Season 2015-16 Opinion Match Reports
Accounts from matches by our editorial team and featured correspondents
David Unsworth's team blended of youth and experience and exhibited welcome tempo and tenacity as they ended 2015-16 on a real high with a 3-0 win over Norwich.
There was a difference in the mood of fans. It was as though a weight had been lifted and replaced by hope and expectation. The chat was upbeat as we considered when things may start moving. I can only hope our club makes the right moves.
A positive end to a poor campaign then, but the performance of the younger players certainly offers hope as we head into an intriguing summer with a new manager to arrive and surely several players both coming and going.
McCarthy opened the scoring for a vibrant and revitalized Everton side, Baines adding a perfectly taken penalty, Mirallas pilfering the third.
Another embarrassing display where our team folds like a deck of cards after conceeding a goal with comic cuts defending of a free kick with a shambolic wall and a keeper who jumped the wrong way. Had he stood his ground the ball would have hit him. Unbelievable!!
For the second away game in succession, Everton were shockingly inept, gutless and directionless. The Blues not only formed the guard of honour for the new Champions, they pretty much lay down and became the blue carpet over which Claudio Ranieri’s men trampled towards lifting the trophy.
The new Premier League Champions in full party mode, with Everton somewhat reluctant guests at the big party, Vardy scoring after 5 mins, King adding another, and a dubious penalty converted by Vardy before he smashed another spot-kick over the bar. Mirallas scored Everton's consolation.
Despite a few uncomfortable moments from Bournemouth, we got over the line with three points. We've survived!
An end-of-season affair where neither team was much to write home about but Everton ended a run of seven Premier League games without a win.
Everton scored early through Cleverley but almost immediately surrendered the lead in a fashion that was typical of the season; Baines eventually restoring the lead.
It was truly gutting and the team didn't deserve that. Everton out. "It's never us" said Ste at full time. I couldn't put it better. We never fluke these things. We never fluke anything.
By his own admission, football is a results-based business. The Catalan's horribilis sabbati should be his final curtain call.
Fellaini scored, De Gea saved Lukaku's penalty before Deulofeu forced a Smalling own goal. Everton fought well but couldn't stop Martial scoring in added time.
Roberto Martinez promised to make Evertonians proud before the Merseyside derby. Instead, Blues fans were served up utter humilation in the worst arena possible, his Everton side disgraced at the home of rivals Liverpool.
It says something when you get home and you're actually relieved you didn't lose by more than four. I genuinely expected to find we'd lost by five or six.
It was quite a turgid encounter from the start really. I guess you can accept a little rustiness when that many changes are made to the team but we really struggled to put anything meaningful together throughout, whilst Southampton passed up a plethora of chances.
Overall it was a day out and the chance to see fringe players and academy hopefuls. The disconnect between manager and many fans is growing but there was no organised protest today.
Everton’s aimless drift towards Roberto Martinez’s latest date with destiny continues after much of his second string served up 90 abject minutes of directionless football that was somehow enough to earn a point.
A decent enough point in the context of Everton's poor run of form but the search for pre-Wembley momentum goes on.
Hardly an inspiring warm-up for a possible reunion in the FA Cup Final. For long periods, it was an untidy and uninspiring tussle between two teams drifting in mid-table.
McCarthy pilfered a goal but a needless corner was turned in by Watford, and Lukaku fluffed a chance to win it at the end.
Overall it was an unspectacular game that I am sure I was not alone in thinking that with a bit more of a joined up team effort we could have got the points with a bit to spare. We have the players to do it as we have witnessed it on a few occasions but never with a consistency that should get the rewards. Game after game we wonder which Everton will turn up. Game after game we seem semi prepared for a loss. And we all end up where we started Game after game we ask what the manager is doing about it.
On the evidence of this third straight League defeat, Roberto Martinez's Everton are a shadow of the side that ended a 21-year winless run at Old Trafford in December 2013.
A unconvincing Everton display ended in a barely warranted win for the home side, with Jagielka denied by the crossbar and De Gea.
Something is wrong. Will the new owner notice we are going backwards with such talent and perhaps determine to find out why?
Everton hit a new low in a season littered with painful home defeats with a comprehensive 2-0 reverse at the hands of Arsenal.
Goodison Park has been a fortress time and again over the years and to win only four at Goodison Park this season, with an abysmal EIGHT defeats is just woeful, especially with the players we have.
