Everton of England midfielder, Alex Iwobi appeared to redeem himself to a certain extent Wednesday night, when he notched a remarkable goal in his side’s 5-2 victory away to English League One side, Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup, megasportsarena.com reports.
Not only was Iwobi among the goals scorers in Wednesday’s game, the former Arsenal playmaker also put up an improved performance, which left many observers counting him among the match heroes, in a game that Everton goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford was left wishing he had been rested instead of playing.
While Iwobi was on top of his form, Pickford was guilty of two errors of judgment in a personally awkward night that had the hosts with some consolations to flaunt, even as the visitors were already coasting at half-time through two Richarlison goals.
England’s number one shot-stopper was caught in a blunder three minutes after the restart, as Pickford, one of five players retained from Saturday’s victory over West Bromwich Albion, dithered over a clearance virtually under his own crossbar and it was charged down to allow substitute Mark Duffy a free shot.
That came at a point when Iwobi looked to have rescued his team-mate with a goal less than two minutes later, only for more indecision from Pickford, who sat out the previous round last week to allow Joao Virginia to make his debut, to lead to another goal.
Having started to come for Glenn Whelan’s far-post cross he changed his mind and, when Ched Evans returned the ball, Pickford got a hand to Callum Camps’ overhead kick which was straight at him but could not keep it out.
For the second time in 10 minutes, Iwobi’s coach, Carlo Ancelotti was left speechless and shaking his head in his technical area, as The Toffees aced an uncomfortable final half-hour, even after Bernard fired home a fourth and substitute Moise Kean scored with Everton’s last kick of the night.
By and large, t turned out to be an evening Ancelotti would not have envisaged having decided to field a strong line-up with Richarlison, Pickford, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne and Saturday’s hat-trick hero Dominic Calvert-Lewin all included to get the job done.
Richarlison played his part as did Niels Nkounkou, the £240,000 summer signing from Marseille, who put in another impressive performance at left-back to match his one against Salford, with Bernard capping another fine display in central midfield with a goal.
Everton’s position of comfort – they enjoyed 80 per cent possession in the first half – lasted all of two minutes and 40 seconds into the second half, when Pickford’s aberration handed Fleetwood, who had not managed a shot in the first half, a lifeline.
They responded well to Iwobi adding Everton’s third, with Camps scoring the goal of the night after another Pickford misjudgment to keep the game in the balance until Bernard and Kean settled things to set up a home tie against West Ham.
Ancelotti said afterwards: “I think the performance we had in the first half was good. We were focused, concentrated, we played well and we were 2-0 up. After that, we started the second half with intensity but the game wasn’t controlled until the end.
“I’m pleased about the performance because it was not easy to prepare, we have a lot of games and the players who do not play a lot played tonight, they played well so the momentum is good with the team.
“When we concede goals, we’re always frustrated. I think it was a general mistake not an individual mistake [from Pickford]. It is an important competition, a short competition, I think there are three games until the final which is not a lot and we have to be ready.”