Spanish national team coach Vicente del Bosque came to watch Michu, but had to like what he saw from Chico Flores as an excellent effort from Swansea’s defence ensured a draw at Goodison Park.
- Everton throttled Swansea 3-0 at Liberty Stadium in September. They could’ve had many more that day, making Swansea’s defensive performance today that much more impressive. Ashley Williams and Chico Flores were terrific. While Everton enjoyed the majority of possession, the duo of Fellaini and Jelavic were afforded little space in the attacking area.
- Michu was the focal point for Swansea — not exactly breaking news. With the Spanish striker slated to get his first national team cap in a friendly against Uruguay next month, Michu had few opportunities against Everton. The Swans were forced into a counter attacking game thanks to their inability to keep possession. Seamus Coleman effectively shut down Swansea’s left flank. Michael Laudrup kept Nathan Dyer on the field for far too long, substituting the ineffective midfielder for Jonathan De Guzman in the 58th minute. The change should’ve came much sooner.
- The scoreline indicates otherwise, but the first half was a lively affair. Everton had the best chances. A wonderfully weighted ball from Leighton Baines found an unmarked Leon Osman in the Swansea box. Osman, aiming for the left post, pushed it wide. The final five minutes of the opening half were dominated by Everton. Fellaini, Jelavic and Pienaar — who was great throughout — all had chances on Michel Vorm’s goal to no avail.
- Everton picked up from where they left off in the second half. In the 56th minute Jelavic connected on a great ball from Pienaar only to send it into the waiting hands of Vorm. Though Everton were once again controlling the game, the duo of Williams and Flores kept the Swans composed at the back. Meanwhile Rangel and Tiendalli began to shut down the Toffees attack on the left side.
- Fellaini’s ongoing battle with Williams was the highlight of the match. The Belgian attacker has physically dominated opposing defenders all year, but found his foil in Williams on this day.
- Of all people it was Everton defender Phil Jagielka with the miss of the game. Jagielka beat Ki on a set piece, but sent his free header over the bar in the 75th minute.
- Del Bosque left Goodison Park at around this time. While Michu wasn’t impressive — he’d make way for Danny Graham in the 82nd minute — Del Bosque had to have liked what he saw from Chico Flores. The 25-year old CB had three caps for the Spanish U21 team from 2008-2009.
- One last chance for Jelavic — assisted by substitute Apostolos Vellios — in the 89th minute was sent over the bar, ending any chance of seeing a goal in this game. While Tottenham-QPR this morning was the epitome of lifeless, this was an entertaining scoreless draw. Swansea did well to escape with a point considering their jam packed schedule. They’ll travel to North London for a third round FA Cup replay on Wednesday.
1. Ashley Williams
2. Chico Flores
3. Seamus Coleman