Everton blitz Burnley to take Premier League lead

LIVERPOOL: Everton (Photo) tied on points with the Premier League leaders after coming back from a goal to beat Burnley 3-1 on Monday.

Ben Mee rightly put the visitors ahead at Goodison Park before a three-goal blitz in six minutes just after the hour continued Rafael Benitez’s strong start as Everton boss.

Michael Keane’s header against his former club equalized before two of Benitez’s rookies, Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray, turned the tables.

The Toffees took 10 points in their first four league appearances under the Spaniard to move alongside local rivals Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Everton’s comeback was all the more impressive as they had to cope without Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Benitez confirmed ahead of kick-off that the England international is set to be out until October with a broken toe and a thigh injury.

The home side lacked the focal point that Calvert-Lewin normally offers as Burnley had the best of the first half.

Chris Wood and Mee both missed good chances, while Jordan Pickford turned down Ashley Westwood.

Mee didn’t make the same mistake eight minutes after the break when Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored and the Clarets captain leaned in to nod at close range.

But Burnley then surrendered as Keane had too much room to lead Townsend’s center.

Many Everton fans were skeptical of Benitez’s nomination due to his past as the Champions League-winning manager for Liverpool.

However, his clever recruiting and tactical sense are already appealing to skeptics.

A system change as Andre Gomes replaced Ben Godfrey just after the equalizer helped the hosts defeat Burnley in the final half hour.

“The response from the players, regardless of the system, has been very good,” said Benitez.

“You can see the fans, as soon as we attack they are behind the team.”

Townsend previously played under Benitez at Newcastle and showed his ability to do something spectacular with a long-range effort that passed Nick Pope in the top corner.

Gray then scored his third goal in as many games as he rushed on Abdoulaye Doucoure’s brilliant pass to pass Pope.

Gomes should have scored four when he shot next to another crossing ball, but three goals were enough for another three points.

“Sadly, this is the second time this season that we’ve really had a curse out of nowhere,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche. “We let it go for six minutes, gave the ball too easy and twisted for the third, you can’t do that in the Premier League.” – AFP

Add a Comment