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Mason Holgate signs new five-year deal with Everton

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23-year-old Everton defender Mason Holgate has signed a new five-year deal that will keep him under team control through the summer of 2025, the club announced on Tuesday.

After riding the bench for the first nine Premier League games of the season, Holgate took over for Michael Keane and has started all but one of the 19 league games since.

“This is my fifth year at Everton and my development as a person and a player in that period has been massive,” Holgate told the official club release. “The direction the Club is going, it is a great Club to be at and I am really excited about it. We want to move to the next step and push for bigger and better things. I want to win things – and winning some silverware is where I see us. It is definitely a positive time to be here and I am looking forward to seeing how far we can go.”

Arriving at Everton from Barnsley in the summer of 2015 for just under $2 million, Holgate has risen through the Everton ranks, making his Premier League debut in August of 2016 to begin what would be a breakout campaign where he would register 18 league appearances. He made 15 appearances the next season before falling out of the squad thanks to the arrival of loanee Kurt Zouma. He was eventually loaned out to West Brom in January of 2019 to get playing time, and has returned with a renewed importance.

Holgate has drawn outside interest in the transfer market, with The Athletic reporting back in January that talks for an extension were taking place but both Wolves and Sheffield United were circling, and reports elsewhere have indicated even Manchester City has taken note. An appealing part of Holgate’s game is his positional flexibility that allows him to play at left-back, right-back, or defensive midfield despite seeming most comfortable at his natural center-back slot.

Wild VAR ending leaves Everton, Man Utd level

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bruno Fernandes traded first-half goals in a 1-1 draw between Everton and Manchester United on Sunday at Goodison Park.

Carlo Ancelotti was shown a red card after the final whistle for protesting a disallowed stoppage-time own goal from Harry Maguire.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Jordan Pickford‘s late double save kept the point with the Goodison Park side.

United remains fifth with 42 points, three back of Chelsea and eight behind Leicester City.

Everton’s 37 points are good for 11th, behind Arsenal on goal differential.


Three things we learned

1. VAR rules out Maguire own goal: Brutal stuff from Harry Maguire here — what are you trying to do, guy? — but VAR had the final word. There is plenty of room for debate as to whether there is a clear and obvious error in the call on the field of a goal.

David De Gea made a great initial save on what was always going to be an embarrassing day for him after a third-minute error. Calvert-Lewin’s tame shot was turned inside the near post by Maguire, and a prone and offside Gylfi Sigurdsson withdrew his feet to allow the ball inside the post.

There are three big questions here: Did Sigurdsson interfere with the play? Was De Gea going to be able to get to the ball? And why is Sigurdsson just sitting on the pitch with the match in the balance?

2. Pickford’s incredible save saves point: Pickford disappointed on Fernandes’ opener, but he stopped the show when he blocked the Portuguese’s 90th-minute shot to Odion Ighalo at the back post. Ighalo helped by pushing the shot toward the center of the goal, where Pickford reacted brilliantly to keep the score line 1-1.

3. Classic tale of two halves: United’s first-half response to De Gea’s mistake was masterful. The Red Devils had almost everything to say about the half, and did almost nothing but defend in the second.

Look at the graph of “attack momentum” from Sofascore. The Toffees had nothing going for the vast majority of the first half, and flipped a switch just before halftime.

Man of the Match: Calvert-Lewin and Fernandes were the difference makers, and we’ll give the nod to DCL for his hard-luck ending. Sorry, Bruno. Great goal, though.


David De Gea and Dominic Calvert-Lewin featured twice in the first five minutes.

The Manchester United took way too much time on the ball and hoofed his clearance into the leaping Calvert-Lewin, whose block bounded into the Red Devils goal for 1-0.

And a Michael Keane long ball met Calvert-Lewin in stride, but De Gea got a piece of the striker’s outside-of-the-boot bid to double the lead.

Nemanja Matic struck a loose ball off the Everton crossbar soon after as the match started with vigor.

The momentum and flow was on United’s side when Fernandes lashed a pretty swerving shot that fooled Jordan Pickford. Hashtag HeWillWantThatBack.

