Everton – Watford: Two Evenly Matched Premier League Sides Play Out Thrilling Draw (2-2)
Everton took a controversial early lead, before Watford battled fiercely to turn this game on its head. A late equalizer by the home side put the cap on a thoroughly enjoyable Premier League match, during which both teams were able to show what they are made of.
Tactical analysis and match report by Martyn Davis.
Judging by their strong performances so far, Everton and Watford look like two sides that should be fighting for a place in the Premier League’s top half of the table. A glance at their Expected Goal numbers reveals similarity in quality. You can explore these advanced statistics for all teams on our stats page. Both look roughly the same defensively, while Everton appear slightly better going forward.
Going into this match, Everton’s manager Marco Silva brought on Michael Keane for Kurt Zouma in central defense, as well as introducing some new faces up front. Cenk Tosun and Ademola Lookman made way for Theo Walcott and Bernard.
Compared to Watford’s narrow defeat to Manchester City, Javi Gracia made two changes to his starting eleven. Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah were replaced by Domingos Quina and Ken Sema. Watford also switched formation: from a 4-3-3 shape, back to their usual 4-2-2-2 formation.
Fluid Everton control early phases
Everton lined up in a 4-2-3-1 shape that allowed fluid movement and combination play. Technician Bernard cut inside from the left, allowing Lucas Digne to bomb up the flank and put crosses in, while Walcott tended to start . . .