Monday 22 January 2018

Moyes' worries mount over toothless Toffees

Everton 0 Wigan Athletic 0

Andy Hunter at Goodison Park

The hard-luck stories no longer wash for Everton. Not for the first time this season David Moyes surveyed a dominant yet wasteful display, but he is now running out of explanations as his team slide towards mediocrity.

Seven matches without a win and only two home league victories all season tells of Everton's fatal flaw.

"The worrying thing is we are not beating the teams at Goodison that we have done in recent years," said Moyes. "I'm looking to see if it is something else beyond not scoring goals but I'm finding it hard to see that there is anything else. It was not just the forwards today. Chances were shared around the team but no one could convert any of them."

This was an afternoon of deep anxiety for Everton and encouragement for Roberto Martinez that his injury-plagued squad has discovered their resilience. The outlook could have been transformed inside 60 seconds had Tim Cahill scored when Phil Jagielka's long ball fell kindly for him inside the penalty area, but Antolin Alcaraz made a superb covering tackle.

Everton finally fashioned chances in a remarkable two-minute period after the restart. Four times Moyes's side had a clear sight of Ali al-Habsi's goal and failed to convert. Louis Saha, played clean through by Pienaar, prodded a shot against the Wigan keeper; Cahill then headed Leighton Baines's cross against the foot of a post; Seamus Coleman side-footed straight at Al-Habsi from six yards; Pienaar blazed over from close range.

Moyes brought on Jermaine Beckford and Victor Anichebe, the latter to a chorus of boos having rejected the club's offer of a new contract, yet Wigan almost stole the points when Diame and Ronnie Stam were denied by Tim Howard, the latter from an outstanding save in stoppage time. "Some of my substitutions were poor. I made the wrong choices," says Moyes.


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