The half became more notable for fouls than chances, though Richarlison missed a bid to head a Leighton Baines cross home in the stoppage time.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Gylfi Sigurdsson spun a free kick off the near post as Everton sought a go-ahead goal.

The Toffees had the better of the first 20 minutes in the second half, and Richarlison earned a corner off De Gea in the 65th.

De Gea denied Calvert-Lewin four minutes later, the striker sufficiently closed down by Maguire.

United finally got a breath on a 77th-minute charge that Leighton Baines put out for a corner.

Fernandes forced a low save out of Pickford as Everton spent a few minutes down a man due to an injury to Djibril Sidibe.

Pickford’s double save in stoppage time set up Calvert-Lewin for an apparent winner when Maguire deflected a shot past his own keeper, but VAR ruled that a prone and offside Gylfi Sigurdsson interfered with play.

Carlo Ancelotti was displeased, and will not be on the sideline for a while.

Everton: What was different, and what’s the way forward?

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Everton got off the mat in style on Saturday, three days after a mistake-filled 5-2 loss to its Merseyside rivals.

While that loss wasn’t necessarily as bad as it looked on the score board, it was wretched at the back and enough to warrant a change at manager.

[ RECAP: Everton shock poor Chelsea ]

Duncan Ferguson took the reins at Goodison Park, and things were much improved in a 3-1 defeat of Chelsea.

What was different? Plenty, though most came in the form of personnel performances rather than changes (Also, Chelsea was terrible, but that negates little for an Everton side which had been insipid against inferior competition to Saturday’s visitors).

1) The Formation: Duncan Ferguson opted for a straight-forward 4-2-3-1 that often came closer to your traditional 4-4-2. The Toffees hemorrhaged possession but pounded away at the Chelsea attackers and counted on their swift, talented attackers to do their damage with limited chances. Call it the Newcastle United model. With Chelsea a bit off, it played out perfectly for Ferguson.

“Who knows? A new face, a new voice, a new message, who knows? These things just happen in football and the players give a reaction when they lose a manager.

“I think that’s right. What we really need at this club is the work ethic, the team really needs to work their absolute socks off. The fans really got behind us and believe me that gets you an extra goal.”

2) The Force: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, given the stage and his track record, had the game of his life. That’s not exaggeration. The 22-year-old had six shots, two goals, and won 10 aerial battles. That’s exactly what’s required given the formation and tactics outlined in Point No. 1. After scoring three goals in four matches a month ago, “DCL” had been very poor and flubbed his chances against Liverpool. This was a beauty, and Calvert-Lewin was clearly playing for his coach.

“It was a massive game for us and I have a very close relationship with Duncan. He has stuck by me for the three years I have known him. The most important thing was to go out and give 100%.”

I mean, that’s always the most important thing, but we can’t blame a 22-year-old for trading on the cliche market.

3) Other changes: Ferguson took a risk in deploying Morgan Schneiderlin over Tom Davies. The former had been one of the Toffees worst statistical players this year, while Davies is a hometown kid who had admittedly been very poor for the better part of a month. Schneiderlin wasn’t great in passing, but was steadier than the kid and won six tackles. When Davies came into the match, he wasn’t great but was more advanced and his lone positive contribution was a big one:

Yerry Mina missed the match through injury, which may’ve played a role in Ferguson’s decision to go to four at the back, but the difference in defense was down to both Mason Holgate and Michael Keane playing dramatically better. Keane especially, having not been credited with a single tackle in the loss to Everton.

We should save some space for Jordan Pickford, whose passing stats suffered from a directive to “get the ball out of there ASAP” but registered three saves in an improved performance. Pickford hasn’t been steady for his club — incredible against West Ham, terrible versus Liverpool and Brighton, and if he can eliminate the bad days and be just a bit above average he can be a big difference. Steadier work from the backs will help that.

And really that’s what will fix the Toffees. The attack hasn’t been amazing but it hasn’t been relegation worthy. And frankly the backs have not been awful, allowing the third-fewest attempts per match in the league, but have been prone to absolutely horrendous mistakes that left Pickford on an island. The less the keeper is in damage control, the higher Everton can rise.

