‘Sean Dyche’s team destroyed that narrative’ – Everton have the last laugh as media highlight Sky Sports

Everton could start their trip to Luton Town on Friday evening safe in the knowledge that their Premier League status was already secured, but with their hosts still desperately battling for points, Sean Dyche’s side held on despite the intense pressure for a to earn a goal. 1-1 draw and extension of their unbeaten run to four games.

Here’s a look at what the national media made of the game at Kenilworth Road.

In the Daily Mail, Kieran Gill highlighted the different moods in the respective camps, as this televised match – with the expectation that both teams would still be fighting for survival – turned out quite differently in the end. He said: “Luton’s dissatisfaction with this draw was highlighted in the eighth minute of stoppage time when goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski was sent forward in the hope of heading in a corner.

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“Rarely will you see such a risk taken in the Premier League when the score is 1-1, but this was a risk that Rob Edwards and his players felt was necessary at Kenilworth Road. Unfortunately for Edwards, that magical moment never came. The cross came in, Everton scored as they often did in this match, the draw was confirmed and that dreaded dotted line will hang over Luton after this.

“Every point counts, but it is unlikely to be enough once this relegation race ends. Luton can now only hope that Nottingham Forest and Burnley will not make them pay for their inability to win here.

“Luton hardly helped themselves when Teden Mengi confused football with wrestling, giving Everton a penalty that Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave away with ease. Elijah Adebayo equalized and bullied Ashley Young to score on his first start since February, but overall this was a night enjoyed by many more of those of an Everton persuasion.

“While Jurgen Klopp yesterday took the opportunity to throw another stick of dynamite at TNT Sports, worrying about the timing of Liverpool’s games this season, Everton saved their explosiveness for the three Premier League games they have played in the past seven days had disputed.

“Three wins, zero goals conceded, safety assured, and with this Friday night trip to Luton arranged by Sky Sports when people thought it could look like a relegation six-pointer.

“Sean Dyche’s team destroyed that narrative by confirming survival with a 1-0 win over Brentford on Saturday. That gave the traveling supporters on this challenge day a strange feeling: a sense of relief, exaltation and intrigue about how they might perform minus the pressure of possible doom.

“While they were singing about Premier Leaving pushing their points deduction where the sun don’t shine, this match was quickly overshadowed by penalties, of which only one was awarded.”

In the Guardian, Jacob Steinburg Everton’s feel-good factor was also lost on him, even if he was less than flattering about the Blues’ approach.

He commented: “When the final story of the 2023/2024 Premier League season is told, it is likely that Luton Town will only regret the evening when they ran out of inspiration and time against opponents who were equally negative and rudimentary were like last time. Sean Dyche’s Everton.

‘Their safety was already assured, Everton’s nous drowned out the noise. Ashley Young, making the 450th appearance of his club career, shrugged off insults about his Watford past. Dwight McNeil laughed as he was abused for appealing a penalty after tangling with Mengi on the left.

“Mengi was nervous during the first half and almost scored an own goal when he stretched to clear a McNeil cross, and he was punished in the 24th minute. A corner came from the left and David Coote, the VAR, saw the defender wrap his arms around Branthwaite.

“Did it matter that both players weren’t near the ball? Not against the officials.

“Everton nodded. No opportunity to reduce Luton’s momentum with a bit of wasted time was knowingly rejected.
The game felt too broken, too rushed, too choppy. Tarkowski and Branthwaite won big in the air. Jack Harrison stopped Doughty on the left.

“Everton were resilient. The clock was always against Luton.”

Tom Alluntt of The Times was at least a little more grateful for Everton’s efforts, having done all the hard work.

He said: “Luton Town ran out of time here and their time in the Premier League is running out. A convincing home draw against Everton, whose safety was already assured, was nothing less than what Luton deserved, but at this stage of the season it felt like a missed opportunity.

“Luton’s goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski was in the penalty area before the final corner in the sixth minute of extra time and that said it all. Luton needed a win here and while there is still time in their last two games, they have it all to do.

“Luton and Everton would have circled this match as a potential relegation decider a few weeks ago, but Everton came here with safety confirmed after an inspired run of four wins from five.

“Luton threw everything, including Kaminski, forward in added time when Luke Berry forced a save from Pickford with a header and then went close with an overhead kick. Branthwaite blocked Andros Townsend’s shot in front of goal at the end as Everton held on.”

With Everton determined, Jon West of the Daily Telegraph also opined that this was a match Luton Town had to win.

He wrote: “Elijah Adebayo marked his return from injury with a goal for Luton but it wasn’t enough. The Hatters needed to win to put some pressure on relegation rivals Nottingham Forest and Burnley.

“Adebayo, who missed so badly up front for almost the entire two-month spell and managed just one win during his absence, canceled out Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s penalty opener for the Toffees, who no longer have anything to worry about on the pitch. their myriad off-field problems.

“Sub Luke Berry almost won it at the death, but Pickford was able to save – and the same player had a bicycle kick blocked.
Andros Townsend, another ex-Toffee, saw a drive blocked in a frantic finish, but Everton held on.”

Meanwhile, in the ECHO, Joe Thomas focused on Everton’s potential summer transfer plans, pointing out that while Ross Barkley attracted attention against his former club, the Blues would be better off focusing on another of his Luton Town teammates rather than signing back the Wavertree-born midfielder to fetch.

He commented: “How Barkley would fit into Sean Dyche’s team is unclear. There are plenty of good reasons that perennial claims of a reunion have not materialized in recent summers when the England international was available on a free transfer.

“There is a good chance that such a return will not follow this summer. But until his future is decided, expect a chorus of debates online and in living rooms and cafe floors about the possibility.

“There was a feeling that this game could be about Barkley. With the Blues safe after that hat-trick of brilliant wins last week, this was one of the few obvious talking points, something that was also recognized in Bedfordshire. It was no coincidence that he was the player featured on the front page of the matchday programme.

“But as Everton director of football Kevin Thelwell watched from the stands, the biggest lesson he may have learned ahead of what will be another summer of careful, smart and opportunistic rebuilding came not from Barkley, but from one of his teammates.

“Tahith Chong was a threat throughout this highly entertaining match, allowing the Blues to concede exactly the same free-kicks and corners that they have converted into precious goals over the past nine months. If Dyche could add one quality to this team in the closing season, it would certainly be speed.”

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