Everton’s impressive start to the season is in danger of fizzling out. They avoided a third consecutive defeat here, but were only able to score through a set piece and Crystal Palace will be bitterly disappointed at seeing a perfectly valid potential winner wrongly chalked off in the second half.
The visitors were worth at least a point, playing a neat counterattacking game and coming back strongly after Everton had taken a first-half lead. Ronald Koeman said Everton would have to show more aggression and intensity if they were to return to second place in the table, and if that was the aim his players failed to produce.
Win and they’ll be second in the table. Draw and they’ll be third. Lose and they could be overtaken by Crystal Palace. This is the equation facing Everton this evening. Entertainment should be guaranteed, given the presence of wingy wingers in both teams – Wilfried Zaha is apparently fit to play for Palace, Andros Townsend is in full flow, while Yannick Bolasie faces his former chums – and prolific burly Belgian hitmen for all of them to feed: Romelu Lukaku has scored three goals in his last four games against Palace, while Christian Benteke has scored four goals in his last five games against Everton.
Townsend is one of the few Palace players who Bolasie doesn’t know particularly well, though they aren’t complete strangers. “We played against each other in the Newcastle-Palace game last season,” Townsend has revealed, “and had a bit of banter because I think I ran back and dispossessed him.” Good times, good times.
Here’s something that Jacob Steinberg thinks you should look out for tonight:
Briefly tipped as unlikely title contenders, Everton have had a deflating couple of weeks since beating Middlesbrough on 10 September, following up their exit from the EFL Cup at the hands of Norwich City by losing at Bournemouthlast weekend. Ronald Koeman was deeply unimpressed with his team’s performance in the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth and, for now, Everton’s task is to show their new manager that they can live up to expectations on a consistent basis. Players such as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley have so much more to offer and Koeman will demand a response when Crystal Palace, energised by Christian Benteke’s goals, come to town on Friday night.
• Winger faces former club in Everton’s colours on Friday • Pardew admits Bolasie can be ‘undefendable at times’
Alan Pardew has admitted Yannick Bolasie can be “undefendable” when at the top of his game but is confident his Crystal Palace side will find a way of negating their former team-mate in Friday night’s trip to Everton.
• Arsenal midfielder’s loan to club ‘where not everything is done for him’ praised • Wilshere’s fitness judged week by week and he is not far away from full match
Eddie Howe has commended Jack Wilshere’s influence on his Bournemouth squad and believes the midfielder has made a brave “step back in time” to join the club. The on-loan Arsenal player shone alongside Harry Arter and Andrew Surman, playing for 76 minutes on his first home start in Bournemouth’s win against Everton .
The former Nigeria and Everton striker is in charge of semi-professional JS Hercules and having acclimatised to the weather, is now focused on making his squad more ‘cocky and mad’
It took a visit to a sports bar for Daniel Amokachi to realise exactly what he had got himself into. He had been in Oulu for a matter of weeks and decided to venture into town for the weekend’s big Premier League match. Manchester City v Manchester United would surely draw a crowd, even up here in northern Finland, and the scene when he arrived was encouraging.
“The place was jam-packed, and I assumed everyone was there to watch the game,” Amokachi says. “But then it just emptied; they’d all been watching ice hockey, and when that finished there were only three of us left. A Manchester derby, and only three of us. That’s when it hit me that ice hockey is number one here and nobody cares about football, and it’s when I realised: ‘Ooh, there are a lot of obstacles here.’”
Ronald Koeman had said it would be crazy to consider Everton as title contenders and his team did little to endorse those lofty hopes here, as they fell to their first Premier League defeat of the season. For Eddie Howe, this was a true Bournemouth performance, one full of intensity and energy, as his side recorded back-to-back home wins for the first time in the Premier League since March. Howe apologised to the supporters for his team’s dismal performance in the defeat by Preston North End last Tuesday, but was never in danger of having to do similar here.
Bournemouth set the tone from the first whistle, the striker Callum Wilson glancing a header narrowly wide after 61 seconds. After five minutes there was Andrew Surman’s crunching challenge on Gareth Barry. Then Wilson easily evaded the attention of the Everton captain Phil Jagielka, racing through on goal before Maarten Stekelenburg, the Everton goalkeeper who turned 34 on Thursday, smothered to allow the visitors a moment’s respite. The bite of the Bournemouth midfield was all too much for Everton, who were overawed by the magnificent Harry Arter, undoubtedly the man of the match, Surman and Jack Wilshere, who was substituted late on to a standing ovation.
