Liverpool news Everton show Lampard clear progress despite big problem he knows all about PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Everton are going in the right direction, argues Joe Thomas, but patience will be needed after defeat to Chelsea
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Last season Spirit of the Blues was the anthem for Everton's escape from relegation. As all four sides of Goodison Park rocked with the track in the minutes before kick-off and blue flags glittered in the evening summer sunlight the hope was it would now provide the soundtrack for better things to come. If that is to be the case, patience may initially be required. This was a season opener in which Jordan Pickford raised a fist to those tens of thousands who now call him captain after he led the team out. It was a game in which Premier League debutant Nathan Patterson showed glimpses of his pre-season promise. It was a match that saw James Tarkowski, Dwight McNeil and Ruben Vinagre make their Everton debuts and took place as two new midfielders edged closer to bolstering Frank Lampard's squad. One of them, Amadou Onana, posed for pictures with fans as he left the directors' box at half-time. The question now is surely when, not if, the 20-year-old midfielder completes his move from Lille and becomes a Blue. EVERTON RATINGS: Everton player ratings as Alex Iwobi and Patterson impress but two poor ANALYSIS: Everton fans will all be asking same desperate question after Chelsea defeat But this defeat to Chelsea was also a reminder of the work that remains to be done at Everton. They struggled last year for a reason and the sale of Richarlison, who hustled and harried them to a crucial three points in this fixture last season, and the loss of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to another cruel injury, leave a side that has, in Lampard's own words, a "void" in forward options. That was clear in a game in which the hosts competed but just could not find the quality in the final third to score against an opponent that, in Kalidou Koulibaly, boasted a £34m centre back who, after 70 minutes, was replaced by new £60m defender Marc Cucerella. Everton did create chances, they just could not finish them. Anthony Gordon, leading the frontline in Calvert-Lewin's absence, should have been played through on goal in the first half but Demarai Gray could only pick out the final defender as Everton countered. Gordon almost got onto the end of a glorious in-swinging ball from Gray in the early stages and then, in a bright game for the new number 10, he could not quite time a header from a Vitalii Mykolenko cross. Tarkowski spoke of his ability in the opposition box when he signed for Everton and forced a flying save from Edouard Mendy with a header of his own and, in the early stages of the second half, Gray had a shot that flashed across goal after he beat Thiago Silva to the ball but the defender managed a sprawling, last-gasp block. Chelsea had the greater possession in the first-half but Everton, continuing with five at the back and resolute with Alex Iwobi and Abdoulaye Doucoure protecting them, fought well. While Raheem Sterling was a constant menace it was a cruel blow when the visitors won a penalty with the last attack of the opening 45 minutes. Cruel because it came in the stoppage time built up by the break needed for Ben Godfrey to be stretchered off the pitch with a worrying knock that, along with Yerry Mina's enforced second half exit, threatens to continue Everton's injury pain with centre backs into a new season. It was also cruel because it was conceded by Doucoure, who had played so well.
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Related Articles Amadou Onana is at Goodison Park for Everton's game with Chelsea In the Euro 2020 final England's first choice goalkeeper Pickford saved from Jorginho in the penalty shoot-out eventually won by Italy. This time he was sent the wrong way and Chelsea took a lead they did not give up. Everton again fought hard in the second half, almost equalising through that blocked Gray effort. The introduction of Dele Alli nearly led to an equaliser but after controlling a ball from the surging Patterson he was unable to produce a shot. For all that Everton competed, Mendy was rarely troubled. The loss of Richarlison's bite and Calvert-Lewin's presence was just that bit too obvious. Even before Calvert-Lewin's injury undermined Lampard's preparations on the eve of the season this was going to be a difficult start for Everton against a side that can still call itself club champions of the world. But there were signs of progress. This was perhaps most clear in how set-pieces were defended. Corners were a weakness throughout last season and during the summer friendlies but, partly down to the immense defensive work of Mason Holgate, Everton dealt comfortably with an onslaught of 14 of them. Lampard has a squad in transition and which is waiting upon new recruits. No-one at the club is ignorant to the need for re-enforcements and, in Onana at least and surely up top, that will surely soon come. Until they do, patience may be required. The tens of thousands who returned to Goodison Park and the huge crowds who once again created a storm of blue smoke and Spirit of the Blues to welcome the players started this season with hope of better things than last season's struggle. They will go home with Everton's home record already breached. Yet this was an opening day defeat in which there were positives to take. And when set against the wider context of last season and the ongoing efforts to rise from that struggle, progress does appear to be being made. It may just take time - and require patience. READ NEXT Everton player ratings as Alex Iwobi and Patterson impress but two poor Everton fans will all be asking same desperate question after Chelsea defeat Rate the Everton players after their 1-0 loss against Chelsea Amadou Onana is at Goodison Park for Everton's game with Chelsea Yerry Mina injured again as Everton lose second centre-back against Chelsea
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