‘EXCELLENT’- BBC PUNDIT PRAISES EVERTON DUO WHO CAME IN ‘FOR A LOT OF CRITICISM’.
James McFadden hailed Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey on BBC Radio 5 Live as Everton beat Manchester United 1-0 having come in ‘for a lot of criticism’ after the Burnley defeat.
Anthony Gordon struck home to see the Toffees clinch a shock result at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon. Frank Lampard’s side hosted the Old Trafford natives on the back of losing 3-2 at Turf Moor on Wednesday, having let slip a 2-1 half-time lead over the Clarets.
Godfrey and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford aided Burnley’s comeback in midweek with costly errors. The England shot-stopper sliced his clearance out of play for a throw-in the Clarets equalised from. Godfrey’s slice then led to Matej Vydra teeing up Maxwel Cornet’s winner.
Lampard kept faith in Pickford, Godfrey and Keane – who struggled at Tottenham in March while unwell – though. And the trio combined to shut the Red Devils out for only the Blues’ third Premier League win from 10 games under Lampard and first in their last three games.
All three wins under the England icon have come at Goodison over Leeds, Newcastle and now Manchester United. Everton are also yet to concede when they win, while Keane is the only one of the three whom McFadden praises to have played in each victory to date.
McFadden felt Pickford controlled his area well for only his sixth clean sheet in 28 Premier League appearances this season. Keane and Godfrey also defended well to shut out Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, plus Anthony Elanga.
“Jordan Pickford was outstanding,” McFadden said (9/4, 14:31). “Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey have both come in for a lot of criticism, but they were excellent. Difficult to beat, putting blocks in. Great performances all over the pitch for Everton, a fantastic result.”
Ronaldo forced Keane into a crucial challenge inside the penalty area on 14 minutes and rose over the Portuguese on 62 minutes to head clear a deep ball. The England centre-half kept things simple in the final seconds to boot clear with one of the last kicks of the day.
Pickford came to the rescue regularly, as well, to punch clear and make a crucial stop with his knees. Manchester United sought a late equaliser and came close when Ronaldo’s hit deflected off Keane, but the Everton No.1 was quick to react and get a leg in the way.