Ronald Koeman’s 26-year-old midfielder – signing of the season so far – on his journey from Senegal to Merseyside
“Perfect in every aspect of football.” Of all the tributes paid to Idrissa Gana Gueye for his impact at Everton – the new N’Golo Kanté, the signing of the season so far or an absolute steal at 6.3% of the cost of Paul Pogba, to repeat a few – none have been as hard-earned or important as Ronald Koeman’s description of his display against Middlesbrough last Saturday. And what does Gueye recall of the game? A missed tackle. Perfect does not sit easily with a perfectionist.
Everton were 3-1 ahead and comfortably repelling Middlesbrough’s attempts to get back into the contest when, to general astonishment around Goodison Park, their relentless midfielder slid into a challenge near the touchline and did not emerge with the ball. Gueye punched the pitch in anger as his opponent escaped. He broke into laughter in stoppage time when, having sprayed a pass out to Tom Cleverley, the realisation dawned that the Everton substitute was in the technical area waiting to replace Gareth Barry. They were the only slips in a performance that warranted high praise from Everton’s demanding manager and maintained the Senegal international’s seamless transition from Aston Villa. But that tackle …
Everton travel to Bournemouth aware that victory could see them soar to the top of the Premier League. Regardless of that, it’s another opportunity for Ronald Koeman’s side to showcase their intentions, while they can extend their unbeaten start in the league to six matches. Romelu Lukaku, who has scored five goals already this month, is expected to return from a toe injury after missing the midweek EFL Cup defeat by Norwich City. This fixture last season acted as a springboard for Bournemouth, who equalised in the eighth minute of stoppage-time to record a 3-3 draw. The neutrals, and Bournemouth, would most probably settle for the same again this time around. Ben Fisher
• Koeman: ‘Their second was really bad defending by four or five of our players’ • Norwich manager Alex Neil praises display by much-changed team
Ronald Koeman was left cursing poor finishing and “really bad defending” as Norwich City of the Championship came to Goodison Park in the EFL Cup and inflicted a 2-0 defeat, his first as Everton manager.
Arsenal seal their win with another fine goal: Oxlade-Chamberlain dummies the ball, and then receives a fine through ball from Lucas Perez – what a game the Spaniard has had – before the England international hits a left-footed finish into the bottom corner.
In Europe, Milan have extended their lead over Lazio to 2-0 thanks to a Niang penalty. PSG, meanwhile are 3-0 up over Dijon, with Cavani and Lucas Moura adding to the French champions’ tally. Rangers’ match with Queen of the South has finished 5-0, with Waghorn bagging a hat-trick, that’s his 37th goal in 43 appearances for the Glasgow club. They are through to the semi-finals of the League Cup in Scotland.
Blackburn concede another late goal, just as they did at Elland Road last week! Woods bundles one of the worst finishes of all time just over the line.
Glenn Murray hooks the ball across the six yard box, and Hemed is there to stab it in. All hands on deck now for 10-man Reading, who have five minutes to cling on for.
After Dan Gosling had given Bournemouth the lead, Danish striker Makienok again pops up with five minutes to go. It looks as though we’re heading into extra-time in this one!
What a goal! Goodison Park falls silent, as Jacob Murphy turns nicely on the edge of the area, gets some space on his left foot and curls his effort into the top corner, glancing on the underside of the bar, leaving Stekelenburg completely helpless. The Dutchman could only watch as it sailed past him. Shock result on the cards.
Everton haven’t had a goal threat tonight, and started without a striker, although Arouna Koné is on the bench. Strange decision from Koeman. No sign of Oumar Niasse, who joined the club for £13.5m in January. He scored in midweek for the club’s U23s, but not even on the bench tonight.
Great goal from the Spaniard, holding off the considerable figure of Matt Mills, rounding the Nottingham Forest keeper and slotting in. There’s a few afters with Mills but he’s up on his feet and off to celebrate with the jubilant Gooners in the stands. Lovely stuff.
Quick as a flash, Don Kavanagh with the answer.
“Dundee; Dundee Utd; Greenock Morton; Queen of the South; Queen’s Park.”
I haven’t mentioned Leeds v Blackburn yet, and that’s because it’s been an absolutely dire match at Elland Road, where there are just 8,000 people watching. Leeds beat Rovers 2-1 in a Championship match exactly a week ago.
