Fleetwood Town 2 - 5 Everton: Richarlison at the double in topsy-turvy encounter
(Photo by Alex Livesey - Getty Images)

Despite a spirited display from Joey Barton's League One outfit, Carlo Ancelotti's men showed their superior quality on a night which featured goals from Richarlison, Alex Iwobi, Bernard and Moise Kean

Story of the game

After naming a very strong side, Everton began the game on the front foot, with Iwobi crashing a drive off the Fleetwood bar.

Whilst the League One side were fortunate not to be behind after twenty minutes, parity would last only another two. Brazilian striker Richarlison recorded three assists against West Brom at the weekend, and flicked a deft header into the net after a delicious left-wing delivery from Bernard. 

With Fleetwood backs against the wall, Everton began to assert their dominance. Both Iwobi and Bernard went close with subsequent efforts, before Richarlison struck again. The mercurial South American exchanged passes with Iwobi, before crashing the ball beyond Alex Cairns.

Cairns prevented further arrears just before the break, saving smartly from Dominic Calvert-Lewin from inside the six-yard area.

The second half had barely begun when a Jordan Pickford howler gave Fleetwood a lifeline. The Everton goalkeeper dallied on the ball, with his scuffed clearance falling kindly for Mark Duffy, who side-footed home from 12 yards.

A breathless opening to the second period continued, as a mere 99 seconds later, substitute Anthony Gordon's left wing cross was tucked home by Alex Iwobi.

Iwobi then missed a chance to add his second after good work from Richarlison, with the Englishman striking just wide from inside the box.

Fleetwood then halved the arrears after a cushioned header from Ched Evans found Callum Camps, whose bicycle kick proved too much for Pickford to handle. Buoyed by the goal, Fleetwood pressed for an equaliser, with Josh Morris' shot from outside the box beaten away by Pickford.

In the 72rd minute, Everton further extended their lead. More good work from the industrious Gordon saw his cross fall kindly for Bernard, who crashed the ball past Cairns for his side's fourth goal.

Fleetwood battled bravely for a late consolation, with Morris going close with a low strike from distance.

Despite leading comfortably, Everton pressed for a final flourish, with Moise Kean finding the net in the dying seconds of the match.

Man of the Match : Richarlison

Whilst there were many Everton candidates, the Brazilian's well taken strikes give an indication of a totally rejuvenated side under Carlo Ancelotti. Alongside his eye for goal, he impressed with numerous deft touches, strong hold up play and industrious work rate.


Everton improving, but goalkeeping position still an issue

Despite winning against lower-league opposition, Everton look a different proposition to last season. Their squad now boasts a raft of attacking options, where creativity was an issue last term.

Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin have the technical attributes and shared understanding to hurt any opposition, further strengthened by numerous midfield additions in James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Although the positives are obvious, Pickford may feel he should have done better for both Fleetwood goals.

Fleetwood battle bravely, but ultimately come unstuck

Although Joey Barton's side came out second best, they can be heartened by a second half where they matched Everton blow for blow. Goals from Mark Duffy and Callum Camps were a merited reward for an honest, hardworking second half performance.