Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Everton: Blues falter at Ewood Park as hosts run riot

Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Everton: Blues falter at Ewood Park as hosts run riot

A report from Ewood Park of Everton's pre-season friendly against Blackburn Rovers.

Connor Bennett
Blackburn RoversRaya, Nyambe, Mulgrew, Lenihan, Bell, Evans, Smallwood, Bennett, Dack, Samuel and Graham.
EvertonStekelenburg, Kenny (Coleman, min.45), Robinson (Baines, min.45), Williams (Keane, min.45), Pennington (Jagielka, min.45), Besic (Gueye, min.45), Davies (Schneiderlin, min.45), Sigurdsson (Dowell, min.45), Mirallas (Richarlison, min.45), Niasse (Tosun, min.45) and Sandro (Vlasic, min.78)
SCORE1-0, Lenihan, (Min. 10) 2-0, Samuel, (Min. 40) 3-0, Dack, (Min. 68)

Everton were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Blackburn Rovers in their fifth pre-season game.

Goals from Darragh Lenihan, Dominic Samuel and Bradley Dack handed Tony Mowbray’s side the win as they prepare to kick off their Sky Bet Championship campaign in just over a week’s time.

Story of the match

The Blues offered little in the first-half and failed to register a shot on target until just before the half-time break as Gylfi Sigurdsson's weak effort from a few yards out was comfortably saved.

Yet, the night belonged to Rovers and took the lead through a well-worked corner routine.

A floated ball to the back post allowed Lenihan to find space and he looped a header into Maarten Steklenburg’s far post.

They doubled their advantage five minutes from half-time as Samuel tucked home a rebound.

Dack, the Blackburn creative outlet and all-around dangerman, danced into the box on the right-hand side before firing an effort at goal. That effort was stopped by Steklenburg but fell to an unmarked Samuel who fired home from close range.

After the break, Marco Silva’s side - a line-up much more akin to one that Everton fans should expect to see next season - looked much better than their first-half counterparts.

It took them less than five minutes after the break to test Raya as Tosun’s head was stopped impressively.

Yet, for all their better play, the Blues found themselves conceding a third goal as the impressive, ever-industrious and creative Dack pounced on a loose ball, rode a challenge from Phil Jagielka and curled home from inside the Everton area.

New signing Richarlison was introduced at the break and showcased a number of impressive glimpses. 

The Brazilian provided a cross for Tosun to head just wide before going close with a header of his own with just over ten minutes to go. Yet it wasn't enough to drag Silva's side back into proceedings as they were dispatched of with ease. 

The Warmdown

Blues still not ready

The start of the Premier League season is still a fortnight away and whilst Everton still have another two competitive friendlies to play, it's clear that the squad needs work.

Of the starting line-up on Thursday evening, only a handful of players will be in the contention to line-up against Wolves on the opening day.

A majority of the line-up may find their futures away from Goodison Park if the Blues act swiftly enough in the transfer market. Silva stated following the training camp trip to the Algarve that he wanted to bring in at least six players.

He may have more confidence in his squad than many Everton fans.

Dangerous Rovers could spring a surprise

For the first period, Tony Mowbray’s side dominated proceedings and could have opened up the scoring much earlier than they did.

The impressive Dack went close less than five minutes into the game before they saw another effort fly wide a few moments later.

Whilst it may still be pre-season, Rovers are just over a week away from opening up their Championship campaign.

Many may not be tipping them cause any sort of danger to the table but on the back of this performance and their game against Liverpool, they could cause an upset to a number of Premier League hopefuls.

Richarlison bright

If there was a bright spot to take from the game for Everton fans, it would be the performance of their new signing.

The Brazilian looked clever on the left-hand side, linking well with Leighton Baines, before interchanging with Sandro on the opposite flank. 

Like this Blues side, he will need time to be ready but he didn't look far away. 

Stand-out players

Bradley Dack was a constant threat for the hosts and tormented the Everton backlines in the first and second periods. 


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