Tom Davies

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What now? Everton’s Davies cheers on American juco

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It’s a small world, this footballing one.

It’s also not every day a Premier League player tosses out best wishes to a junior college in the United States of America.

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So it raised our eyebrows when Everton youngster Tom Davies, he of the 19 appearances this season, proffered a shoutout to the Indian Hills Community College men’s soccer team ahead of its NJCAA Tournament debut on Tuesday.

It turns out IHCC sophomore midfielder Adam Garner’s quite close with Davies’ older brother Liam, a left midfielder at National League side Chester FC.

“Basically I grew up with his brother,” said Garner, who’s played 20 matches this season for IHCC. “Tom’s only two years younger. I started to get to know him really well on a holiday with his family when he was 16. Since then, him and his brother have been like my best mates.”

Garner was taken aback after his freshman season, when he returned to home in December to find his buddy Tom’s career had exploded during the festive season. And as an Everton supporter, Garner’s witnessed his friend become one of the players on his favorite club.

“It’s my second year here,” Garner said. “When he broke through, it was when I went home at Christmas. I didn’t realize how big he’d become, so it was kinda mind-blowing.”

So while Garner’s supporting Everton, Davies has some love for coach Jon Fridal’s Warriors. IHCC won its first tournament match 1-0 over Louisburg and can advance to the semifinals with a win over Tyler College on Wednesday.

“We had a goal at the beginning of the season, and after last year our coach improved the squad a lot,” Garner said. “With the qualities brought in, we just took it game-by-game.”

Everton 2-1 Bournemouth: Niasse the hero

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  • Niasse scores first PL goals for Everton
  • King gave Bournemouth lead
  • Everton’s first win in five

Everton battled back to beat Bournemouth 2-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday with Josh King‘s strike canceled out by two Oumar Niasse goals.

The Cherries took the lead early in the second half but substitute Niasse made it three goals in two games for the Toffees as the former Hull loanee has been brought in from the cold by Ronald Koeman.

With the win Everton move on to seven points, while Bournemouth have now lost five of their opening six games.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

Wayne Rooney suffered a nasty injury as Bournemouth’s skipper Simon Francis elbowed him in the eye as a ball looped into the box.

No penalty kick was given and Rooney had to receive treatment as blood poured out of a wound above his left eye.

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Aside from that injury to Rooney neither side created clear cut chances as Everton’s fans started to get restless.

Those groans grew as Bournemouth took the lead four minutes into the second half.

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Charlie Daniels picked up the ball on the left and played it into King who ran towards goal and Everton’s defense opened up for him to drill a low shot into the bottom corner.

Jermain Defoe then had a glorious chance but Jordan Pickford saved well down low with his feet.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Tom Davies and Niasse came on for Rooney and Davy Klaassen to try and get Everton back into the game and that’s exactly what they did.

First Mason Holgate had a header cleared spectacularly off the line from Andrew Surman and then Davies played in Niasse superbly with the Senegalese striker smashing home to make it 1-1.

He did it again late on as a shot from Davies was blocked and the ball looped into the air and Niasse prodded home to send Goodison wild.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin almost added another late on from close range but the Toffees held on to secure their first win since the opening day of the season.

Manchester United 4-0 Everton: Red Devils ruin Rooney return

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  • Lukaku goal, assist, celebration
  • Valencia scores stunner (video)
  • Toffees continue road woes
  • Martial, Mkhitaryan also score

Ex-Everton striker Romelu Lukaku helped ruin Wayne Rooney‘s return to Old Trafford, picking up a goal and an assist against his former team as Manchester United topped Everton 4-0 on Sunday.

Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored for United, which has the joint-most points in the league but sits behind Man City by alphabetical order alone.

Starting up top, Rooney provided several clearcut chances for Everton, but Lukaku had an assist before punching in an 89th minute goal and celebrating wildly at Old Trafford.

The ex-Toffees striker was also a threat, picking up a late assist, and will rue chipping a simple finish wide of the goal in the first half.

Everton is now winless in 11-straight away PL matches, a league-high, and remains 17th with four points.

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Jordan Pickford didn’t have much of a chance on Valencia’s wonderful opener. A quick free kick was played short to Nemanja Matic, who hit a ball across the arc of the 18 for Valencia to smash home.

Romelu Lukaku snapped into action against his former club as the match neared the 20-minute mark, just shades away from providing a goal or assist as United looked to build on its lead.

That’s when Rooney nearly tied it up. Playing up top, he cut Cuco Martina‘s pass across his body but wide of the far post.

Lukaku then let Everton off the hook when he opened up 1v1 with Pickford and shot it wide of the far post.

Tom Davies was rightly deemed offside on a 29th minute chance that ended up in the back of the goal.

With all the focus on Lukaku, it was another former Toffee who nearly made it 2-0 when Marouane Fellaini challenged Pickford for a 50-50 ball but saw his effort miss the mark.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Rooney almost bulled his way to an equalizer in the second half’s first minute, sliding to win a shot that De Gea blocked with his right leg.

A Pickford giveaway led United to a free kick and Ashley Williams to a yellow card when the defender shouldered Juan Mata to turf in the 63rd minute.

Mata’s left-footed free kick wrapped around the wall to clank off the post, and United couldn’t do anything with the ensuing corner.

Left back Ashley Young set Jesse Lingard up for a left-footed chance, but the attacker’s shot was rushed by Ashley Williams and skied over the frame.

Williams stopped Lingard from getting full purchase on a point blank shot in the 78th minute, but no penalty call arrived after Pickford stooped to collect the tame effort.

Mkhitaryan provided the much-sought equalizer in the 84th minute with Williams giving the ball away to Lukaku, who cued up the ex-BVB man for a finish past Pickford.

