In the second though, it was his strong run and deflected shot that finally beat Marshall on 68 minutes.

Oh, and a quick tip for the Everton forwards, when Deulofeu gets the ball out wide he is going to smash it low to the near post – perhaps consider making a run to meet it.

Shortly after Everton took the lead Martinez appeared to go ahead with the substitution he was preparing before the goal, replacing Deulofeu and the disappointing Kevin Mirallas with McGeady and Steven Naismith. It seemed a bit odd, given that Cardiff would have to come out and have a go, that he’d take the two of the most direct players off, especially the young Spaniard who didn’t seem particularly impressed with the decision.

That looked like it might be the game’s big talking point when, less than 10 minutes after going behind, the Bluebirds drew level as Juan Cala bellied home Peter Whittingham’s swerving free-kick.

File under ‘minty’.

Everton were the better side and deserved to edge the game, but overall it felt like another slightly tired performance. The style of play is set in stone and overall it works for us, but as we’ve said before, when things aren’t going your away it can at times feel a bit cautious and lacking in drama. There are times you feel that Goodison is about to get going and opponents are there to be steamrollered but then we release the pressure valve by instinctively dropping deep and reverting to the same passing drills along the halfway line instead of trying to get ‘in amongst them’ that little bit quicker, before they’ve had a chance to settle back into position.

Anyway, the result’s the thing, especially with Tottenham and Manchester United getting beaten.

And how, for the latter.

Everyone knew it would be hard to follow Alex Ferguson but this now isn’t so much a train wreck as an airliner crash. Into an orphanage. At Christmas.

It certainly amused Kevin Sheedy who clearly enjoyed Super Sunday down the alehouse before settling on the couch with the iPad and a large glass of Merlot while she watched Countryfile. He woke on Monday to not just a request from Everton to remove his anti-David Moyes tweets but also a notification from Amazon that the complete BluRay box set of The Sopranos has been dispatched and a Facebook message from his ex-Judie saying: ‘I can’t stop thinking about what you said. What are we going to do?’

2 thoughts on “Everton 2 Cardiff City 1

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