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EPL: Iwobi Stars As Everton Pip Chelsea 3-1 At Goodison Park

EPL: Iwobi Stars As Everton Pip Chelsea 3-1 At Goodison Park

Super Eagles winger Alex Iwobi put up a fine performance as Everton edged out Chelsea 3-1 in their Premier League clash at the Goodison Park on Saturday.

Iwobi was in action for 90 minutes in the thrilling encounter.

The former Arsenal player has now featured in 14 league games for the Toffees this season and scored once.

Richarlison gave Everton the lead inside five minutes when he headed Djibril Sidibe’s cross past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea dominated possession afterwards but were unable to find way past the resolute Everton defence.

The hosts doubled their lead four minutes after the break when Calvert-Lewin robbed Kurt Zouma before slotting through Kepa Arrizabalaga’s legs.

Three minutes later, Chelsea got themselves back in the game when Mateo Kovacic fired in a pinpoint low effort from 25 yards, but their comeback hopes were quelled late on when a defensive shambles allowed Calvert-Lewin to poke home for his first Premier League double late on.

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  • Who would have seen this coming? Our very own Iwobi played his part for Everton who secured a huge victory over high-flying Chelsea as Duncan Ferguson began life as interim manager with a win.

    Where was this sort of team performance under their sacked manager?

    I know it sounds like a cliché but today is when I finally came to appreciate the saying that ‘players play for their manager’.

    As for Iwobi, he has come under criticisms from some quarters recently.

    Amir Mir writing for HITC.com remarked:”As for Iwobi, he moved to Goodison Park from Arsenal, but he has struggled to showcase any real consistent form.”

    And if you think about it, 1 goal in 14 Premier League matches is not a very healthy return for a 24 million pounds rated winger/centre midfielder.

    However Iwobi played his part today in an enthralling encounter that saw them tear to shreds any pre-match predictions by dismantling mighty Chelsea 3:1.

    Rating Iwobi for today’s encounter, Adam Jones wrote on Liverpool Echo:”Alex Iwobi – 6

    Was a little sloppy in possession on occasion which he will be disappointed with, but the winger stuck to his task expertly, staying wide to stretch the Chelsea defence and get himself in dangerous position on a regular basis.”

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Iwobi’s performance today has resurrected the age-old conundrum – is the guy best utilized as an AM or as a winger? He was so good today on the left flank. He can produce the killer pass at any moment and has improved with his crosses. Just needs to be more clinical in front of goal to become one of the best.
    Talking about the world’s best, a player who has been staking a strong claim to this exclusive club is Heung Min Son. For me, the performance of the day belongs to the underrated Korean. His goal against Burnley is surely a contender for the Puskas award. A SON-tastic, SON-sational, super-SONic performance. Time to stop calling the dude SONALDO. His name is HEUNG MIN SON.
    Back to the Everton vs Chelsea game, the tactic that made the difference for Everton, in my opinion, was the deployment of 2 strikers upfront – Richarlison and Calvert Lewin. Talk about two heads being better than one. Silva preferred the one striker approach, and it got Everton nowhere. Calvert Lewin’s season never got going. However, with a strike partner, Calvert Lewin came to life and produced his best performance of the season. The 4-4-2 system is considered archaic by some, but it is still very much in vogue, and has brought success to many managers. Diego Simeone of Athletico Madrid is a die hard fan of this system. Burnley are a low level premiership side, who have over achieved this season largely due to their two in form strikers, Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood. The 4-4-2 system is balanced, and produces goals. It has always served Nigeria well in the past, because it allows us to utilize our strong wing play, among other things. Some of our best results have come with this system. Nowadays, The Super Eagles, although successful in many ways, do not score much. A way to fix this is to play 2 strikers upfront in a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formation. With strikers like Osimhen, Sadiq, Dessers, and Iheanacho at our disposal, Rohr is spoilt for choice. Just select two strikers and fashion a way for them to PLAY TOGETHER, and the goals will come more frequently.

    • One of my best Super Eagles matches in recent times was the 4:2 demolition job on Argentina in the 2017 pre world cup friendly.

      Iwobi was played as a Support Striker in a 3-5-2 formation and my goodness, the then-Arsenal man was unplayable!

      Latching on to a Musa pass, Iwobi sliced through Argentina defence, displacing Mascarano before blasting his shot into his their net despite the best (or worst) efforts of Otemendi.

