Everton 5-2 West Brom
- Goals: Dominic Calvert-Lewin x3 (£7.1m), James Rodríguez (£7.5m), Michael Keane (£5.0m) | Grady Diangana (£5.5m), Matheus Pereira (£6.0m)
- Assists: Richarlison x3 (£8.0m), Rodriguez | M Pereira
- Red cards: Kieran Gibbs (£4.5m)
- Bonus Points: Calvert-Lewin x3, Rodríguez x2, Richarlison x1
Fantasy Premier League managers who jumped onto the Everton bandwagon early were richly rewarded with a goalfest at Goodison Park.
But it was largely only those who invested in the attacking assets who enjoyed watching a 5-2 win over West Bromwich Albion, which featured some clinical finishing, as well as questionable defending from both sides.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.1m) was the match’s top-scoring player, registering his first career hat-trick and taking his goal-tally for the season to four in two matches.
The Englishman appears to have finally picked up where he left off pre-lockdown. After a disappointing run of performances during Project Restart, Calvert-Lewin has put in two shot-laden displays reminiscent of Carlo Ancelotti’s early days at Everton.
“(Ancelotti) is on me every day for one-touch finishes and being in the right area of the pitch to find the back of the net. It’s nice that what we’re working on in training is coming off in matches.” – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
The mid-priced forward stalked the six-yard box like a true poacher all afternoon, getting just rewards for his presence in that area of the pitch.
The first goal came as Calvert-Lewin pounced on a loose ball after a defensive header, back-heeling it over the line. Then he slid in at the back-post to help Richarlison‘s (£8.0m) effort from a tight angle into the net. And he leapt highest to connect with a James Rodríguez (£7.5m) cross just after the hour-mark, turning it in with his back.
It could have been an even more memorable afternoon for Calvert-Lewin, as he missed an easy chance in the early exchanges, nodding a Rodríguez corner wide at the far post.
There will be those that point to Kieran Gibbs‘ (£4.5m) red card in first-half stoppage time as a key reason for Everton’s domination of this fixture and Calvert-Lewin’s 17-point haul. However, it must be said that West Bromwich Albion were guilty of poor defending across the entire fixture, not just after going down to 10 men. At the very least, that is good news for Chelsea attackers in Gameweek 3, while Southampton host the Baggies in Gameweek 4.
When Calvert-Lewin was showing this kind of form at the start of the calendar year, he was close to becoming fixture-proof, so considering the appealing nature of the upcoming fixtures, there is sure to be more to come.
Calvert-Lewin faces Crystal Palace (away), Brighton (home), Liverpool (home) and Southampton (away) between now and Gameweek 6, fixtures which are sure to encourage investment.
Fantasy managers may want to keep an eye on Ancelotti’s subsequent press conferences in the next week though, just to be safe. With the game tied up at 5-2, Calvert-Lewin was replaced by Alex Iwobi (£6.0m) in the 71st minute and sat down with an ice-pack on his hamstring. The player himself did report that all was fine after the full-time whistle, while his manager did not touch on the subject.
“Yeah absolutely, my hamstring’s fine.” – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Calvert-Lewin’s 17-point haul is likely to overshadow impressive performances elsewhere in Everton team, which Fantasy managers should certainly make themselves aware of.
Despite not getting onto the scoresheet for the second match in a row, Richarlison was dangerous once again, his role in the Everton front-line yielding three assists. That made for a Gameweek 2 score of 12 points, just five short of Calvert-Lewin’s total.
The first assist came as he teed up Rodríguez on the stroke of half-time, it was his saved shot that was turned home on the rebound by Michael Keane (£5.0m) after the interval and Calvert-Lewin turned in his wide-angled shot just after the hour-mark.
Considering the price difference between Everton’s two FPL forwards, Richarlison is likely to be the least popular of the two for any Fantasy managers chasing the best avenue for investment. But with Richarlison’s constant threat, and appealing fixtures, his 11.2% ownership will be more than happy to hold.
However, there will be significantly more attention on Rodríguez, whose midfield classification could be enough to tempt Fantasy managers to pay a little bit extra for his services in comparison to Calvert-Lewin.
The Colombian international was equally as impressive against West Bromwich Albion as in his Premier League debut at Spurs, although against more favourable opposition, he was able to get on the ball much closer to the penalty area.
