Roberto Martinez has spoken about of how he is ‘hurt’ after a dodgy call by the linesman saw his Everton side concede en route to League Cup defeat, but there is more to the Toffees’ exit than an official’s blunder.
When Ross Barkley opened the scoring at the Etihad after 18 minutes, steps should have been taken to kill the match there and then.
He should have set his stall out when they went two goals in front last night. That was the time to say “let’s just make this a horrible game and make ourselves difficult to break down”.
To leave it as an open game you are asking for trouble, and unfortunately for Everton that trouble came.
You can have some sympathy for the decision that went against them leading up to the goal because the ball went out; it wasn’t even a close call.
It’s hard to say what would have happened had that decision not gone against them, they could just as well gone on to win the tie.
While that’s not the be-all-and-the-end-all because there are obviously two sides to it, he should have had a plan B that they could turn to, to make themselves difficult to beat, and that didn’t come into fruition.
The decision obviously turned the game in Manchester City’s favour and they never looked back on it from there on in, but it shouldn’t really have come to that.
Everton’s style of play means that the opposition have always got a chance to get a goal or two.
When David Moyes was there the Toffees were very hard to score against, but that was the emphasis that Moyes put on his team.
The thought process was one of not conceding first and foremost before going on to see whether they could snatch the win.
However we know Roberto Martinez likes his teams to play free-flowing football and that’s his style, but there are times you need to adapt.
Last night was the perfect example of when they needed to batten down the hatches and make sure they got to the final.
They didn’t do that, and while the game might have turned on one decision, they were simply inviting the likes of Sergio Aguero to punish them.
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