One to forget for us tonight, with Theo Walcott’s second half goal giving Everton a 1-0 win under the lights at Goodison Park.
After just watching the full 90, here’s some thoughts on each player’s performance and my marks out of 10.
NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy – Slimani:
Dubravka – 6 – A few solid punches and decent claims from Everton’s crosses, however he may regret not coming for Bolasie’s looped cross that led to Walcott’s goal.
Yedlin – 6 – The odd needless foul but generally did well vs Bolasie. Should have done better for the goal though, failing to read the flight of the cross that lead to their goal. Final ball often frustrated when he got into attacking areas.
Lascelles – 6 – Shaky on the ball and lost it a few times in dodgy areas. Won plenty in air, but one of his poorer performances after setting such a high standard this season.
Lejeune – 7.5 – Our standout performer at the back. Made several important clearances, wont just about all of his aerial duels and looked calm and composed on the ball
Dummett – 7 – Made some well time tackles and was generally solid given Walcott and Coleman tended to carry their greatest threat down Everton’s right.
Diame – 8* – The most impressive player in black and white once again for me. Got in their face and constantly pressed, was strong in the tackle, quick to intercept and looked sharp and assured on the ball.
Shelvey – 5 – Despite his recent rise to form and England contention, he was well below his best. Several misplaced passes and not nearly as measured and influential as he has been in the last few weeks.
Ritchie – 6 – Worked hard to pressure Baines and Bolasie down their left and fought for every ball. Didn’t get into the final third and influence the game in an attacking sense nearly enough, but couldn’t fault his effort.
Perez – 5 – He’s been brilliant recently, but he was so frustrating in this one. If his touch was good, his pass would let him down – it was that sort of night for him. He missed a HUGE opportunity to put us 1-0 up in the first half, but what looked like a simple pass to put Slimani in was woefully overhit. Not his night.
Kenedy – 7 – Turned over the ball several times in the first half and was one of few NUFC players who showed the odd moment of quality and calm on the ball in the final third. Put in some good crosses late on and saw his clever dinked pass put Perez in on goal.
Slimani – 6 – Showed glimpses of what he’ll offer, looking surprisingly mobile, a clear handful and a player happy to come short of make runs in behind, but you could see it was his first start for over 3 months. He had his moments but he looked rusty (as you’d expect). Hopefully he gets another chance to impress against West Brom on Saturday.
Gayle – Won a few fouls in good areas in the final third and showed decent movement, but may be regretting blazing over from just 5 yards out soon after he came on for Slimani.
Murphy – Had a late effort across goal superbly cleared by Coleman. Didn’t really get into the game, but that moment in the last few knockings almost got us a point.
Merino – Came on for Shelvey for the last 10 minutes. Showed some nice touches and turns but was unable to make much impact so late on.