Brilliant Beto – Everton new boy saves the day!
Everton fans were saved another miserable night as their new star striker, Beto, produced a scintillating second-half display.
The second round of the EFL Carabao Cup ended in entertaining fashion on Wednesday night, with some standout results such as a Blackburn Rovers’ 8-0 thumping of Harrogate Town and Stoke City’s impressive 6-1 victory over Rotherham United.
Everton, however, almost fell victim to an upset as they visited League Two side Doncaster Rovers…
Hosts Doncaster Rovers began the second round tie in quick, aggressive fashion as they looked to put their Premier League visitors to the sword early on.
Their aim was evident early doors, as they looked to create width and stretch Everton’s midfield and defence as they relied on dangerous crosses to provide their goal scoring chances. The home side produced five accurate crosses in the first half of the game, as well as utilising set-pieces well.
Despite only 31% of their crosses hitting their target, Doncaster managed to make good on their tactics as Joe Ironside scored a glancing header after a well-worked corner.
Fortunately for Doncaster, VAR was not in operation, as there were strong claims of a potential offside – to a large degree, Everton allowed Doncaster to play their own way.
Blues manager Sean Dyche seemingly set his side up to play with the wide defenders playing narrow, and instructed them to play long vertical passes into the attacking third, to Portuguese youngster Youssef Chermiti.
They were able to land just 31% of their long balls in the first half, and Chermiti found himself being consistently surrounded by Doncaster players as he struggled to make an impact on the game.
Everton’s performance left fans despairing once again, as Doncaster left the pitch high on confidence. The League Two side ended the half with more expected goals (xG), more shots on goal, and a one-goal lead.
But, things could only get better for the Premier League visitors…
The second half saw the introduction of some much needed quality and energy for Everton, as Lewis Dobbin, Nathan Patterson and Youssef Chermiti made way for the experience of Idrissa Gueye, Ashley Young, and new Portuguese striker Beto – what followed was a shift in the balance, as the Merseyside club were able to dig deep and gradually begin to control the game.
Idrissa Gueye produced a stellar defensive display, winning all of his five ground duels and his sole aerial duel. He also added some much needed composure in midfield, completing four of his five long balls and six passes into the final third.
Ashley Young produced a similarly impressive performance, as he also won all five of his ground duels; as well as completing two of his three long balls and playing five passes into the final third – but, it was an energetic, passionate performance from new boy Beto that caught the eyes of fans.
The new arrival provided an instant shift in the balance of the game, showcasing his immense pace, power, and energy.
Within 45 mins, Beto managed four shots on Doncaster’s goal, scoring his only shot on target before crashing a powerful header off the post. Despite some clumsy moments, the Portuguese striker certainly endeared himself to fans as he caused the opposition defence numerous problems.
Doncaster produced some good chances despite Everton’s growing dominance, but ultimately fell short as Arnaut Danjuma secured Everton’s third round spot with a smart finish into the bottom right corner of Ian Lawlor’s goal.
The game ended in stark contrast to the first half for Everton, as they dominated on xG, shots, big chances, and controlled the game more.
Everton will face Aston Villa at Villa Park in round three of the Carabao Cup, on Tuesday, 26th September.