A bright Everton start is snuffed out by an early Arsenal goal from Welbeck.
The Belgian produced a moment of brilliance and followed it up with a second well-taken goal fire the Blues to a semi-final date at Wembley.
Two tremendous goals from Romelu Lukaku preceded a well earned red card for Diego Costa as Chelsea finally imploded.
This nonsense is happening far too regularly now and has to be stopped one way or the other.
Goodison was not a happy place at the end with voices of anger raised. Out of the ground and down Spellow lane the anger and animosity toward our present manager reached levels I have not heard before and it seemed unanimous. This is not a good situation with the FA Cup game at home looming. The faithful are turning.
It was Groundhog Day at Goodison Park again as Everton threw away another two-goal advantage and lost 3-2 to West Ham.
Lukaku opened the scoring but Mirallas saw red, yet Lennon got a second but Lukaku missed a penalty and the Hammers scored three to win it.
Hardly a vintage Everton performance, though I'm pretty sure we took our foot off the gas at 2-0.
Everton never really got going but still beat the struggling Midlanders convincingly behind goals by Funes Mori, Lennon and Lukaku
Overall, we did what we had to do and I thought we had some decent performances on show. Barkley seems to be growing game by game, if he could get a bit more confident in himself and have that edge that says I am the go to man then what a player we will have.
Everton redeemed themselves to a large degree for November's capitulation on Bournemouth's turf in the Premier League with a 2-0 win and passage to the FA Cup Quarter Finals.
Robles saves a first-half penalty. After the break, Barkley scored a deflected goal, then Lukaku sealed a 6th Round berth from a corner.
Playing against a West Brom team performing poorly at home, what could go wrong? "This is Everton" I said... "We always mess things up just when things are looking rosy". And so it proved.
Although it is not nice to hear boos at your home ground you have to concede that match-going fans paying out for season tickets and others matchday tickets but only seeing draws and losses after being told by many that this is our best squad since we last won the league can be forgiven for showing their discontent.
West Brom go ahead off a corner looping in at the far post, Blues unable to penetrate in 80 minutes of resolute defending
Everton atoned for the two prior meetings with Stoke and took another step back towards the right area of the Premier League table.
Overall a decent day out with a result that ensures both fans and players have a spring in their step for the WBA game. From the last three games we have scored nine goals, none against, without Howard or Stones. Can anything be read into that?
A quick break created by a brilliant Barkley back heel set Cleverley off and he won a soft penalty off Butland, Lukaku converting from the spot. This was fooled by a superb header from Coleman off a great Cleverley corner before the half-hour. Lennon the scoreda superb solo goal to put the Blues 3 up at the break.
What a great way to finish a game and the players should be buzzing as we head to the Britannia on Saturday. A win there and who knows, maybe we could salvage something from the league this season yet.
The gulf between the sides was evident and our players were playing with an intensity that suggested someone is at last starting to take notice that fans only grumble and groan when the fare on show is both tepid and weak. Today was up and at em, with the travelling faithful responding in kind.
The better team won, no doubt about that, but we'll never know what would have happened, but it's Martin Atkinson and we shouldn't be at all surprised.
Everton's hopes of ending a 21-year trophy drought were extinguished by Manchester City in controversial and yet predictable fashion at the Etihad Stadium leaving Roberto Martinez's hopes for redemption resting on the FA Cup.
Everton have slipped into reverse under Roberto Martinez who must surely be on borrowed time where it comes to convincing the fanbase that he is capable of evolving away from the approach that scuttled Wigan.
Three home wins all season and only six overall wins tells it's own story. Time and time again we shoot ourselves in the foot. Time and time again we let ourselves down.
So many good players under-performing and, worse still, showing little fight or intensity. Lets hope they get it together for Wednesday. Today they were all expensive Fur Coat but no knickers!
Besic hit the post then went off with a hamstring injury. A horrible back-pass from Stones led to Howard conceding a ridiculous penalty, converted by Sigurdsson. But smart work by Barry off a corner gave Everton a somewhat undeserved equalizer. But Ayew fired Swansea ahead with a deflected shot off Stones. Everton were better in the second half but could not finish.
We are playing some of the best joined-up footy I have seen for many a year and have some of the most coveted young players in the league, which is a complement to our present manager. But on the flip side we are unable to handle high pressure moments to see games out.
