Bernard’s first Premier League goal of the season helped Everton edge a 1-0 win over Watford in a tight contest at Goodison Park. The Brazilian’s deflected strike into the bottom corner in the first half (10) proved the difference in the swirling conditions on Merseyside, but the visitors came close when Craig Dawson’s header hit the woodwork midway through the first half. Richarlison squandered two great chances to score for Everton. Despite Watford’s sporadic efforts to equalise, including Troy Deeney’s strike which forced a brilliant save from Jordan Pickford, the hosts held on for their first win of the season.
Moise Kean, a late substitute, missed two chances to secure victory for Everton, but Watford were the stronger unit throughout the second half. Keane and Mina proved immovable obstacles and the visitors, despite showing a vast improvement on last week’s performance against Brighton, departed empty handed once again.
Deulofeu impressed most for Watford, albeit – rather like the whole team – the threat sometimes exceeds the end product. When Deulofeu sent Troy Deeney through on 57 minutes it forced Pickford into a brave save to keep the score level.
It should be clear to all who indulge in such things that the First Home Game Of The Season and The First Away Game Of The Season are distinctly special things. The First Game Of The Season has a lustre of its own, of course, but above and beyond that there’s something special about returning to the Vic and something equally special about hitting the road again.
Everton had placed flags at each seat in the home stands which were to be waved as the players emerged from the tunnel. It has to be said that they were not a patch on the flags at Vicarage Road. Maybe we were unlucky with our positioning, but we were surrounded by some of the worst of our fan base and started the game with our ears being assaulted by an abusive song aimed at Silva. Now I have no love at all for the man, but he won’t give a damn what we think about him (that was obvious when he left), neither will the Everton fans, so chanting abuse at him is totally futile and detracts from supporting our own team.