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Everton vs MFK Ruzomberok a few quick thoughts

  • Everton’s Europa League exploits got off to a winning start at Goodison Park last night
  • It was hardly a classic performance in front of a relatively sparse attendance but Ronald Koeman will no doubt be delighted that his side take an advantage going into next week’s return leg
  • On this evidence alone, Everton will not threaten the top six but the result does show that life after Romelu Luaku does go on
  • Keep in mind though that this is a team that added a whole host of new faces and will take a little time to click
  • One of those new faces was the returning Wayne Rooney who cut something of a peripheral figure when leading the line
  • That said his contribution was more impressive when he dropped into a midfield role
  • Whether that means that he will not be playing in an advanced position when we reach the start of the season remains to be seen
  • But on last night’s evidence Everton still need to go someway to plugging the large void that Lukaku has left
  • In a game that at times resembled just a step up from a pre-season encounter the home side were dominant in possession but largely frustrated in the opening 45 minutes
  • For all of Rooney’s endeavour up top it was largely ineffectual and you did feel that a change of personnel was going to be needed if the Toffees were to get the breakthrough
  • Sandro Ramirez was introduced just after the hour with the former Malaga man charged with turning the game and giving Everton the lead that they deserved
  • Just four minutes after his arrival that it is exactly what happened, although it was not a debutant but a club stalwart who finally broke the deadlock
  • There was a large slice of fortune behind the goal but Leighton Baines will have absolutely no complaints whatsoever
  • His well struck shot from the edge of the area took a huge deflection and left the Ruzomberok goalkeeper flat footed as the ball fizzed past him
  • First blood Everton as they finally got their just desserts
  • That would be all in terms of goals as a less than vintage performance came to a close
  • Ronald Koeman and the home fans in attendance cannot have too many complaints although it seems pertinent that more striking power is required
  • That in addition to the protracted chase for Gylfi Sigurdssson would indicate that the new faces coming to the club have not yet come to a close this summer
  • The tie is evenly poised but you would imagine that there is more than enough quality to see them through to the play-off round
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