Furthermore, Rodríguez confirmed on Saturday that he will be giving Lucas Digne (£6.1m) a run for his money in terms of set piece responsibilities, as he finished the game joint-top for corners (five).
As a result, Rodríguez came away with a goal and an assist, making for a 12-point haul. Like was the case with Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, it could have been an even bigger haul for the midfielder, as he was denied two more assists by his team-mates. It was Rodríguez’s corner that Calvert-Lewin put wide early on, while he might have got an assist for a Richarlison goal in the second half, had Calvert-Lewin not helped it over the line at the last.
Rodríguez’s presence in the team, both in terms of threat and creativity, is not only enough to justify considering him for Fantasy inclusion, but it is clear the likes of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are benefiting from playing alongside the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder. In their first three matches in all competitions this season, Everton have totalled 64 shots on goal, an average of 21.3 per game.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin started really well. Today he was the top scorer but Richarlison did really well and had a lot of opportunities. He had support from James, who is doing really well in this period. He has a fantastic desire to play and he loves to play with us.” – Carlo Ancelotti.
“As a centre-forward it’s nice to have (Rodríguez) when you think about the level he’s played at.” – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
However, while Fantasy managers had plenty to fawn over in terms of Everton’s attacking credentials, Ancelotti’s defence largely failed to live up to expectations set by last week’s win over Spurs.
While Allan (£5.5m) has added so much needed bite to Everton’s midfield, and Abdoulaye Doucouré (£5.5m) had a good afternoon in terms of mopping up loose balls in midfield, neither one could legislate for the errors that led to West Bromwich Albion scoring twice at Goodison Park.
Jordan Pickford‘s (£5.0m) distribution was poor, which set the tone among Everton’s defence in terms of giving the ball away. When West Bromwich Albion won possession high up the pitch in the 10th minute, Yerry Mina (£5.5m) allowed Grady Diangana (£5.5m) too much space and time to fire in the opening goal.
Shortly afterwards, West Brom caught Everton napping at the back once again, Jake Livermore (£5.0m) left unmarked to rattle Pickford’s right-hand post.
While the Baggies were able to add a second goal via a Matheus Pereira (£6.0m) free-kick in the second half, the sending off certainly eased the pressure on Everton’s defence, so it will be interesting to see how Ancelotti and their players respond for the trip to Crystal Palace. They also face Liverpool in Gameweek 5…
“The result doesn’t reflect what really happened on the pitch. In the first half, they (West Brom) were better but we had a good reaction to their goal and the game was easier in the second half. We have to be better at the back but I have seen more ambition, motivation and focus (in the new season) and we have to pay attention as every game can be difficult. I am happy with a great result but if you look a performance, there are lot of points in which we we can do better. We were without balance at the beginning but after two games it’s normal that everything is not perfect” – Carlo Ancelotti
Everton’s defensive issues ensured a frustrating afternoon for those invested in Digne, who picked up more than 300,000 new owners for Gameweek 2. As he conceded two goals and did not manage an attacking return, the Frenchman followed up last week’s 12-pointer with a round score of just one.
That said, there was still plenty to admire in Digne’s performance, with enough indicators of his Fantasy potential this season.
The Frenchman was a constant thorn in West Brom’s side, the most targetted player of any pass from Rodríguez on Saturday afternoon. As a result, Digne was heavily involved in Everton’s attacking play down the left-hand side and high up the pitch. While the Colombian is likely to reduce Digne’s set piece appeal compared to last season, the left-back remains involved. In fact, he crashed Sam Johnstone‘s (£4.5m) crossbar with a venomous direct free-kick around the hour-mark. Further big hauls are almost certainly around the corner…
Everton XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman; Doucouré (Sigurdsson 65′), Allan, Gomes; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin (Iwobi 71′), Rodríguez (Kean 78′).
West Bromwich Albion XI (5-4-1): Johnstone; Gibbs, O’Shea, Bartley, Ajayi, Furlong; Diangana (Edwards 71′), Sawyers (Field 75′), Livermore, M Pereira (M Phillips 71′); C Robinson.
FPL Lessons Learned from Gameweek 2
- Everton 5-2 West Bromwich Albion
- Leeds United 4-3 Fulham
- Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace
- Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United
- Southampton 2-5 Tottenham Hotspur
- Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool
- Leicester City 4-2 Burnley
- Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United
- Wolves 1-3 Manchester City