      That was for his second and Nigeria’s fourth goal of a memorable night for the Super Eagles in Russia.

      Before then, Iwobi had been used as a winger; after that match, he has recently been used as an attacking midfielder for Nigeria.

      However, I think his performance against Argentina in that friendly is arguably Iwobi’s best outing for Nigeria, hence, from that angle, I would argue that his best position is as a second striker when using 2 up front.

      Other memorable outings were the goals he scored against Zambia – the first in the first qualifying match away and the second in the last qualifying match at home – which he accomplished by coming in from the flanks.

      As a centre attacking midfielder, I think Iwobi is often solid but not always spectacular.

      To be both solid and spectacular, I would play Iwobi as a second striker or (like Duncan Ferguson used him today) as wide man.

      Truth is, Iwobi can play anywhere in the final 3 but the question is now which of the positions that will bring out pristine performances from him.

      I am not overly convinced that that is as an attacking midfielder.


      • Pompei 2 years ago

        The Mascherano nutmeg was the highlight of that goal for me. Iwobi received a pass from Iheanacho, and just arrogantly nutmegged a whole Mascherano, putting him on his backside yakata! I almost felt bad for Uncle Mascherano. How could this small boy do this to somebori almost old enough to be his father? No respect for elders again? Abomination! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • @deo, go and watch Ukraine Vs Nigeria again….

  • which iwobi? is it the game i watch today? complete sport it like you were on high drugs before watch the match. or you were watching it from livescore. iwobi was as usual.

    • Pompei 2 years ago

      Bros, that ya TV that uses kerosene, e be like say ya kerosene finished early in the game. Instead of yabbing Complete Sports, make sure your TV’s kerosene levels are adequate next time, so you don’t come here to yarn nonsense. You ask WHICH IWOBI? The same Iwobi that has been performing well for club and country this year, that is the Iwobi that we are talking about. If you can’t see this, perhaps you need new glasses. Or maybe it is you who is high on GBANA. Please stop smoking these hazardous drugs, for the sake of your mental health, among other things. Say hi to your alter ego Omo Komo when you switch IDs. See ya later!

    • Why do you hate Iwobi this much?

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    The guy doesn’t hate Iwobi, you guys needs to grow up, dissenting opinions doesn’t mean hatred. Iwobi game today was slightly above average as usual no biggie in my opinion.i guess I hate him too.

    • Pompei 2 years ago

      Sorry oooo, OGA GROWN UP. You are also guilty of the same offense. You say we are not grown up because we disagree with you and Iluwa. Weh done ooooo. Anyway, you and Iluwa are entitled to your opinions. I and others like me are also free to DISAGREE COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY with you.
      This boy has worked so hard for us. He chose Nigeria ahead of England. Always shows up early to camp when we have matches. Gives 100% on the pitch. Yet, all you people see are his faults. In fact, you want to stand on a roof top and use loud speaker to announce his faults and mistakes to all and sundry. Instead of being appreciative and encouraging, you nitpick and criticize destructively. The guy is human! We can’t and must not expect perfection from him. If you expect perfection from a footballer, and you are not perfect in your own profession or business, then you are a HYPOCRITE.
      You say Iwobi was AVERAGE AS USUAL, NO BIGGIE – well, Arsenal are missing that AVERAGE AS USUAL, NO BIGGIE right now. They have deadly strikers, nobody to give the final pass. Iwobi is a type of player that is extremely valuable in a team. It is when he is no longer available that you will appreciate what he brings to the table. They say half bread is better than none. I would rather have a 50% Iwobi than none. A player with the skill and intelligence to read and control a game from the midfield. You think it’s so easy?
      We all acknowledge that Iwobi has a few faults he can work on. For one, he needs to be a better finisher in front of goal. However, how you criticize matters! All this relentless nitpicking and fault finding is unbecoming of a so called fan. If criticism can not be delivered constructively, then it has no value.

    • Pompei 2 years ago

      I just fail to see how anyone can watch the Everton vs Chelsea game, and say with a straight face that IWOBI WAS NOT GOOD. It boggles the mind. Perhaps, some people don’t even know good football when they see it. How can you recognize and appreciate something you don’t know?
      If Iwobi is not a good footballer, oya, buy boot and show us how it’s done na – which side? For where?
      If na to open mouth cha cha cha cha cha, criticizing up and down, ehen, they become roaring lions. Iwobi is not good, Iwobi is not good. Thanks a lot. Leave him for us, please! Iwobi is only 23 yrs old. He is already very good. With hard work, he can only get better.