Everton came within seconds of a season-igniting victory at Stamford Bridge but were denied by horrendous officiating that will ensure that what was already an extraordinary game of football will live long in the memory.
After an even first half, two goals came thanks to brilliant crosses from Leighton Baines, the first converted inadvertently by Terry, the second a superb volley on the turn from Mirallas. But a dreadful mix-up between Howard and Jagielka let Chelsea back in, and they were soon level off a deflection. After resisting further onslaught, Funes Mori put Everton back into the lead in the 91st minute, only for Terry to steal a draw in the 8th minute of added time.
A result that will probably prove more useful in terms of psychology for the second leg of the Capital One Cup than Everton's derailed charge for the top four but a hugely creditable draw nonetheless.
Paul reports from what he saw of the match at the Etihad after getting caught in the traffic jams on the M62.
Playing against a team as limited as Dagenham, who came only to frustrate, it would be hard to find much we learned football-wise except Kone is off the boil in the conversion stakes.
I'm glad Roberto Martinez did the fans justice by resting the correct players, whilst still giving much-needed game time to some of the fringe players, and also accommodating a couple of younger players. The perfect balance found from Roberto.
Thanks to an impressive performance that blended patience, tenacity, skill, organisation and a heavy dose of character the Blues will take a slender but precious lead to the Etihad in three weeks' time.
We head to the Etihad knowing what we have to do, and what a chance to get to Wembley. What a chance to win a trophy. Bring it home Everton. It's been far too long.
Everton stopped the rot after successive home defeats to Leicester and Stoke but they still couldn't hold onto a winning position.
All in all a rocky journey but most I spoke to were happy with a point after that first half. A quirk of football is shown when you consider we have played Spurs twice and all square in both games yet they are 4th and we are 11th and they have drawn as many as us, maybe the word consistency covers it.
Another frustrating draw in this maddeningly frustrating season, though performances similar to that of the second half against Manchester City will more than give us a chance of progressing to the Capital One cup final.
Everton were totally outplayed in the first half but somehow scored a fantastic opening goal with their first real attack, Lennon firing in a superb half-volley past Lloris. After hitting the woodwork twice, Route One finally paid off for Spurs, Dele Alli smashing in a fantastic long ball from Alderweireld before the break. Incredibly, no more goals despite a fantastic second half.
The manager's suspect game-management and the continuing softness of his back line contributed to another three points being swept away in a torrent of goals.
Overall quite a disappointing afternoon and made worse when you look back on other losses and remember our present manager telling us they must learn game management, correct defensive positions and not to be bullied after each one. If his milkman is reading this, give him a knock will you and ask him how he thinks it is going because we fans are just not seeing it.
Poor defending cost us yet again and this will go down as yet another game we should have got more from this season and let slip away.
If the Bournemouth draw bore the hallmarks of the kind of result that Martinez might have referred back to at the end of the season as a psychological blow from which his players never recovered, the manner in which his charges won this game will hopefully feel like redemption and a new lease on life in terms of morale.
It was billed as a battle between two of the Premier Leagues most dangerous attacking partnerships but the Jamie Vardy-Riyah Mahrez double-act came out on top, as did Leicester who deepened the demoralisation in the blue half of Merseyside by plundering all three points.
Not the best way to start the festivities and made worse by the fact that we managed to gift the opposition their win with sheer sloppiness. I know Christmas is the time for giving gifts but not like that
It's Roberto's inability to learn and stubbornness with team selections which kills me the most. We've one heck of a squad there and it's not being utilised, instead the same players are being selected week in-week out.
The Blues dominated play but Funes Mori got caught out and Mahrez converted from the spot. Everton replied with a fine goal for Lukaku after Barkley's shot was cleared off the line. But another penalty came for the Foxes in the second half, despite Everton dominance, and a third goal by Okasaki sealed it, despite Mirallas's late consolation.
The Blues' window of opportunity in an unpredictable Premier League season narrowed further with two more points frittered away from a winning position.
From a first half of dominance, coming off I felt as though we were lucky to get a point. It was a crazy game but one the manager and players need to work on and eliminate the crazy.
Everton made only one change, with Leighton Baines returning at the expense of Brendan Galloway. A brilliant cross from Deulofeu saw Lukaku head in superbly at the far post on 15 mins but there should have been at least five more before the break, and Norwich predictably drew level immediately after the break, denying The Blues another two points.
