A dreadful game between two poor sides moved Everton a step closer to safety.
They now sit two points above the relegation zone, and know that four points from their final three games – Brentford home, Palace home, arsenal away – will secure their Premier League spot for another season.
Though the visitors were the better side in a dreadful first half, their lack of intensity was difficult to grasp given how much was on the line, and against a team already relegated, playing for a lame duck manager - just this afternoon, Watford announced that from the end of this season, Rob Edwards will be their manager.
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The second half featured more of the same, neither keeper asked to make a difficult save. The best thing that can be said of this game is that it finished.
Though Frank Lampard is part of the reason Everton are in a relegation battle, he is also part of the reason they look like getting out of it. Given a tricky run of fixtures, he curbed his attacking inclination to embed a back five, and was rewarded with a succession of good results.
However, next season, he’ll need to do something different, and the signs are not good. Everton are a long way away from being good, not because the players have been playing below their best, though they have, but the players aren’t good enough. The likelihood is that Richarlison, the best of them, will want away - Calvert-Lewin might too - and then what?
It’s unlikely Lampard will be afforded a lavish spending spree, so to improve things, he’ll need to improve the players he has. There is not much evidence to suggest he has the chops for that, but if he can turn these into a decent team, he’ll be on the way top becoming a decent manager.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alex Iwobi (Everton) Whisper it, but might he have found his position? Iwobi has talent, but doesn't score enough or assist enough to play in an attacking role. At right-back, though, his tenacity, strength and ball-carrying are still useful, and his crossing also shows promise. Lampard should give him a run in the position next season.
Watford: Foster 6, Ngakia 6, Kabasele 6, Samir 6, Masina 6, Sissoko 6, Kayembe 6, Gosling 5, Sema 5, Joao Pedro 5, Kalu 5. Subs: Cathcart 6, Etebo 6.
Everton: Pickford 6, Iwobi 7, Coleman 6, Keane 6, Holgate 6, Mykolenko 6, Gordon 6, Doucoure 5, Delph 6, Gray 5, Richarlison 5. Subs: Calvert-Lewin 6, Allan 6.
No Premier League side has lost more games this season than Watford's 25, and no side has accumulated a few points at home, eight.
14’ - EVERTON ARE ASSERTING THEMSELVES NOW
And there's our man Iwobi, moving down the flank and measuring a fine cross towards gray at the back stick .. except Richarlison either doesn't know or doesn't care, stretching backwards to head behind.
15’ - THIS IS MORE LIKE IT!
A lovely dummy from Gordon, on the turn. leaves his man for dead and he streaks down the right, cuts inside and has Richarlison in the middle! But an extra touch makes the pass harder, allowing Kabasele to block behind.
30’ - THAT MAN IWOBI COMES FORWARD AGAIN
Diddles his man with a pair of lollipops, cuts back, and the ball's dropping nicely for Gordon! But he gets under it, shanking a volley over the top.
54’ - RICHARLISON WRIGGLES SPACE ON THE EDGE OF THE BOX
And beds a shot that's deflected, which Foster tips away. I think that's the first save made by either keeper.
62’ - BETTER FROM EVERTON!
Iwobi, who's been the best player on the pitch, nicks possession and finds Gray inside. He collects a return, burrows forward, squares, and Gray has a sight of goal! But the ball runs away from him a touch so that he has to slide into his shot, and it slips just wide of the far post.
78’ - GORDON CARRIES THE BALL FORWARD
Moving across the face of the box from left to right, before dragging a low shot that Foster gathers easily. I guess, according to the standards of this game, that constitutes a chance.
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