  • thanks my man @sunnyb for understand.
    I dont know what @pompei and @debo up to.

    Do you guys really love iwobi? I guess no the question. because if its yes, you would want him to improve. and unvail that his talent people see in him.

    Iwobi that was tagged as “nigerian messi” because of dribbles,pace,skill and passes. now he is left with just only passing ability.

    The football qualities…
    1)_tackle ability
    2)_shooting ability
    3)_passing abilty
    The least player atleast must possessed 4 of these qualities. When iwobi break into arsenal first team in 2015 to 16 he possessed 5qualities.

    _2017 to 18 iwobi possessed 3 qualities.

    _but now in everton only 1quality. which is pass.

    Is he going up? or he is going down?

    Where have u seen a player having just 2qualities. not to to talk of only 1.

    • Mr Hush 2 years ago

      Even if a player have all the qualities you listed and it goes contrary to the coaches plan and tactics, such qualities goes through the window.
      Your quality has a player must adhere to the plan best suited to the team getting a positive result.
      Sometimes you let go of some extra qualities to develop the best part of you.it doesn’t mean you are failing,it means development. It shows you are intelligent enough to understand what quality you need to develop more to be precise in what you do.
      You don’t want to be caught up in the phrase, “Jack of all trade,master of none”.
      I don’t think it is really hypothetically possible to list out thorough the qualities of a human being as it relates to sports and development, simply because the ability of man(as regards qualities),could be limitless, a new quality yet unseen could be added to the sports by a given player anytime. Yes.there are basic qualities needed in a sport,but such shouldn’t be limited.
      But I digress.
      Iwobi as it is,is one that plays to the coach’s instructions. He doesn’t drift away from it,so such limits his playing style. Yes.sometimes you need to get out of the box and play against the coach’s instructions to a better you,but it only shows how disciplined Iwobi is. And discipline is a good quality too.
      Yes.we all want Iwobi to be Messi or Mane or being that showman like his uncle JayJay, but sometimes, we have to look at it from the other angle. His running around,his high press and his defensive awareness from the wings helps gives his team shape. It suits him better than the creative number 10 (even though he can do that too).
      My take,Iwobi could be more.but he is doing the best he can and that is all I can ask for.

      • Elsabi 2 years ago

        You are right bro… I wasn’t so happy with him yesterday but one thing is clear, he is hungry and working hard. It can only get better

      • Glory 2 years ago

        When intelligent people speak, you always never gonna mind getting more data just so keep reading. You are definitely one such @ Hush. Thumbs up.

        • Mr Hush 2 years ago

          Much respect.
          And thanks for the kind words.
          I am humbled

      • Pompei 2 years ago

        Well said, Mr.Hush.

    • When I see Omo9ja writeup, I can vividly tell

  • _ Son of a Gun _

    @Pompei, I am just watching the highlights of Tottenham vs Burnley and I can now see why you felt the need to shower encomium at a South Korean player in a Nigerian football website in an unrelated topic (which seemed rather odd to me at the time).

    When a footballer score the sort of goal that Son Heung-Min executed eloquently yesterday, then the whole world must take notice and celebrate such artistry that unravelled right before our very eyes.

    Taking the ball from just outside his own 18 yard box, the South Korea midfielder ran the length of the pitch, leaving destruction, desolation and devastion in his wake to find himself face – to – face with the Burley goalkeeper before unleashing a shot that blasted into the net with all the players that should have stopped him left stunned and wondering what just happened!

    It was something out of Diego Maradona’s manual of how to make the world stop for a moment and focus all attention on one footballer.

    If Son Heung-Min lives for a thousand years, it is doubtful he would ever again score such a beauty!

    Speaking on match of the day programme afterwards, the man of the moment himself said: “As soon as I got the ball I tried to pass it to Dele; I was waiting, he was moving ; and I couldn’t find him so I kept moving; the pitch was long and there was a bit of luck as well.

    I am happy to score this goal, I think it was the best goal of my life.” concluded Son Heung-Min.

    The 27 year old winger has now scored 5 goals in his last 7 matches.