“Evening Michael,” emails Simon McMahon. “As well as Rangers v Queen of the South, there’s also Morton v Dundee United in the Scottish League Cup quarter finals [Currently 2-1 to Morton]. An an old quiz question for you – can you name the five Scottish clubs that have a double ‘e’ in their name?”
Two goals in two minutes as Rangers make it 3-0 at Ibrox through Martyn Waghorn, the man involved in that training ground altercation. Rangers had previously made it 2-0 through Andy Halligan.
Mancienne fouls Akpom in the area, and Lucas Perez steps up confidently to score his first Arsenal goal.
Despite Reading being a man down, Jaap Stam’s side have extended their lead through the excellent John Swift, who curls a beauty into the top corner, a near-identical strike of the goal he scored against Barnsley at the weekend.
Grabban sends Maxwell the wrong way from 12 yards, after Preston were penalised for a handball – Gradel’s free-kick struck an arm en route to goal. Two minutes later, Gradel lines up another free-kick and hits the bar! Still 1-1.
The Belgian races behind the Derby defence, and despite shooting from a tight angle, squeezes his shot past Mitchell and into the roof of the net. Liverpool have looked top drawer tonight.
Just for the record, here are the list of nations who have qualified for the women’s Euro 2017 next year. England beat Belgium 2-0 tonight, Wales drew 0-0 with Austria and miss out on qualification, whilst Scotland beat Iceland 2-1 away, but finished second behind tonight’s opponents in Group 1.
Firmino and Coutinho play a one-two on the edge of Derby’s box, and despite the presence of six County defenders, the Brazilian tiptoes through several challenges and calmly passes the ball into the corner. Class.
Full-time in Spain, and Malaga have come from behind to beat Eibar 2-1. Sevilla v Real Betis kicks off in about eight minutes.
Piszczek’s first Bundesliga goal in two years. This is a quite remarkable performance from Dortmund, who apart from a 10 minute period at the start of the second half, have obliterated one of the best sides in the division, away from home. This is a Dortmund side that sold Gundogan and Mkhitaryan in the summer, and is missing Reus, Sahin, Schurrle, Durm, and Kagawa tonight. Frightening.
“Strangely innocuous, in fact invisible, display by Lucas Pérez for Arsenal,” emails Charles Antaki. “There are times when even Elneny is further forward, but it’s hard to see what he’s bringing to the game. Is Sanogo available?”
For the latest scores in England and across Europe, click here.
Chelsea have pulled one back against Leicester. More here.
Against the run of play, but Dortmund twice hit the home side on the counter-attack. Devastating play from Castro, who slices through the middle of Wolfsburg’s defence and cooly squares the ball across the six yard box for an easy finish at the back post for the Gabon striker. Not five minutes earlier, the obscenely talented Ousmane Dembélé scored a near identical goal, although the French teenager did look a tad offside when Castro provided another assist.
Former Manchester United defender Tyler Blackett given his marching orders for a late slide tackle on Oliver Norwood, although replays show that he tried to pull out. Two minutes later Glenn Murray hits the bar for Brighton, Reading are going to have to hold on – they won on Saturday with 10 men, away at Barnsley.
It had to be! The former Everton favourite races through on goal, slips, and the ball balloons up in the air, over Stekelenburg and into the net. It’s against the run of play, and Everton should have had a penalty awarded earlier, but the Goodison Park faithful applaud their former player. He was a popular player on Merseyside, not least for things like this
Two goals in three minutes puts Newcastle in control at St James’ Park, Yoan Gouffran with an excellent strike from the edge of the box, after Matt Ritchie’s opener, a wonderful controlled curling effort, after a lovely one-two undid the Wolves defence. Wolves beat Newcastle just four days ago, remember.
Having piled on the pressure since half-time, Wolfsburg deservedly pull one back, after Didavi steals in at the near post to prod a neat finish after a wondrous cross from their new signing Blaszczykowski. Wolfsburg had an effort cleared off the line, they are making a game of it.
A near carbon copy of the Swiss midfielder’s goal at the weekend! Xhaka hits in from all of 40 yards, it takes a slight deflection, but continues to fly towards the top corner Stojkovic, in Forest’s goal, should do better, but can only get a weak hand to it, and the ball drops into the net. No ‘hush’ celebration this time.
