Saturday 26 May 2018

Everton owner under spotlight as Baines seals dramatic win

Everton 3 Watford 2

Leighton Baines of Everton celebrates scoring his sides third goal. Photo: Getty Images
Leighton Baines of Everton celebrates scoring his sides third goal. Photo: Getty Images

Simon Hughes

And so, the spotlight falls on Farhad Moshiri. Over two nights, a 'Panorama' double-bill will include him amongst their investigations into the secret practices of the global finance industry, posing questions about the source of his investment in Everton. This, while he decides who will be the next full-time manager of a team that clawed itself out of the relegation zone with an improbable victory.

The manner of yesterday's escape to victory surely means the chances of David Unsworth being that manager improve dramatically.

David Unsworth, Caretaker Manager of Everton gives his team instructions. Photo: Getty Images
David Unsworth, Caretaker Manager of Everton gives his team instructions. Photo: Getty Images

Unsworth vowed attempt to bring that famous Dogs of War mentality of the mid-1990s back to Goodison Park.

Under his guidance - albeit across just four games, three of them away - Everton's players have resembled drowning puppies. And it was the same story here until a head injury forced Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to retire, with the Hornets winning 2-0.

That meant a debut for Greece international Orestis Karnezis. He was less than impressive and, within ten minutes, Watford's advantage had been taken away.

Converted Leighton Baines then converted an injury-time penalty and there was still time for further drama as, in the tenth minute of additional time, former Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley missed his spot-kick to earn a draw.

Baines scores their third goal from the penalty spot past substitute goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. Photo: Getty Images
Baines scores their third goal from the penalty spot past substitute goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. Photo: Getty Images

If Unsworth has shown one trait in his short time as Everton caretaker manager, it has been ruthlessness. He clearly does not think very much of Davy Klaassen or Sandro Ramírez because neither have featured since Ronald Koeman's sacking. And, following his red card in Lyon last Thursday night and dubious prior form, Morgan Schneiderlin was also absent yesterday, while Ashley Williams was relegated to the substitutes' bench.

Watford were much the better team for two thirds of the match and Richarlison fired them ahead moments into the second half.

Soon it was 2-0 as Christian Kabasele met José Holebas's corner to head the ball past Jordan Pickford.

Everton were on the ropes but then Gomes had to be helped off after colliding with Kabasele.

Oumar Niasse made it 2-1, showing more determination than Karnezis to meet a bouncing ball and Everton were level when substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin met Baines' corner. By then, Kabasele had also been carried off.

Unsworth has to be credited for his substitutions because Aaron Lennon had only been on the pitch for a few minutes when his pace caused Holebas to bring him down. Baines calmly scored from the spot - unlike Cleverly.

Irish Independent

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