A thunderous atmosphere greeted the Everton players for the first home game of the season, as Watford made the trip to Merseyside. Jean-Philippe Gbamin made his first start for the Blues, in place of the suspended Schneiderlin.

Similarly to the previous week, Everton began the game energetically and this time took advantage of their dominance when Bernard capitalised on Lucas Digne’s exquisite long ball and was away from the Hornets’ back-line. As he reached the penalty area and was closed down, the Brazilian cut inside and hit a low shot at the near post that took a nick off of Watford defence Craig Dawson and ripped into the back of the net. Everton had a 1-0 lead after ten minutes.

It was a lead they managed to hold on to until the end of the game, despite Watford chances. Dawson came close with a header that struck the crossbar later in the first half and in the second, Troy Deeney was one-on-one with Jordan Pickford but the English keeper was able to save the shot with his head! Everton also had several chances after Moise Kean was brought on at 72 minutes and the Italian had two good chances that were just off target.

It wasn’t exactly a commanding victory for the Toffees but it was a comfortable one that kept the ball rolling for the season and kept up Everton’s run of clean sheets at Goodison that stretched from the beginning of February.

17th August 2019 – Premier League

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