Annyeong hashimnikka my fellow Positivistas,
A polished performance against Everton yesterday and an entirely deserved win set the weekend rolling forward in a very pleasant fashion. We shall see how it ends by abut 6 p.m. tonight with the final whistle at the Lane and Trafford Park.
Of the game itself I admit even at 2-0 up I was never quite comfortable. Given that we were dominant, and defended well I can only put my edginess down to recent trauma and disappointment. To play as well as we did in Barcelona, to work so hard and yet still to be defeated would surely sap the (mental) strength of Achilles?
Not at all. After 63 hours off we looked the fresher, fitter side. A week after hammering the hated Chelsea it was Everton who struggled to match our energy and initiative.
Loud clapping for Danny and Alex Iwobi whose composed finishing was crucial in deciding the contest. The younger player particularly took his chance with great maturity, pace, balance, accuracy of shot = the holy trinity of finishing. What a week that young man has had!
I think the best moment in the game however was in the 44th minute, edge of the EFC box, Iwobi backheels to Danny, who immediately backheels to Iwobi. The Everton defenders’ heads were spinning, outrageous cheek and sublime skill.
Other plaudits for Ospina who, despite getting a painful bang, soldiered on. It would have been easy, indeed understandable for him to withdraw. I was yelping at the TV screen for a change as our Colombian hobbled about. He stayed in there and did his job. Brave boy. Elneny and Le Coq worked perfectly to see off the Everton midfield, Kosc and Gabriel sniffed out any spark Lukaku or Barkley might have lit. Bellerin and Nacho very sound going forward and disciplined as the home side got a toe-hold late on in the game. Sanchez good and unlucky with his penalty which really would have killed the game. Ozil always a yard ahead and a second faster than the pack of blue dogs chasing him. If I have left anyone out please feel free to add your comments, they all deserve it.
As for our opponents the opening sentence of the match report on the Toffees’ fan website Nil Satis Nisi Optimum ( Only the Best is good Enough) sums up their afternoon “Everton have fallen to their eighth home league defeat of the season after a first half masterclass from Arsenal condemned them to a 2-0 loss”
In line with my opening reference to being a little unsettled the game was just seconds old when the little urchin Coleman managed to clip our woodwork! The early high point however was about as exciting as it got. For the next 94 minutes Everton were, I thought, pretty bloody dire. That they apparently have the second worst home defence of any club in any top flight league in Europe surprises me not at all. Roberto Martinez can thank Mr Clattenburg that they are still only second in that league of Euro defensive infamy. The booing at the end of the game by what sounded like a lot of home supporters is ominous for the smooth Spaniard, especially with a new owner recently aboard and no doubt keen to make a splash. If I owned shares in Martinez I would sell.
We now all have a well earned break over the next few days. Use the down time wisely and enjoy your Sunday.
* for those who do not know the picture is of Speedo Mick, Evertonian and charity fund raiser – a man who laughs at adversity, with very tight trunks on and in all weathers.