12 min: The City Ground rises to applaud Brian Clough, 12 years after his death. It’s a great atmosphere in Nottingham, “You’ve only come to see the Arsenal” sing the visiting fans. “Champions of Europe – you’ll never sing that” reply the Forest faithful.
Full-time in Ligue 1’s early game, and Toulouse have won 2-1 away at Lille, with former Sunderland striker Ola Toivonen getting both goals for the visitors.
The first EFL Cup goal of the night – the Danish striker Simon Makienok, on a one-year loan deal from Italian Serie A side Palermo, finds some space at the back post and makes no mistake.
Carney cuts inside on her right foot, feinting to shoot, before smashing a deflected strike past the Belgium goalkeeper. It’s now finished there, so a 2-0 win for the Lionesses, they top Group 7.
Peeeeeep! The EFL Cup ties are underway. Keep an eye out for Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings, who is making his first appearance since the beginning of last season. Mings became the Cherries’ record signing last June, but was ruled out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury on the first day of the season against Leicester.
Very strong Liverpool team out tonight: Coutinho, Origi and Firmino forming a potent front three against a Derby side that has struggled so far this season in the Championship. With no European football this season, it’s obvious that Klopp are targeting Cup glory, with the carrot of a Europa League spot at stake for the EFL Cup winners, that’s no surprise.
1 – Liverpool have been eliminated from just one of their last 13 League Cup ties against lower league opposition. Bullies.
Nikita Parris scores her third England goal in just her third England appearance, heading the ball home – all 5ft4in of her! Remember England are already qualified for Euro 2017, but will finish top of their group with a win here.
Dortmund are on fire! After disposing of Darmstadt 6-0 on Saturday, Dortmund are already 2-0 away in Lower Saxony – Aubameyang latching onto a clever backheel from Raphael Guerreiro, beating his man and finishing cooly in the the corner. The man is a class act. Guerreiro had earlier given Dortmund the lead with a deflected effort.
Nottingham Forest will hold a 12th-minute tribute to Brian Clough in their match against Arsenal tonight – it is 12 years since the great man died.
Derby County will also hold a minute’s silence in memory of club stalwart, Gordon Guthrie MBE, who served as a player, a club physiotherapist/trainer, and kit manager serving over a dozen managers, including Brian Clough. He has a stand named after him at the iPro stadium.
Half-time scores in the women’s Euro 2017 qualifiers, involving some of the home nations. England and Scotland have already qualified for the finals in Holland next year, and England will cement top spot in Group 7 if they draw with their nearest rivals Belgium. 0-0 in that one at the moment. Scotland are guaranteed one of the six best runners-up spots, they are second in Group 1, behind Iceland. 1-1 currently in Reykjavik.
Hello world! What an evening of EFL Cup/Bundesliga/Serie A/La Liga/League One/Scottish League Cup/Ligue 1 we have for you tonight. Lots of different football matches, kicking off at lots of different times, a night of chaos beckons! I’ll be doing my best to help you see the Chris Wood from the Tricky Trees – but if you happen to be at tonight’s games for some actual insight or even if you’re not and just fancy giving your 2p’s worth, do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @michaelbutler18.
Here are the main matches we will be following tonight, plus a smattering from League One, La Liga, Scotland and the rest of the Bundesliga and Ligue 1.
Michael will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Daniel Taylor on Nottingham Forest’s impressive youth policy:
It is probably a reflection of Nottingham Forest’s difficulties in the modern era that when they renew acquaintances with Arsenal on Tuesday it will be the first time in the 21st century they have encountered the club who wear the same colours because it was Forest, 130 years ago, who donated a red strip to help set them up.
The last occasion the two sides met was in January 1999 when Ron Atkinson had just been appointed as Forest’s manager and infamously began his short, undistinguished spell more like Rowan Atkinson by climbing into the wrong dugout. Forest, with the fingers of relegation closing round their necks, lost 1-0 and it was their next home game when they played in a nine-goal thriller against Manchester United that is still talked about on the banks of the Trent. Unfortunately for Forest, they scored only one of the goals.
Everton’s promising start to the season was put into perspective by Championship opponents as Norwich City deservedly progressed to the last 16 of the League Cup, with the Goodison old boy Steven Naismith setting his side on the path to victory.
Ronald Koeman had promised beforehand to make a few changes but not too many, and in the event made six. On the evidence of a listless performance that appears to be too many for Everton, who may be second in the Premier League but found the going tough against a Norwich side who made no fewer than 10 changes of their own from their last league outing.