4) So Big Dunc? Given the immediate road ahead, Ferguson’s approach and passion could give the club the leeway to wait a few weeks to make sure it hires a steady, experienced hand considering their long-term goals. Ferguson might be a name for the future, but as we outlined earlier this week… European spots remain there for the taking! Their next few matches provide chances to directly affect teams above them, with Manchester United at Old Trafford and Arsenal visiting Goodison. There’s also an opportunity to beat Leicester City and get to a League Cup semifinal.

Those are two routes to Europe right in front of the Toffees. Ferguson’s Brucian (or Benitezian) tactics and system can give them a chance to get two or three points from the league matches, and certainly can be enough to out-duel the Foxes at home. And you might say, so maybe he’s the man! Don’t look past what the club means to him. But in the long run, the talent and ambition of Everton needs a sustained system that isn’t just about “grinding it out.” Maybe Ferguson can supply that but is that a risk to take now, with Arsenal, Manchester United, and Spurs all wobbling in ways you wouldn’t expect in a given season? A commitment to working hard is just the first step to success.

Christian Pulisic watch: How did USMNT star perform?

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How did USMNT star Christian Pulisic perform in Chelsea’s defeat at Everton?

He was marked tightly throughout the game and will have quite a few lumps and bruises when he wakes up on Sunday…

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Pulisic, 21, received high praise from his manager Frank Lampard after his recent performances as he believes he can reach the top level on the planet. Stop salivating, USMNT fans…

Here’s a look at how he performed against Everton, in a tough outing for the Blues and Pulisic.


2nd minute: Cesar Azpilicueta overhits a ball to him in the box as Pulisic can’t get on the end of it.

3rd minute: A ball into the box almost finds his run but Everton manage to crowd him out.

17th minute: Struggling to get into the game as Everton’s full back and wide players pushed forward. Spent most of his time defending.

20th minute: Almost got on the end of a great chance for Chelsea. Michael Keane gave the ball away and Willian and Tammy Abraham couldn’t get the ball to Pulisic.

24th minute: A run from Pulisic wins a corner for Chelsea.

25th minute: Lurking in the six yard box and a ball towards him from Kovacic was flicked over by Willian as Chelsea struggled to get going in attack.

30th minute: Lovely skill from Pulisic to nutmeg Gylfi Sigurdsson then play in Willian who crosses for Abraham. Chelsea’s leading goalscorer can’t convert. Better from Pulisic, and Chelsea.

40th minute: Pulisic cuts in down the left but his ball into the box is blocked.

45th minute: A first half of frustration for Pulisic as he was pinned back early and then roamed around the final third trying to get on the ball, but Chelsea did push their way back into the game.

50th minute: Pulisic loses the ball 40 yards from his own goal, then Zouma shanks a clearance into the air which eventually finds Dominic Calvert-Lewin who makes it 2-0 to Everton. A comedy of errors from Chelsea.

60th minute: Gets some space in the far left corner but his cross is easily cleared by Everton’s defense.

63rd minute: Tries to dribble free in the box but is tackled. Pulisic throws his arms in the air in frustration.

69th minute: Launches a breakaway for Chelsea but is clattered into by Sidibe to win a free kick for his team.

70th minute: Moments later he fouls Sidibe, although it looked like Pulisic got an arm in the face. He complains about the foul and isn’t happy at all with the referee.

76th minute: Fouled by Sidibe on the edge of the box, but he had handled the ball moments early. More frustration for Pulisic.

80th minute: Pulisic again goes down but no free kick is given. He is furious with the referee as he is on the floor.

88th minute: Ran towards goal and clipped a lovely ball into the strikers. Then sent a tame header at the back post right at Pickford and that about summed up his day at Everton.

93rd minute: A speculative effort from distance which was well wide.

96th minute: A foul throw in front of the Chelsea fans which sums up his day.

Fired up Everton shock Chelsea

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Everton beat Chelsea 3-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday as the Toffees reacted superbly to manager Marco Silva being fired in midweek.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Goals early in each half from Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin set them on their way to a massive three points for Everton as Chelsea wasted several glorious chances. Mateo Kovacic grabbed their lone goal to make it interesting, but Calvert-Lewin scored late on amid glorious celebrations from caretaker boss, and former Everton star striker, Duncan Fergsuon.

