Seamus Coleman’s dismissal proved costly as Everton lost 1-0 to Burnley in what may be Marco Silva’s final game at the Toffees helm.
Alex Iwobi came close to breaking the deadlock as his low effort took a wicked deflection off of Ben Mee, the ball skimming just wide of the near-post, with Nick Pope completely wrong-footed in the Clarets goal.
The hosts began to gain momentum after Jordan Pickford’s instinctive save from Jeff Hendrick at a corner. They twice threatened to slice through Everton in the minutes that followed the goalkeeper’s low block, yet Yerry Mina was on hand to clear the danger on both occasions.
Dwight McNeil’s goal-line clearance prevented Silva’s men from grabbing a scrappy opener, with teammate Matthew Lowton the next player to make a critical block as Iwobi failed to sweep home from eight-yards out.
Coleman – who was fortunate to avoid a straight red card for an earlier challenge – received his marching orders soon after the restart, the Irishman careering into McNeil’s head with his shoulder to earn himself a second yellow.
With time running out, Burnley replicated the corner routine that led to Hendrick’s near miss in the first 45, only this time the midfielder was able to provide the finishing touch as he rifled in a delightful volley at the back stick.
Key Talking Point
It wasn’t pretty stuff from the Clarets, but then again it never really is. That doesn’t matter and Sean Dyche won’t care, as their rigidity and organisation have kept them in the Premier League for four straight seasons and should ensure they have a fifth next term.
They deserved all three points against a low-on-confidence, depleted Everton outfit, with their long-ball, domineering game-plan eventually baring fruit via the boot of Hendrick.
If they continue to frustrate visitors at Turf Moor and nick the odd victory, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be battling relegation come Easter time.
Starting XI: Pope (6); Lowton (7), Tarkowski (8), Mee (7), Pieters (6); Gudmundsson (6), Hendrick (7), Westwood (6), McNeil (7); Wood (8*), Barnes (7).
Substitutes: Lennon (5), Taylor (7), Rodriguez (6).
STAR MAN – Chris Wood
The Wood-Barnes axis was – as per usual – working wonderfully against the Merseysiders. Though they were unable to get a goal for themselves, the pair continued to link well and cause problems.
It was the New Zealander’s neat passing and proficiency in the air that launched most of Burnley’s attacks, Barnes often the man to profit from Wood’s smart, selfless play.
Imagine being up at 1am to watch this. 臘♂️臘♂️ #BUREVE
— Ryan Reynolds (@Reynolds_R) October 5, 2019
Dwight McNeil is getting some joy down the left hand side driving at Seamus Coleman but his deliveries have yet to find Wood or Barnes so far. #twitterclarets
— Andy Jones (@adjones_journo) October 5, 2019
Key Talking Point
Toothless, absolutely toothless. Silva’s reign at Everton must be coming to an end soon rather than later after his recruits once again struggled to break down the opposition.
Now, he cannot be blamed for the shoddy finishing that was on show at Turf Moor, but the Spaniard is nonetheless failing to get any fluid play out of his side.
They can knock the ball about in the centre-circle until the cows come home, it’ll do little to get them on the scoresheet. No wonder their goals-to-game ratio stands at less than one per match in the top-flight this year.
Starting XI: Pickford (7); Coleman (4), Mina (8*), Keane (6), Digne (6); Delph (7), Schneiderlin (5); Richarlison (5), Sigurdsson (4), Iwobi (5); Calvert-Lewin (5).
Substitutes: Sidibe (4), Gomes (6), Kean (5).
STAR MAN – Yerry Mina
The attack is dreadful from the Toffees, which makes their defensive solidity all the more important. Much of the backline’s strength on Saturday was thanks to the work of Mina, who was powerless to stop his side being undone by a clever set-piece play.
He’s a monstrous centre-back, yet physical prowess is not all the Colombian offers. His reading of the game and awareness of the movement from Burnley’s frontmen ensured his side stayed in the contest.
Mina and Pickford keeping us in the game atm
— Everton Montreal (@EvertonMontreal) October 5, 2019