Everton player ratings vs Nottingham Forest: Iwobi and Gray spectacular in 1-1 draw

Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Everton hosted Nottingham Forest on Matchday 3 as the Toffees desperately searched for their first win of the campaign. The Toffees failed to get a win but got their first points on board, drawing 1-1 with Steve Cooper’s men.

Frank Lampard rang two changes to the lineup. Tom Davies came in for injured Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Salomon Rondon started in place of Dwight McNeil. The former Chelsea boss retained the 3-4-3 formation, this time with a proper striker up front instead of deploying Anthony Gordon in a striker role.

Everton had early chances, keeping Dean Henderson busy. Everton’s interplay and transitions looked smooth and quick which was a huge improvement compared to last weekend. The Toffees looked threatening on the ball going forward. Nottingham Forest grew into the game as they controlled possession and moved the ball well.

In the second half, Everton looked far more dangerous and dominant in attack but just couldn’t find the goal that would give them the lead. Everton attackers forced Henderson into making saves. Forest went ahead through Brennan Johnson, shattering Everton’s hearts. Demarai Gray struck back to pull the game back on level terms. The Goodison roared and Everton pushed for a winner but the Toffees had to walk away with a draw.

Jordan Pickford – 7

Jordan Pickford made his first save of the game from a Neco Williams shot as Nottingham looked to hurt Everton on a counter. Taiwo Awoniyi’s shot was also saved from close range in the first half.

Pickford made a save from Ryan Yates’ long range shot which fell into the path of Brennan Johnson, who scored the first goal of the game. Pickford played a fantastic long ball to Demarai Gray who did not miss and equalized the game.


James Tarkowski – 6

James Tarkowski made a mistake that allowed Awoniyi to take a shot, forcing Pickford to make a save. The former Burnley man has made important tackles and interceptions but the failure to get the passing right had landed Everton in vulnerable situations.

Conor Coady – 6

Conor Coady started in the middle of the back three and was on his toes, ready to deal with dangerous situations. The 29 year old was a bit shabby when it came to passing but he made up for it through his defensive presence.

Mason Holgate – 7

Mason Holgate was defensively solid. The presence of leaders Coady and Tarkowski allowed him to play calmly and make accurate passes. Even in the second half, Holgate maintained his alertness and was not afraid of winning the ball aggressively.


Vitaliy Mykolenko – 6.5

Vitaliy Mykolenko explored spaces on the left as he supplemented Gray in the attack. His battle with Neco Williams was eye-catching throughout the game. Mykolenko’s presence somewhat withered in the second half as there wasn’t much on the attacking side that was done.

Alex Iwobi – 8.5

Alex Iwobi has been fantastic and ever-giving in his central midfield role. The Nigerian was once again ever present in the midfield, pressing and forcing Nottingham players into mistakes. The former Arsenal man was Everton’s best player by some distance.

He made defensive contributions, helping out his fellow centre backs, while also driving forward and releasing the wingers out wide. Iwobi had a late shot that just skimmed over the top bar as the Toffees searched for a late winner.

Tom Davies – 7

Missed a golden chance to put Everton ahead within the first three minutes of the game but the midfielder couldn’t make a connection and put the ball in the back of the net. The academy graduate made an attempt outside of the box which was inches wide from the goal. The 24 year old had another half a chance but his overall presence was impressive in the first half.

Nathan Patterson – 7

Nathan Patterson started his third consecutive Premier League game and the Scotsman oozed confidence in his play. Defensively, Patterson was astute, making crucial interceptions and winning the ball back.


Anthony Gordon – 7.5

Anthony Gordon finally started at his preferred position and instantly made an impact, testing Dean Henderson on a couple of occasions in the first half. Gordon made another solid effort at goal, receiving a pass from Iwobi in the box and dropping the shoulder to get rid of the defender and launching a shot that Henderson saved. Gordon had half a chance to seal the game but Henderson came ahead of his line to make himself big. The 21 year old had a decent game but there was more for him on the table.

Salomon Rondon – 6

Rondon started his first game of the season, aiming to be the frontman who can be the focal point of the attack. Rondon was able to hold up the ball and play smart passes to his teammates up front. The Venezuelan couldnt muster a proper chance for himself in the first half. In the second half, he had a mouth watering chance, as Davies fed the ball and Rondon took the shot on the turn which went wide.

Demarai Gray – 8

Demarai Gray looked incisive and electric on a number of occasions. His two efforts on goal were near perfect. His deliveries from dead ball situations were also solid. Gray was potentially the second best player on the pitch, involved in almost all attacks.

The Englishman worked very hard in bringing the ball forward and also cutting inside to create space. Gray had been lacking this sort of sharpness in the first two games.

Substitutions –

Amadou Onana – 6

Amadou Onana came on for Davies in the 57th minute. Onana went into the book for a poor tackle. The Belgian made his presence felt but could have had more impact from the middle of the pitch.

Dwight McNeil – 7

McNeil came in for Rondon as the Venezuelan looked a bit tired and Lampard made a tactical change, bringing off the only striker on the pitch. McNeil got behind Nottingham Forest on the left side but with support arriving late, Everton could not create a goalscoring move. McNeil was impressive but lacked the finishing touch that could have seen Everton win the game.

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Will Everton register their first win next weekend?