Everton’s worst start to a Premier League season for 12 years continued as they drew 1-1 with Leeds at Elland Road. Luis Sinisterra scored after the break to cancel out Anthony Gordon’s opener, ensuring Frank Lampard’s side remain winless in the Premier League after five fixtures for the first time since 2010/11.
After a cagey opening quarter of an hour, the Toffees took the lead with the first shot of the match as Gordon raced onto Alex Iwobi’s inch-perfect pass and slotted into the bottom corner. Despite the lack of chances, that did come somewhat against the run of play as United were dominating in terms of possession and territory, but struggled to break down a stubborn defence who kept the strikers at bay.
The hosts created one chance of note when Rodrigo headed wide from a floated right-wing cross, but they were dealt a further blow when the striker was withdrawn minutes later after injuring his shoulder during a challenge with Jordan Pickford. United were a different beast after the break though, with Brendan Aaronson and Jack Harrison having shots saved.
The equaliser finally came just before the hour mark when Aaronson picked out Sinisterra 25-yards out, and he marked his first Premier League start by curling into the bottom corner. Everton were by now camped in their own half and struggling for an out ball, but they had a goal ruled out when Demarai Gray strayed fractionally offside before finishing from Gordon’s pass.
From then on the Toffees were a constant threat on the counter attack, but wasted two superb chances to seal the win. The first of them fell to new signing Amadou Onana, who saw a point-blank-range effort from a corner deflect the safety off Diego Llorente, before Nathan Patterson burst into the box and should have finished, only to shoot too close to Illan Meslier.
TALKING POINT – GORDON ADDS SEVERAL MILLION TO PRICE TAG
Anthony Gordon has been a wanted man in this transfer window, with Chelsea already having a bid of around £45m rejected for the striker, who has now got two goals in his last two games.
Frank Lampard has previously insisted the Everton academy product is going nowhere before the deadline on Thursday, but this performance will have only attracted further interest from Thomas Tuchel.
Gordon, 21, was a constant thorn in Leeds’ right hand side, breaking forward with pace and taking his goal superbly, showing experience that belied his years as he slotted confidently into the bottom corner.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Jack Harrison (Leeds). England are not exactly short of attacking midfielders and wingers, but with the Qatar World Cup on the horizon, Gareth Southgate may well come calling for the former Manchester City man if he continues to perform like this.
The 25-year old was electric after the break, constantly buzzing around in the final third and releasing a number of key passes that led to shooting opportunities.
The Everton defence certainly stood-off Harrison when he got into the area, wary that the quickness of his feet could lead to a penalty kick if they timed their tackle wrong. But they equally struggled to close down the former England U21 international outside the box as he darted forward at every opportunity.
LEEDS: Meslier 7, Kristensen 6, Koch 6, Llorente 6, Struijk 6; Sinisterra , Adams, Aaronson, Roca, Harrison; Rodrigo. Subs: Gelhardt 7, Klich 6, Bamford n/a, James n/a
EVERTON: Pickford 7; Patterson 7, Coady 7, Tarkowski 7 Mykolenko 7; Onana 8, Iwobi 7, Davies 6; Gordon 8, McNeil 5, Gray 5
17’ GOAL! LEEDS 0-1 EVERTON (Gordon). Wow! Everton have barely broken forward yet, but Alex Iwobi plays an inch perfect pass to Anthony Gordon, who brilliantly slots into the back of the net from insdie the area.
47’ AARONSON SHOT SAVED. Well that’s a strong start to the second half for Leeds, who finally test Pickford as Aaronson shifts the ball onto his right foot and drills a shot towards the top corner, only for Pickford to palm away
55’ GOAL – LEEDS 1-1 EVERTON (Siristerra). It has been coming! Lovely link up play by Leeds, with Aaronson picking out Siristerra, who curls the ball sumptuously into the bottom corner from 25-yards, leaving Pickford flat footed
66’ GOAL DISALLOWED. Gray has the ball in the back of the net as he fires under Meslier, but the striker had strayed slightly offside when running onto Anthony Gordon’s pass
74’ STUNNING PICKFORD STOP. That is brilliant from the England No1. Harrison plays in Gelhardt, who thinks he has space in the box, only for Pickford to race off his line and close down the angle, resulting in him expertly blocking the shot
84′ PATTERSON SHOT SAVED. Oh the Scotland full-back should score! He gets into the area and looks somewhat uncomfortable, perhaps bloody nose territory, as he lashes a shot too close to the ‘keeper