FC Porto 1-0 Everton: Dragões triumph over Blues following Marega strike

FC Porto 1-0 Everton: Dragões triumph over Blues following Marega strike

A report of Everton's pre-season friendly with FC Porto.

connor-bennett
Connor Bennett
FC PortoCasillas (Vana, Min.78), João Pedro (Maxi, Min.72), Felipe (Chidozie, Min.72), Diogo Leite, Alex Telles, Otávio, Sérgio Oliveira (Bruno Costa, Min.72), Óliver Torres, Brahimi, Marega (Saidy, Min.78), Aboubakar (Hernani, Min.72)
EvertonStekelenburg, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka (Holgate, Min.74), Keane, Schneiderlin, Davies (Niasse, Min.88), Dowell (Besic, Min.88), Mirallas (Vlasic, Min.72), Sandro, Tosun
SCORE1-0, Marega (Min.51)

Everton fell to a 1-0 defeat against FC Porto in their second and final Algarve Football Cup game in Faro.

Porto took the lead just after the half-time break as Moussa Marega took advantage of some lax defending, running onto a through ball uncontested.

The forward closed down on Maarten Stekelenburg, composing himself, before slotting the ball through the Everton ‘keepers legs to open the scoring.

First-half, Blues half

In a similar fashion to the game against Lille, Everton started the first-half the brighter of the two sides.

Marco Silva’s side pressed from the first whistle and were able to open up the Portuguese side’s backline with diagonal balls.

They had their first chance when Kevin Mirallas forced a save from Iker Casillas, giving the Blues a corner kick.

They should have scored from the resulting corners.

Sandro’s whipped set-piece evaded everybody, including Casillas who had come to punch, bar Morgan Schneiderlin who was unmarked at the far post.

However, despite just needing to head home, the Frenchman was caught out and his header resembled more of a clearance than an attacking effort.

Casillas was called into action five minutes later following a Kieran Dowell effort.

Sandro dribbled his way out of trouble on the halfway line before finding the unmarked Dowell with a cross-field pass.

The young midfielder hesitated in laying off to an overlapping Leighton Baines and instead pulled the trigger from range, forcing a low, sprawling stop Casillas.

The Blues’ best chance in the first-half came just after the halfway point of the period.

Seamus Coleman dug out a cross and chasing a loose ball, before finding Cenk Tosun with the resulting cross.

The Turkish forward killed the ball dead with his touch before carving open a yard of space with three touches and feints before bending his effort on to the post.

Just before the break, the hosts had the ball in the net as Vincent Aboubakar bundled home from a free-kick but it was ruled out for offside.

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Porto kick on

Silva's side faded in the second-half following the opener and could have found themselves two down, if not for the woodwork. 

The hosts almost doubled their lead after the hour mark as Otavio’s powerful effort glanced just wide of Stekelenburg’s right-hand post.

They were again denied by Stekelenburg as Yacine Brahimi carved out a chance for full-back Joao Pedro.

However, his volleyed effort was arrowed straight into the clutches of the Everton ‘keeper.

Similarly to the game against Lille, the Blues plodded on in the second period but failed to produce anything similar to their performance in the first period. 

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Heading home

As much as the team selection against Lille represented a team that was, perhaps, playing for their Everton futures, Silva’s selection on Sunday night wasn’t far away from his strongest team.

The Blues were joined back in training by Idrissa Gueye and Gylfi Sigurdsson before they flew to the Algarve and are only waiting on the arrival of Jordan Pickford back from his World Cup break.

Following a pre-game training session, Gueye and Sigurdsson did not step off the Everton bench but should be in action next week as the Blues travel to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn Rovers.

They’ll be hoping to boost their ranks in the next week with the arrival of their first summer signing or two but those on the pitch against Porto are all in with a shout of starting the opening game of the Premier League campaign.

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