This was a run out for our squad players and those working their way back into contention for first team places.
Begovic was a little disappointing in this game for me. Failed to really dominate his box for corners and crosses. Also his distribution of the ball was poor.
The back three of Captain for the night Holgate, Keane and Branthwaite were at times shaky and Keane again showed he may benefit from a spell on the bench to reset.
Holgate and Branthwaite both looked a little rattled at times and there was a clear lack of decisiveness between Holgate and Keane for Huddersfield’s goal. This has to be addressed by the manager.
Wing backs Kenny and Nkounkou were a mixed bag. Kenny had a very average game. Nkounkou showed some good play going forward but his defensive play left Everton vulnerable at times.
Gbamin and Davies were the two midfielders chosen for this game. Very good to Gbamin play 90 minutes in a competitive game after his injury problems. JP’s stats for game look good though it was obvious he is still not match fit. Benitez will be happy that Gbamin has taken this step in his comeback.
Davies played reasonably well lighting up his performance with a surging run and excellent assist for Everton’s opening goal.
Iwobi and Townsend scored the two goals that won this game. Alex Iwobi seems to responding to being the senior number 10 contender in the present squad. Long may the upturn in his form continue.
Townsend has an attribute that Everton supporters really appreciate. He and Demarai Gray who came on later in the game for Nkounkou are fired up to worked for their places in the first team.
Their energy and enthusiasm seems to be having a good influence on the squad as a whole and instilling a work ethic that the manager knows will be appreciated by the Everton fan base.
Moise Kean had what looked a good goal disallowed, which seemed to upset him and put him off his game. Kean’s bright start to the game fizzled and later he was sent off for retaliation to a provocative tackle.
Moise walked straight down the tunnel and that may be (probably will be) the last act in his time at Everton.
Andre Gomes came on as substitute later in the game and settled the midfield. Gomes then got involved in some intricate interplay with Iwobi before crossing for Townsend for the winning goal. A nice cameo from Gomes who like Kean is linked with a move away from Everton.
This was a strange game in many ways, with some less than ideal performances, but carving out a victory with 10 men in this situation shows that the manager is changing the mindset of the squad and let us hope for a good result and a strong performance at Brighton on Saturday.