Behind the strength of Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, Everton had one of its best showings of the season in a 2-0 win over Manchester City.
Landon Donovan, deployed as a right midfielder, had another positive performance in his home debut for the Toffees. Though Everton seemed to be forcing the attack down the left flank, Donovan did some good work during the run of play and on set pieces. His one area of noticeable weakness, before being subbed in stoppage time of the second half, was going one-on-one against isolated defenders. Donovan was dispossessed a handful of times in these types of situations.
But perhaps the best indication of the Donovan’s play were the the chants of U-S-A, U-S-A from the home crowd late in the game for the midfielder.
A couple more observations:
- The tide turned for Everton this season (4-1-5 in its last ten contests) after manger David Moyes switched the roles of Tim Cahill and a full-strength Fellaini on the pitch. With Fellaini rooted deeper on the pitch, Cahill has more freedom to press forward or help cover.
- Manchester City fullback Micah Richards fell apart tugging on the shirt of Saha outside and then inside the area leading to a penalty kick that put Everton ahead 2-0.
- Steven Pienaar’s scored a set piece goal that Shay Given could only get a fingernail on before curling inside the near post. Pienaar’s celebration? A hug for a security guard that led to this exchange between Matthew and Miss ShinGuardian watching at a part in New York City.
Miss ShinGuardian: Why did Pienaar hug the security guy?
TSG Matthew: No idea.
Miss Shinguardian. Aren’t you supposed to know that?
Lando, Timmy Howard and Everton next take on Birmingham in the FA Cup next Saturday followed by a return to EPL action versus Sunderland who got blasted 7-2 by Chelsea earlier this morning.
Shh…I’m bogarting the end of Mark’s piece here so I can contribute one of my favorite YouTube soccer clips (which ironically appears under our tsg glossary section as well.)