It was a night that will live long in the memories of Everton fans as they came from 2-0 down to claim an unlikely victory over Watford exactly 12-months ago.
Of course there have been more important and indeed historic matches at Goodison Park during its long and illustrious history, but the Blues’ victory that day was key as they looked to move on following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.
Here David Prentice takes a look back to Bonfire Night 2017 and how the Blues fortunes have changed in the ensuing 12-months.
It was Bonfire Night 2017 – and Goodison Park exploded.
David Unsworth had been in caretaker charge of Everton for just two matches following Ronald Koeman’s sacking – both resulting in defeats at Leicester and Lyon.
Marco Silva was in the opposition dugout with his in-form and upwardly mobile Watford side – Everton were 19th before kick-off, the Hornets ninth – and the visitors also boasted a promising young Brazilian called Richarlison.
Cue an anarchic afternoon of riotous football.
Following a drab first half, Watford scored through Richarlison and Kabasele to lead 2-0 with just 26 minutes remaining. Officially.
An injury to Jose Holebas in the 80th minute meant that THIRTEEN minutes later Everton and Watford were still playing.
Before then Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin had equalised, and in the time added on Leighton Baines converted one penalty kick – and Tom Cleverley missed another, as Everton came from two goals down to win at home in the Premier League for the first time since May 1994 against Wimbledon!
So much has changed since then – on and off the pitch.
Sam Allardyce has come and gone, taking Everton’s first director of football, Steve Walsh, with him.
Silva arrived, along with a new director of football in the form of Marcel Brands.
And the new brooms have swept clean.
Just four players who started that match last Bonfire Night – Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Gana Gueye and Gylfi Sigurdsson – started against Brighton on Saturday.
Wayne Rooney has moved on. So too has second half substitute that day, Aaron Lennon.
Niasse and Phil Jagielka haven’t been near a first team squad for months. Leighton Baines hasn’t started a Premier League game since August, Beni Baningime has gone back into the Blues under-23 set up to continue his development.
The match stats from Saturday’s victory over Brighton – a team occupying the same position in the table as Watford did when they came to Goodison 12 months ago – are telling.
Against Watford Everton had nine shots to the visitors’ 11. Two corners to the visitors’ five.
On Saturday it was 14 shots to five, six corners to four.
Against Brighton Everton boasted 62% possession, exactly the same proportion Watford enjoyed in Everton’s smash and grab raid of 2017.
The three goals Everton scored against Watford were from a corner, a penalty and Niasse was accredited with a scrappy first which may even have come off Kabasele last.
Everton’s three goals on Saturday were cultivated classics – the first and third the kind of goals Evertonians have craved since the Gwladys Street chanted about the “School of Science being on its way back” in Roberto Martinez’s first season.
A lot has changed since Marco Silva pitched up at Goodison Park 12-months ago, most of it for the better.
Source : DailyPost