    If you would like to relive Son’s moment of magic, this is for you:


    • Pompei 2 years ago

      Deo, thanks for the video. We just have to salute exceptional artistry when we see it, irrespective of the artist’s nationality. SON OF A GUN – I love that. The guy has been performing very well for some years now in the premiership. With this goal, the big clubs will be forced to take another look at him. I think he is a model of the COMPLETE FORWARD. He can do it all. Close control, shoots and crosses with both feet, skill, pace, good in the air, the whole shabang. If you underrate the guy because he is Asian, he will destroy you. A top, top player, he is.

  • Glory 2 years ago

    @ Pompeii, comments here help to know how knowledgeable people are with football. Every coach, right from Wenger, Unai Emery, Gernot Rohr, Sunday Oliseh, Samson Siasia, Brazilian Tite, South African Baxter, Marco Silver, Duncan Ferguson etc know Iwobi to be a proper player hence were and are ready to bench players for him. Even football pundits recognise his very rare qualities too. It’s only those who never kicked a ball but according to @ Drey got into football playing computer games that see things to the contrary. They want Iwobi to do what pleases them against coaches instructions, how laughable. Any intelligent person will observe, that even Iwobi isn’t too comfortable being limited to play according to these coach’es instructions but saddly, he just has to or build a house on the bench. Coaches need players to play almost more than 30 games, so are always getting players to conserve energy instead exhausting that energy in showboating. They will keep emphasizing the play it simple style. That definitely will almost certainly take the shine off certain players like Iwobi, who without doubt is a bundle of skill. I personally, will be more than happy to see him do those beautiful things but I understand how these things work with football managers. After all he is getting games time n has been very effective in what the managers want him to do, else he would have been dropped to the bench. Has anyone ever asked why as good as JJ Okocha he could’nt even play for the likes of Chelsea,Man utd, Arsenal etc but for Bolton. Reason is the managers were never impressed with his showboating style of football. Seems it’s only in french league that players are sometimes given freedom to express themselves, possibly because you ve got more Africans there. Left to me I would have preferred Iwobi moved to PSG but he chose Everton. Bakayoko was declared not good enough when he moved to Chelsea but he is gone back to Monaco n doing great stuff.

    • Pompei 2 years ago

      Glory, don’t mind them. Wenger, Emery, and all the other coaches Iwobi played under, are they all stupid? As mentioned already, Iwobi plays to instructions, as expected of a professional. A player can be good without being spectacular. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What somebody called AVERAGE PERFORMANCE, may be exactly what the coach wanted. I would love Iwobi to become a better finisher. I want him to work on this. If he achieves this, he would join the exclusive club of BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD.

  • Thanks Sean,

    I thought Iwobi was disciplined, solid and focused against Ukraine but my Iwobi-moment remains the match against Argentina; the brother was near-unplayable. And like Pompei alluded to, he played without respect for the calibre and pedigree of the opposition before him – brilliant!

    Coming off the bench to break Zambian hearts by scoring the goal that, to all intents and purposes, qualified us for the World Cup at home in Uyo was another Iwobi-moment for me. But for that goal, our qualification may have been in jeopardy considering that our last match against Algeria was disqualified due to NFF incompetence.

    But I quite agree with you: against Ukraine, we saw a player who was more interested in team shape, organisation and compactness whilst placing a lot more emphasis on defensive duties rather than attacking forays, in the process, sacrificing individual glory for collective outcomes and that, you cannot argue against.

  • Mr Hush,

    _____Unrealistic Expectations?______

    I can’t but agree with your submission above more so the conclusion which encapsulated the essence of the piece.

    Look at this way: if you have a child and you believe beyond conviction that the child is an 80% grade child, you will always be frustrated anytime he/she comes home with 65% (which in itself a very good grade).

    Now, if after many seasons, you keep pushing the child and the child keeps pushing himself/herself as well (with hard work) but keeps coming home with 65%, it will have to come to a time when you adjust your expectations and (in your own words) accept the child for the level of their output because his/her hard work, focus and application are all you can ask for.

    You said: “My take,Iwobi could be more.but he is doing the best he can and that is all I can ask for.”

    It is not Iwobi’s performance that is letting some of us down but perhaps our own expectations of his performance (which does start to appear to be acutely unrealistic) that is actually letting us down.