A feeling of frustration and two dropped points but credit to Palace who look set up to do very well this season and they probably deserved a point for how well they defended
Sixth place and a berth just two points behind the top five beckoned if the Blues could fashion a win. Instead, frowned upon by Lady Luck up front, they found themselves forced to chase a game again after falling behind.
All in all a cracking night out, a thrilling game and some good performances from our lads.
Our corners are so bad it's almost laughable. What isn't almost laughable is Roberto Martinez' continued insistence on not making substitutes when it's clear they are needed.
A tight and highly competitive game, tremendous attacking from Everton throughout, hitting the woodwork three times, but vulnerability on corners saw Dann power home a header to give Palace the lead. Everton replied minutes later when Lukaku finally converted one of many Deulofeu crosses.
A big disappointment today for me as it wasnt so much the score as the lack of nous from players and manager for being unable to respond to the game plan of the home team in the second half. This also suggests we are not yet ready for Champions League
After a difficult start Everton scored their first goal from a set-piece, an excellent header from Ramiro Funes Mori. Then, a brilliant strike from Lukaku off a great ball from Deulofeu. Bournemouth pulled one back and then equalized in a poor second half for Everton. Barkley got what looked to be the winner in stoppage time, but Stanislas powered in another equaliser in the 98th minute.
The Goodison faithful were left toasting another sumptuous exhibition of attacking football and three important points to kick off what the manager has identified as a dozen crucial games in Everton's season.
Overall a strange game to watch as it was so one-sided, however the standard of football from Everton was a joy to watch and there now seems to be partnerships forming throughout the team which is always a good sign.
A great win which puts us into seventh place as we march on to Bournemouth.
On 16 mins, a very fluid move from deep saw a shot from Deulofeu, parried by Guzan and tapped in at the far post by Barkley for a very nice opening goal. Lukaku casually nodded home Coleman's perfect pulled-back cross to make it 2-0 before the half-hour, and Barkley snapped up his second before the break. The best goal came on the hour mark, Lukaku finishing a superb passing move.
Considering both teams' displays and a goal for each side that was worthy of winning a match, then I suppose you can say a draw was a fair result.
The Blues struggled to find at extra gear to lift themselves above West Ham once the Hammers had lost their chief inspiration in Dimitri Payet,
Orchestrated magnificently in midfield by Gareth Barry on any other day he would have been a shoo-in for player of the match aided by the greater license to get afforded to McCarthy and then executed by a forward line of Deulofeu, Kone and Lukaku that was simply irresistable at times, it was an attacking exhibition to savour.
After Tuesday this was a much better performance and although there were some excellent bits other bits need working on especially in the back four.
Despite a dreadful opening 20 minutes or so the match really entertained and we were treated to some excellent goals.
Deulofeu was the first to strike after being released by a great ball from Kone, who then finished with an excellent strike after a nice one-two with Lukaku. Defoe pulled one back on the stroke of half-time. Sunderland got level off a crossed header that Howard failed to move for, but Deulofeu forced an own-goal to restore the Everton lead, soon followed by Lukaku then two more from Kone to complete his hat-trick.
As with any cup game, the important thing is to get through, sometimes by whatever means are necessary. On this occasion, that meant relying on a goalkeeper seizing his chance to shine and finding enough impetus from the substitutes to find a route back into the match.
A frustrating night out watching a poor Blues display but in the cup a win is a win and passage to the next round.
We had a grandstand finish but a goal would not come for either side so once again we leave Arsenal without a win yet again.
A result that carried a depressing air of inevitability about it as Everton were punished for slack defending, indecisive goalkeeping and a continuing inability to put together two halves of decent football in the same game.
Everton were better than last week but they still had Howard in goal and two unclaimed crosses meant two goals in two minutes before the break. A deflected goal off a determined strike from Barkley kept the Blues in with a chance but they couldn't do it despite a somewhat better second-half display.
Evertonian eyes will naturally focus on what this result means in terms of a reality check on the Blues' resurgence but the level of performance put in by Louis Van Gaal's men went a long way to influencing Everton's own dismal showing.
A lousy day all round with the news of Howard then that display that makes me think that after such performances fans should have the ticket price repaid!
Everton were boosted by the return from injury of Seamus Coleman and John Stones but gave up the first goal all too easily off a poorly defended corner inside 20 minutes. It got a lot worse 4 mins later, Herrera heading easily past Howard. Everton responded well after the break until a Jags gift was pounced on and Rooney fired in United's third.
