Everton concluded their mini Scotish tour by defeating a poor Dundee team.
Everton lined up 4-3-3 with Joel, Coleman, Stones, Browning, Baines, McCarthy, Cleverely, Barkley, Naismith, McAleny, Lukaku.
The Blues started the game in emphatic fashion. Naismith’s standard heavy touch looked liked he’d lost the ball but luckily it ran into the path of Connor McAleny who cooly swept the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal beating the sprawling Scott Bain in the Dundee goal.
We started well and nearly went further ahead when Barkley’s Freekick was tipped over by the Dundee goalkeeper. The game then started to become quite open with both teams enjoying periods of possession.
Dundee didn’t cause much danger on the Everton goal. That was until Steven Naismith found himself defending well in the right back position but recklessly passing the ball accross the box, luckily for the Blues the on rushing Dundee player could only rattle the bar before clearing the ball the safety.
Unfortunately for Everton though, on 31 minutes Lukaku was subsituted with what looks like a potential hamstring Injury. Another one to add to the ever growing injury list.
Half Time Dundee 0 Everton 1
Before the second half commenced Everton made two changes with both Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines being replaced by Bryan Oviedo and Matthew Pennington respectively.
The blues continued to be the team in the acendancy first Cleverley running through and firing wide from a tight angle. Then the lively Dowell created space and beat his man before being brought down in the box. Unfortunately for the tavelling blues the ref waved away the penalty potests. Fortunately it didn’t take long for them to go further ahead. Barkley running onto a loose ball from the Dundee defence only to be brought down by a trailing leg. This time the ref pointed to the spot straight away. Barkley dusted himself down to take the penalty. Unlike his last Penalty against Burnley it was composed and sent the keeper the wrong way to double the lead.
Substitutes started to disrupt the flow of the game with Mirallas, Galloway, Ledson and Robinson all getting valuable minutes under their belts.
Good chances did fall for both Naismith and Mirallas but saw their efforts blocked and saved.
Full Time Dundee 0 Everton 2
It was another decent work out for the Blues, who will be pleased with thier mini tour of Scotland. Although once again the standard of the oppositon left a lot to be desired.
My highlights were Baines getting another 45 minutes, McAleny’s goal, Cleverley’s distribution of the ball and no doubt about it the introduction of Dowell.
Dowell was very impressive, always lively, looked to take his marker on and get in the box at every opportunity and has a wand of a left foot. If we continue to have problems with injuries to wide players i’d certainly think about giving him an opportunity against Watford.
The negative was of course the potenital injury to Lukaku, who is likely to be the fourth recipiant of a hamstrng injury during preseaon. Joining Besic, Deulofeu and Pienaar on the treatment table. I dont know what it is with hamstring injuries to our players. It was the bain to our season last year and looks like continuing. If our fears are confirmed then it leaves Kone as our only recognised senior centre forward. Martinez will spin it and say Naismith and Mirallas can cover but we know in reality they cant.
Everton return home tomorrow and move onto their final ‘friendly’ against Leeds on Saturday, concluding their preseason with Duncan’s Testimonial on Sunday.
Try and keep the faith Blues but the injury to Luakaku has knocked the wind from my sails.
Come on you blues.