    On evidence, certain expectations are showing up to be unrealistic.

    We have to like him for the player he is, admire his work ethics, implore him to do more whilst being balanced and constructive in our criticisms.

    I quite like what Pompei said as well when the well spoken gentleman remarked:”We all acknowledge that Iwobi has a few faults he can work on. For one, he needs to be a better finisher in front of goal.

    This boy has worked so hard for us. He chose Nigeria…Always shows up early to camp… Gives 100% on the pitch”.

    To build on that quote from Pompei and end with your soundbite Mr Hush, ‘I can’t ask for more’.

    • Mr Hush 2 years ago


      “It is not Iwobi’s performance that is letting some of us down but perhaps our own expectations of his performance (which does start to appear to be acutely unrealistic) that is actually letting us down.”

      Exactly the point. The truth can’t be further than that.

      Sometimes,we expect so much from a player, something he can’t literally(physically) give.
      Yes.we can’t blame critics from having this expectations ; most of these expectations
      are from a genuine belief in such player’s ability.and that is ok. It is never the fault of the critic to believe so much in a player,but we should be careful not to expect so much knowing fully well that players are human beings,and one tendency of all humans is the ability to disappoint at a time intentionally or unintentionally.
      We should learn to see things from the mental angle rather than the eyes alone or our high expectations might push a player with genuine ability not to achieve his potential. Not everyone has the mental strength to withstand pressure,especially such pressure coming from a genuine place.

      And I end my thoughts with this excerpt from @deo;

      “We have to like him for the player he is, admire his work ethics, implore him to do more whilst being balanced and constructive in our criticisms.”

  • i disagree when people said iwobi only play to coaches instructions. we have seen in multiple occasions where iwobi want to show that extra quality but they dispossessed him off ball. for instance against ukraine. so fear of showboat makes iwobi to releas the ball as if it hots his legs. and it because he doesn’t focused and aggressive enough with the ball. thats why he could not do the needful to get goals and assists. and this midfield that they bring him into has taken away his attacking instinct.

  • Proudly 9ja 2 years ago

    Is it just me or has Kelechi lost some weight and his 1st touch has gotten better. Just watching the Lei vs AV and his has been immensed for Lei. His tru pass to Vardy was a delight to watch. He really needs to keep working on his fitness and 1st touch as his finishing has never been in doubt since his u15 days. If he keeps it up then a return to d SE looks bright. Like someone once said a strike partnership of iheanacho and osimen (2 top scorers of u17) would be a delight to watch. Although d onuachus and olayinkas of this world bring something different to d team, a player of iheanacho’s quality is far more than these 2 or even Maja sef. Am not calling for iheanacho’s immediate inclusion to d SE but his relevance is crucial. in my opinion and I have said it b4 that in front of goal I have never since a better finisher. Don’t get me wrong ooo he might miss a few (I think this happens whenever his confidence level is low) and his awareness of giving incisive passes has never been in doubt in my opinion. I think a front line of samu-kele-osimen-kalu is mouthwatering to me. Kele thrives as a support striker not as d main. He is d type that arrives late in d box to finish a counter attacking move. once players like Madison, tillemans, even our own ndidi plays more passes to Iheanacho’s feet he will score more. How can a player like ayoze Perez be benching iheanacho for goodness sake. Like I said if he can continue working on his fitness (lose a few more pounds to increase his speed) and 1st touch he will be unstoppable. He just scored again

  • Iheanacho still has a lot to do to do but I believe he has what it takes to bounce back. I also think that Rogers has found the best formation to use him in order to get the best out of him. One of keles greatest challenges was not fitting into the teams formation and not having a particular role in a,team. But rodgers seem to believe that kelechi will function effectively as a strike partner for vardy and judging by the two assists and two goals in two games, I trust that this partnership will yield more fruits in future. All they need is more playing time together. Kelechi also needs to be more serious and take his chances with each game.

  • You can criticise iwobi all you want but the bottom line is we don’t have any player who can do what he does in the national team. Hes ability to spot a run and pick a through pass was evident throughout afcon qualifiers and the competition as well. He also scores the rear goal once in a,while. But when he comes against world class opposition especially in midfield, he rarely shows up. He may not be a world class creative midfielder but he is still effective for any team being able to play in multiple positions upfront.so I can only encourage him to put in more effort and add more goals to his game because I believe he has it in him.