Getty Images

Everton 4-0 Manchester City: Toffees counter hammers leaky City

2 Comments
  • Lukaku opened scoring
  • Mirallas made it 2-0 straight out of half
  • 18-year-old hits Everton’s third

After Everton’s second goal, Pep Guardiola was shown with a gloomy expression, staring straight into the ground without even watching as the game continued on. It was a fitting expression as Everton’s cutting edge on the counter-attack downed a leaky Manchester City 4-0 at Goodison Park.

On a day of Manchester vs. Liverpool, the latter struck the first blow, leaving Manchester City a whopping 10 points adrift of the league’s top spot as Everton’s counter-attack was ruthless, a stark contrast to the toothless visitors. The Toffees picked up four shots on target on the day, and Claudio Bravo came up empty-handed on all four.

Everton looked early on for the long ball to Romelu Lukaku, while City maintained possession with little result. On the break, Everton had the ball in the net through Kevin Mirallas, but it was ruled out as Seamus Coleman was offside. Following a cagey first 10 minutes, the game sprung open.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

City had its own early chance, also on the break, as Kevin De Bruyne sprung down the left and fed Raheem Sterling one-on-one with Leighton Baines in the box. Joel Robles came out of the net and smothered the ball, taking down Sterling as well with no call from referee Mark Clattenburg. They had another on 25 minutes as de Bruyne again from the left sent a spectacular ball to the far post where David Silva was waiting all alone, but Robles was again there to smother it before Silva could get a good shot off.

Everton had fewer chances, but took the one big one it had. After Gael Clichy gave the ball away in midfield, 18-year-old Tom Davies threaded a perfect through-ball to Mirallas, and his square pass across the box to Lukaku allowed the Belgian to simply touch home.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

After going down, City continued to pummel the Everton goal. Sterling unleashed a vicious one from outside the box that went just wide on 38 minutes. Manchester City finished with a massive 71% possession, but nothing to show for it.

Out of halftime, Everton stunned the visitors straight away. Yaya Toure gave the ball away this time, and Ross Barkley fed Mirallas who hit into the far corner just past a sliding John Stones, just 62 seconds into the second half, leaving Pep Guardiola staring straight into the ground.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Changes were rung past the hour mark, as Guardiola replaced Pablo Zabaleta with striker Kelechi Iheanacho, while Ronald Koeman brought on Morgan Schneiderlin for his Everton debut, but it was another first that put an exclamation mark on the game as the 18-year-old Davies picked up his first Premier League goal with a smart finish dinked over a charging Claudio Bravo.

They’d get a fourth in laughable fashion, through 19-year-old Ademola Lookman on his Premier League debut. John Stones, in an attempt to clear the ball, fired it against Seamus Coleman. The ball caromed back into the box straight into the path of Lookman, who hit through the legs of Claudio Bravo and into the back of the net.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

The Everton win brings them up to 33 points, although the gap between their 7th place and Manchester United in 6th is still a large six points with the Red Devils still yet to play. Manchester City, meanwhile, drops a full 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, while they remain outside the top four, two back of both Liverpool and Arsenal.

Report: USMNT’s Arriola drawing transfer interest abroad, in MLS

AP Photo/LM Otero
Leave a comment

Paul Arriola’s motor was constantly running as the United States men’s national team claimed its sixth Gold Cup title, and it could drive him all the way from Club Tijuana to Europe or a prime spot on an MLS roster.

There’s a snag, though.

[ MORE: Everton wins Europa opener ]

Arriola is reportedly wanted by Real Salt Lake and clubs in both the Netherlands and Portugal, but the LA Galaxy has what Goal.com describes a “dubious homegrown player” claim on Arriola, who participated in a minimal of practices with the Galaxy when he was younger.

As you’ll see below, there isn’t much “homegrown” about it and, to its critics, it is peak MLS monopolized tomfoolery. Here’s how Goal describes it:

“He was already a U.S. youth national team player when he traveled the 120 miles from Chula Vista to take part in a handful of training sessions with the LA Galaxy academy and eventually the Galaxy first team.

“The Galaxy are believed to hold a homegrown player claim on Arriola, and would have the right of first refusal on making Arriola an offer if he comes to MLS. The Galaxy’s current salary-cap situation might not allow them to make a serious bid for Arriola.”

But… here’s how the Galaxy described his choosing to sign for TJ instead of a pro deal from LA in 2013:

“It’s a little disappointing,” Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday. “He went through our system, we offered him a contract and he decided to move on and go somewhere else. But that’s going to happen. It’s something that has happened before, and it’s something that will happen again.”

Arriola’s response in the same article? “I thank the Galaxy for giving me a wonderful opportunity to train with their first team and be a part of their first team which really taught me a lot.” That doesn’t read as much like he “went through their system.” He played in at least one U-18 game, debuting in October 2012, did more training with TJ in December 2012, and signed for the Mexican side in May 2013.

Should that qualify him as Homegrown?

https://www.transfermarkt.com/paul-arriola/leistungsdaten/spieler/189876

Did Arriola spent significant time with LA, or is it possible the Galaxy might reap rewards from having an already established youth national teamer to practice when he was a kid? Whether you’re okay with that or not, consider that it encourages clubs to pilfer rights without actually registering or training the player.

Not to mention there is no guarantee that playing in the Netherlands or Portugal will be better for his development than MLS. Benfica or Ajax and potential action in European tournaments? Maybe. NAC Breda or Tondela? Maybe not.

Nevermind the quagmire that is American youth soccer clubs’ not earning money from transfer fees, the Arriola drama seems baseless. We don’t know the Galaxy will hold the player hostage, but they would actually be depriving MLS of a talent, as LA would theoretically get nothing should TJ sell him to a European club.

In any event, check out Arriola’s use chart from Tijuana and you’ll see why he’s valued by Bruce Arena as well as his suitors. He’s a Swiss Army Knife. Here’s hoping Tinseltown doesn’t stop him from a proper next step (assuming he’s ready to leave Liga MX).