A result which was much needed.
The Toffees backs have been up against the wall for the entirety of the season and the pressure has been mounting on Marco Silva. However, fresh off the international break, Everton bounced back with a scintillating victory over West Ham to kick off the Premier League round.
The attack was on fire, the midfield was solid and the defence held strong against a pecky Hammers outfit. Also, how about that finish from Gylfi Sigurdsson to seal the points?
Serie A fans
Fans of Italian football have been subject to an absolute treat of footballing madness this weekend.
A six-goal thriller in Rome to kick-off the round was a barnstormer. The dramatic Inter victory against a resilient Sassuolo had fans on the edge of their seat in the early kick-off. Parma’s rout of Genoa was as entertaining as ever and a shocking Lecce late equaliser to sour the Stefano Pioli welcome party in Milan were all on offer.
So many goals, so many highlights and it even had fans parachuting into the ground to witness the action.
Mitchell Duke and Alex Meier may be the ones earning the big bucks – but Mohammed Adam (19), Nick Sullivan (21), Keanu Baccus (21) and Daniel Wilmering (19) who gave Wanderers fans the reasons to be excited.
This youth brigade fronted up against a side they had not beaten in 11 years and played them off the park – recording their first ever win at Marvel Stadium as well.
Baccus’ 54th minute opener came straight from the training track as the 21-year-old finished off an entertaining build-up orchestrated by Sullivan and Adam.
Undefeated, the Wanderers will face their biggest test yet when they host Sydney FC in the first Bankwest Stadium Sydney derby.
The Popovic Family
One-nil down and in need of a hero – who else but a Popovic?
As Tony Popovic looked to his bench and brought on his 18-year-old son Kristian in the 68th minute, those watching held their breath.
But the substitution was quickly justified and celebrated as a stroke of genius, as the young forward headed home the equaliser just eight minutes after coming on.
The 18-year-old not only scored his first A-League goal but rescued a handy point for the Glory, who travelled to Geelong for this historic fixture.
Popovic continues an enjoyable trend which has seen youth make a significant impact in games this season.
West Ham United
Everton may be West Ham’s bogey side, but it does not excuse the side’s performance at Goodison Park.
The Hammers did not look like scoring nor were they anywhere near their best as the Toffee’s recorded a handy win after a poor start to the season.
West Ham has now suffered consecutive defeats after a positive start to the season, with their woes further exacerbated by the injury to goalkeeper and best-and-fairest winner Lukasz Fabianski who will remain on the sidelines for another few months.
Three competitive games and no wins in the Marco Kurz era at the Victory.
A loss in the FFA Cup to Newcastle was seen as an outlier and the Melbourne Derby draw was perceived as potential growing pains. However, the performance on Friday was far from ideal. A first defeat to Western Sydney since 2015 and a first loss at home to the side in five years had Victory fans seething at the final whistle with the pressure already mounting on the German boss.
A tricky test in Brisbane awaits as they look to turn their stuttering form around.
3-0 up with twenty minutes to go. What could possibly go wrong? Everything.
In a matter of moments, Atalanta went from world-beaters to having a severe case of narcolepsy as Lazio stormed back to salvage a 3-3 draw. Incredibly enough, the first two goals from the Biancocolesti came within two minutes before Ciro Immobile salvaged a point late on in one of the more dramatic finishes to a Serie A game in recent history.
The job doesn’t get much easier for Gian Piero Gasperini’s men when they face Manchester City this week in the UEFA Champions League at the Etihad.