Analysis: Lessons Learned from Everton vs. Bolton

Landon Donovan made his much anticipated "debut" at Goodison Park a little less than a month after agreeing to his second 2-month loan in 3 years with the London club. In his first eligible match, Donovan's number was called by David Moyes, as the American was immediately inserted into Everton's starting lineup. However, things didn't go according to plan for Everton as EPL bottom-feeders Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat the Toffees 2-1.

Despite an unbelievably lucky goal from US netminder Tim Howard, Everton put together a flat performance in the 2nd half. This poor play allowed David Ngog and Gary Cahill to score for Bolton, ruining Donovan's debut.

If you missed the match here are some quick notes on Landon Donovan's 90 minute performance and what transpired in the 2nd half:

- Donovan is fouled in the first minute, which leads to a dangerous free kick from the rightside

- LD with a weak header to the far post that was easily saved

- Great low cross from LD, resulted in a goal scoring opportunity that goes wide of goal
Announcers spend a considerable amount of time complimenting Donovan but questioned whether or not he still possessed above average speed, which ironically is one of the trademarks of his game.

- Great run from Donovan almost led to a breakaway, but he got muscled off the ball at the last minute

- 34th minute – Donovan came inside and made a brilliant first time pass to Louis Saha who dishes it off for a near goal

- 42nd minute- Another harmless header from Donovan, which was defended well by Sam Ricketts 
LD looks weak on balls in the air, which is nothing new from the small stature American. 

- Great run from Donovan as a teammate dishes it off and Ricketts subsequently clips his foot and then grabs his shoulder, as LD goes down inside the box
Announcers thought Landon could have stayed up and put it in, but as the replay is shown multiple times they admit it was a foul and that the ref would have blown his whistle for sure if it was outside the box.

- Great save from Howard as the half comes to a close

2nd half
- 63rd minute- Howard follows up a couple great saves with a goal of his own from distance, as the wind receives the assist on the play
Howard didn’t even celebrate out of respect for his fellow goalie but his teammates were all over him....check it out

- 67th minute- David Ngog scores as Bolton moves the ball well, but got a lucky deflection to help the ball into the back of the net

- 78th minute- Gary Cahill later scores Bolton's second as Everton can't clear the ball off the backline 
Everton has 59% possession, but are playing very sloppy football.

- Free kick in stoppage time and Leighton Baines hits the cross bar

- Everton keeps the pressure on with a couple more chances, but after one last corner kick was cleared the game was over as Everton disappointingly falls 2-1 to Bolton in Donovan's season debut

Related Content

Why Was Cabrera Fired?

Get more great soccer news and analysis over at U.S. Futblog.


Popular Video