With the win Everton momentarily move out of the bottom three and have 17 points, while Chelsea lost for the second time in the last three PL games and remain in fourth but may only be three points clear of fifth-place a the end of the weekend.


3 things we learned

1. Ferguson’s bravery pays off: As a player Duncan Ferguson was totally committed and Everton’s caretaker boss received a performance from his players which would have made him proud. He set Everton up in an aggressive 4-4-2 formation with plenty of attacking talents and it worked. Chelsea couldn’t get out of their own half early in each half, and strong, committed defending rattled the Blues. Everton showed signs that Ferguson may be the man they’ve been looking for. He certainly fired up their talented but recently lackluster squad.

2. Clean sheets biggest issue for Chelsea: Four clean sheets in 24 games in all competitions this season isn’t good enough for a team which wants to finish in the top four. Frank Lampard had a face like thunder when Everton went 2-0 up as Chelsea were their own worst enemies time and time again. No team in the PL’s top 10 have conceded more goals than Chelsea so far this season. Tomori and Rudiger were missed as Christensen and Zouma were bullied by Everton’s attack. It’s a familiar story for Chelsea.

3. Physicality too much for Pulisic: He’s had an incredible few months for Chelsea but Pulisic was clearly targeted by the Everton defense on Saturday. The USMNT winger was clattered time and time again and was left on the floor on many occasions. He battled hard but was given no time or space on the ball. He will now be receiving special treatment like this every time he steps on the pitch in the PL.

Man of the Match: Dominic Calvert-Lewin – A real handful for the Chelsea defense as he battered them and scored twice. Led the line superbly and imitated what Duncan Fergsuon used to do. Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic scored a really good goal and ran the show in central midfield and he didn’t deserve to be on the losing team, but this was DLC’s day.


The Toffees got off to a perfect start as Richarlison scored with the first meaningful effort of the game.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin set up the move and ball was pushed to the right where Djibril Sidibe crossed for Richarlison to head home. Goodison went wild as Big Duncan Ferguson galloped down the touchline in celebration.

The Toffees almost doubled their lead as Theo Walcott crossed for Richarlison but the Brazilian couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Soon after Calvert-Lewin had a great chance but he never looked confident as Kepa saved it.

Chelsea were almost handed a way back into the game as Michael Keane gave the ball away inside his own box but Tammy Abraham and Willian failed to make the most of a glorious opportunity.

Pulisic then nutmegged Gylfi Sigurdsson to set up Willian who crossed for Abraham but Chelsea’s leading goalscorer couldn’t convert as the visitors finally woke up with Mason Mount crossing moments later but Abraham couldn’t get on the end of it. Mason Holgate then blocked Mount’s shot as Everton battened down the hatches.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The second half continued at the same incredible tempo as Everton doubled their lead within a few minutes after having a couple of chances. Kurt Zouma‘s clearance caused havoc in his own box and Calvert-Lewin won the ball back and slotted home. Pandemonium at Goodison as VAR checked and confirmed there was no handball by DLC.

Moments later Everton almost made it 3-0 but Richarlison’s effort was saved by Kepa, and then Chelsea were back in it.

Azpilicueta’s run into the box saw the ball eventually find Kovacic on the edge of the box and his shot towards goal went in. VAR checked that Abraham hadn’t interfered from an offside position and he goal stood.

The chances kept coming for both teams as Everton were eager to put the game to bed as Walcott raced clear but Kepa saved at the near post.

Chelsea looked in control as the final moments arrived as the excellent Kovacic ran at goal but smashed just wide and then Mount blazed a great opportunity high and wide after Kovacic again pulled the strings.

Substitute Tom Davies got his header all wrong as Everton tried to wrap up the victory, with Jordan Pickford brilliantly denying Azpilicueta at the other end.

Calvert-Lewin then bundled home as Ferguson ran down the sidelines amid jubilant scenes as an Everton hero secured a massive win on his managerial debut.