Another derby, another draw; honours even and bragging rights postponed for another day.
Well thats this seasons home Derby out of the way with bragging rights shared from a game that was frustrating and lacking in craft and guile.
Match Report: Everton 1 - 1 Liverpool
Everton 1 - 1 Liverpool: Naismith and McCarthy were denied by great saves from Mignolet. Ings scored easily from a corner but Lukaku lashed home a loose ball before the break. The second half was a damp squib.
Ken reports from a rousing night in the Midlands as the Blues overturn West Brom's 2-0 lead to win 3-2.
Everton complete a memorable recovery at The Hawthorns, fighting back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and move up to fifth in the table after seven games.
An almost perfect away performance by the Blues was let down by Romelu Lukaku's lack of conviction in front of goal
I think many who thought a point would be a result would have changed their minds after watching the game as we truly did create many, many chances and we could have expected at least one to be snapped up. It is no wonder that strikers who can consistently take one out of three chances go for the money they do.
Steven Naismith could not reproduce his Chelsea form despite getting a rare start, and Lukaku had a poor display as the main striker. Total Everton dominance was rewarded only with a rather silly red card for late sub Kevin Mirallas.
Steven Naismith's hat-trick capped an excellent home performance against the reigning Premier League Champions
All told, a good day out. It was as good a display as I have witnessed for some time.
An amazing performance from Everton and a richly deserved win. This was surely Roberto Martinez finest hour as Everton manager.
Besic was forced off after a tough challenge at the start, Naismith replacing him. And almost his first involvement was to score a brilliant header after playing the ball out to Galloway for a top class cross. He then made it 2-0 with an excellent low shot from distance. Matic got one back when given too much space. Chelsea fought to get back into the game but it was sewn up with a tremendous hat-trick goal from Naismith.
With a bit more adventure, more cohesion in the final third and that elusive play-maker already embedded in the side, Everton might be sitting in a more favourable position heading into the first international break of the 2015-16 season.
Decisive half-time changes eventually turned this Capital One Cup second round tie in Everton's favour as Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley provided the catalyst.
City were superior but also fortunate and the margins on the day in front of of the respective goals were slim. Sometimes fortune favours the brave but Martinez played it frustratingly safe.
Many of us were disappointed but, in the cold light of day, the better team had won but only with two goalkeeping errors.
An unchanged Everton line-up were overawed by a confident Manchester City, Lukaku scoring a good goal that was given marginally (wrongly?) offside. He also clipped the bar with a late free-kick. Kolarov finally beat Howard at the near post, with Nasri chipping Howard easily to secure the points.
What a difference a week makes. Few Evertonians would have expected what unfolded on the south coast today but the travelling Blues were treated to an excellent display a handsome 3-0 win over highly-fancied Southampton.
Four points from two games; so we are two better off than this stage last season. It was heartening the way we played today but of course to get where we would like to be we will need todays attitude and level on a consistent basis. If we do get the two players and of the class that the manager is talking about, then our outlook for the season will surely seem brighter.
We desperately need to embrace other styles of play. We are far too easy to play against and, given the fixtures ahead, we could be in for some bumpy ride.
One game doesn't make a season but this one certainly perpetuated a trend firmly established last season, one which clearly illustrated the priorities for the summer. Fail to find those missing pieces and, on the evidence of today, you feel that Everton are doomed to another season of mediocrity.
It was like we had learned very little from the last campaign as, whilst watching, it was easy to think we were still in last season.
After the early exchanges, it was Watford who took the lead when a cross set up nicely off Jagielka for Layun to fire in. Barkley lashed home a fantastic equalizer after sustained second-half pressure. But Watford snatched a second in a rare foray, Kone replying straight away with a great finish to snatch a point.
Paul was at Elland Road to see a young side beaten 2-0 by Leeds.
Its apparent that not a lot seems to have been learnt from last season. Were still over-passing the ball. Were not shooting on opportunity. Though perhaps most worrying of all was the alarming regularity that Villarreal were able to cut through us and create opportunities.
Everton kicked off the Barclays Asia Trophy against Stoke City with a goalless draw but won the exhibition game with a perfect record from the spot in the shootout. Phil Jagielka hammered home the winning kick after Tim Howard had saved from Marco van Ginkel.