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Everton held on to earn their first win under caretaker boss David Unsworth as Watford threw away a two-goal lead and Tom Cleverley missed an injury-time penalty for the visitors.
Goals from Oumar Niasse, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Leighton Baines saw Everton come back from two goals down to beat Watford 3-2 in a dramatic contest at Goodison Park.
David Unsworth may not land the Everton manager’s job he craves but he will never receive a better endorsement of his ability to generate spirit and fight in a team than what transpired on a truly remarkable evening at Goodison Park. The first win of his temporary reign came with passion, pandemonium, a 91st-minute penalty and a 100th-minute penalty miss. “I need a lie down,” said Unsworth after a breathless encounter in which Everton refused to do exactly that.
Football is a thrilling, perplexing and, sometimes, utterly stupid sport. Those who run it will tell you they follow choreographed patterns, meticulously planning every decision. Then you witness games like this and destinies are determined in the most implausible circumstances, careers elevated or diminished with strokes of fortune.
After taking our seats, I was rather perturbed to see a man in a Sparta Prague hat a couple of rows behind me. Talk about a bad omen. I fixed him with a very cross stare, but he remained oblivious.
The pre-match talk was dominated not by team news, but by my horrendous record watching Watford in the north west of England.