Everton defender Vitalii Mykolenko had a challenging outing as Luton Town secured their first Premier League victory of the season, leaving fans and pundits alike to dissect the performance at Goodison Park, writes the TBR.
Rachel Brown-Finnis, reporting on the match for BBC Sport, delved into the details of this clash, which ultimately ended in disappointment for Everton.
Prior to the Luton Town showdown, Everton manager Sean Dyche had reasons to be optimistic. His team had recently clinched an impressive 3-1 victory against Brentford, marking their first league win of the season. This triumph was followed by a successful EFL Cup outing against Aston Villa, where they ousted Unai Emery’s side.
However, the game against struggling Luton Town proved to be a stern test for Everton. The visitors arrived with a clear game plan and executed it to perfection. The contest witnessed Tom Lockyer opening the scoring for Luton, only for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to restore parity. Ultimately, Carlton Morris struck the decisive goal for Luton Town, and Vitalii Mykolenko’s role in Everton’s defensive lapse did not escape attention.
Mykolenko, the Ukrainian international entrusted with the left-back position, endured a challenging day at the office. His performance was far from his best, and the repercussions were evident in Everton’s inability to secure home points, a trend they cannot afford to continue if they hope to comfortably avoid relegation this season.
The Toffees have yet to register a point at Goodison Park in the current campaign, making their upcoming clash against Bournemouth a crucial fixture. Rachel Brown-Finnis, commenting on Luton’s winning goal, expressed her dismay at the defensive lapse: “It’s just shocking defending. It’s a simple run by Carlton Morris, who’s a top goalscorer, number nine; who are you going to mark? It’s him. He peels off the back shoulder of Vitalii Mykolenko, he’s free; it’s a brilliant training ground free-kick.”
Despite Mykolenko’s subpar performance, there are still silver linings for Everton. The return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to full fitness is a significant boost, especially given his goal-scoring prowess. Furthermore, James Garner’s form, reminiscent of his performances in the Under-21 European Championships this summer, offers optimism for the team.
However, for Everton, it’s imperative that results take a positive turn promptly, or they risk finding themselves entrenched in the relegation zone once again. Sean Dyche, who has finally seen his striker find the back of the net, faces the challenge of shoring up the defense to achieve the desired results.