That’s when Lukaku scored, continuing United’s penchant for piling on late goals. And Morgan Schneiderlin gave away a penalty to Anthony Martial that the Frenchman finished to make it 4-0.

Three things we learned from Chelsea’s win vs. Everton

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LONDON — Chelsea had fun in the west London sun on Sunday as they breezed past a jaded Everton side 2-0.

[ MORE: Chelsea, Everton reveal transfer plans ]

First half goals from Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata did the business for Antonio Conte‘s side who put in their best display of the embryonic Premier League season to right the ship ahead of the international break.

The reigning champs are almost back to their best.

Here’s what we learned from Stamford Bridge.


CHELSEA’S RAPID RECOVERY

Whether they were actually hurtling towards another season of turmoil can be debated, but the signs were not good for Chelsea over preseason and early in the campaign.

Things looked a lot better for Antonio Conte in the bright sunshine at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Those reports of him being the favorite to be the next PL boss to leave his position and Chelsea seeking out Thomas Tuchel to replace him all seem rather silly now.

On Sunday they showed why there are the reigning Premier League champions in a dominant display despite still missing plenty of key players like Eden Hazard, Gary Cahill and Diego Costa.

This recovery has been a rapid one.

On the opening day they lost 3-2 to Burnley in a bizarre game where they went down to nine men. They followed that up by beating Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley in a gritty, yet truncated display.

This performance suggested the Blues are back to their best and they could have won by a more comfortable margin had Morata, Pedro and Victor Moses converted second half chances.

Chelsea have recovered rapidly from what many were calling an early-season meltdown. In the final days of the transfer window it appears they will strengthen further with a tough UEFA Champions League group stage challenge coming up, but with star players to return and new signings Tiemoue Bakayoko, Morata and Antonio Rudiger settling in well, things are slowly but surely coming together for Chelsea.


STATIC MORATA DELIVERING

With two goals and two assists, all with his head, in his first two Premier League home games it is safe to say Alvaro Morata is settling in rather well at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s most-expensive signing took time to adapt after arriving from Real Madrid for $96.5 million in July but he was given a standing ovation as he was subbed off late on in Sunday’s win.

The scary thing is that Morata has plenty of room for improvement.

He doesn’t charge around like Diego Costa up top and Conte cajoled his Spanish international striker on multiple occasions to try and close down Everton’s defense when they had the ball.

Morata is arguably a much better finisher than Costa and his ability in the air is well-suited to Chelsea’s game with crosses coming in from Marcos Alonso, Willian, Pedro and Fabregas.

As he came off Morata looked either slightly miffed at being substituted or perhaps it was disappointment in his own display.

That proves he knows he can deliver a better all-around performance but while he irons out the kinks and gets used to leading the line in the PL it won’t do him any harm to keep scoring and assisting.


EVERTON’S STRIKER SHORTAGE

Everton boss Ronald Koeman cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines as Stamford Bridge sweltered in the afternoon sun.

His Toffees looked like a side which had played at Man City on Monday and then in the Europa League on Thursday before traveling back from Split, Croatia. In midfield they were sluggish with Tom Davies and Idrissa Gana Gueye giving the ball away and the former was hooked off at half time.

Jordan Pickford‘s kicking was off and center backs Michael Keane and Ashley Williams collided on more than one occasion as they tried to clear the ball. Simply put, it was an off day for an Everton side who looked to be feeling the effects of three away games in seven days.

Yet up front is where the biggest problem remains for Koeman.

In their first three PL games all they have is Wayne Rooney‘s two goals in his opening two PL games back at Everton. Sandro Ramirez cut an isolated figure up top on his own with Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson in support of him. Rooney was booked and looked agitated throughout as he snatched at a shot and was heckled by the home fans just a few days after announcing his retirement from the English national team. The hope is that Rooney’s England retirement would rejuvenate his club career and provide the goals Everton need to achieve their lofty ambitions.

They will need a lot more than that and reports linking them with an outrageous move for Chelsea’s wantaway striker Diego Costa seem far-fetched but given the financial muscle the Toffees have shown this summer nothing seems too outlandish at Goodison Park right now.

Koeman’s insistence that he still needs a striker in the final four days of the transfer window is legitimate. Rooney teed up Sandro in the second half but the Spaniard hesitated and had his shot blocked when clean through. Sigurdsson and others buzzed around but there was no cutting edge, no real threat up top in a narrow 3-4-2-1 formation for the Toffees.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman are top young talents who possess pace and can possible score 5-10 goals per season, at best. But if Everton are to challenge for the top four, as they hope to, they’ll need more than that.

There is a Lukaku-sized hole in Everton’s attack and no matter how many top-class attacking midfielders they have, they’ve simply lacked a cutting edge in the final third and weren’t near Chelsea’s box often enough.

Wages cut, some paid by Man Utd: The latest on Rooney to Everton

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The latest on Wayne Rooney‘s proposed move back home to Everton is that each new story seems to point toward a near certainty of England’s all-time leading scorer donning the Toffees’ blue.

Rooney, 31, is said to be ready to take a pay cut to help make the move happen, according to Sky Sports, while the BBC says Manchester United could pay part of his wages in addition to letting Rooney walk for no transfer fee.

United is doing almost everything to make the risks of adding Rooney minimal to Everton. While the subplots will remain major should the living legend be unable to make a dent in the Toffees’ plans, the money at least will be less of a hindrance.

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With the move close to happening, Rooney can fully turn his attention to finding his way into Ronald Koeman‘s XI, with big names Sandro Ramirez, Kevin Mirallas, Davy Klaassen, Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin all vying for time in the attack. Ross Barkley is still on the books, too, and Yannick Bolasie should return at some point this season.

Bad news for Rooney fans in the U.S., though, as the longtime England captain looks set to avoid United’s preseason trip to the States.