Leighton Baines scores dramatic winner as Everton come from two down to beat Watford
Premier League, Goodison Park – Everton 3 (Niasse 67, Calvert-Lewis 74, Baines 90’+1) Watford 2 (Richarlison 46, Kabasele 64)
Leighton Baines was the hero as Everton came from two goals down to record a dramatic 3-2 victory over Watford and climb out of the relegation zone.
Watford were leading courtesy of second-half goals by Richarlison and Christian Kabasele, but Oumar Niasse grabbed a consolation before substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed in an equaliser.
But the drama didn’t end there as Aaron Lennon won a penalty at the death, with Baines hammering home the winner.
The referee added on 12 minutes at the end of an extraordinary match after injuries to Watford’s Heurelho Gomes and Kabasele and the visitors won a penalty in stoppage time when Jordan Pickford brought down Jose Holebas, but the spot-kick was screwed horribly wide by former Everton man Tom Cleverley.
The win - David Unsworth’s first as caretaker manager – lifts Everton up to 15th, two points out of the drop zone. Watford have now lost three consecutive matches and remain ninth.
Remember, remember the fifth of November. This was the date that the Everton players finally showed fight for their caretaker manager. At two goals down, Unsworth was heading for his fourth straight defeat, but then Niasse scored a goal out of nothing and Unsworth’s decision to throw on Calvert-Lewis was almost immediately rewarded when he bagged an equaliser. It was a terrific battling performance from the Toffees to turn this game around – and it may persuade the Everton board to give the job to Unsworth long-term. Unlikely, but at least the players have shown some fighting spirit for Unsworth. Whatever their decision, it needs to be made during the international break.
Watford's Tom Cleverley looks dejected after missing a penalty as Everton's Leighton Baines celebratesGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton): Everton were lacking belief and energy in attack and the substitute provided both when he was introduced on 68 minutes. While his team mates looked short on confidence, Calvert-Lewin was determined to run at defenders. He has had a hand in more goals in all competitions this term than any other Everton player (five goals, two assists).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton celebrates scoring his sides second goalGetty Images
46’ - GOAL - WATFORD ARE AHEAD! The visitors launch a counter-attack with Gray dinking a through ball to Richarlison and the Brazilian does brilliantly to round Pickford before poking home from a tight angle. He missed a sitter earlier but Richarlison has made amends now, leaving Everton with a mountain to climb.
53’ - GREAT CHANCE! Niasse wriggles the ball from Britos and finds Sigurdsson with a clever cut-back, but the Icelandic international strikes the ball straight at Gomes! Rooney keeps the attack alive, but his cross is pushed away by the Watford goalkeeper
64’ - GOAL! WATFORD EXTEND THEIR LEAD! Kabasele heads in from Holebas' corner delivery! Unforgivable defending, and now Everton are in deep trouble.
67’ - GOAL! EVERTON HAVE ONE BACK! Out of nothing, Niasse scores and the hosts are right back in the contest! The Everton forward capitalises from a mix-up in defence between Karnezis and Holebas as he nips in and slides the ball into an empty net.
Richarlison de Andrade of Watford celebrates scoringGetty Images
74’ - GOAL! EVERTON LEVEL THE GAME! It's the substitute Calvert-Lewin who grabs the equaliser as he heads in from Baines' corner delivery. The home fans are in ecstasy, can they go on to win the match?
89’ - PENALTY TO EVERTON! Lennon is clipped inside the box by Holebas and the referee points to the spot!
90’+1 - GOAL! EVERTON TAKE THE LEAD! Reliable as ever, Baines slots the penalty into the corner with precision and power! Everton are ahead, but there will be TWELVE minutes of additional time!
90’+10 - PENALTY TO WATFORD! Pickford brings down Richarlison and the referee points to the spot! The drama continues at Goodison!
90’+11 - CLEVERLEY MISSES! The former Everton midfielder drags his spot-kick well wide of the target! Unbelievable scenes.
- Everton have come from two goals down to win a Premier League home game for the first time since May 1994 against Wimbledon.