Okaka at the double to deepen Everton’s blues
Stefano Okaka inspired Watford to a 3-2 comeback win over Everton on Saturday, to leave Koeman's team with just one win in 10 outings.
First win over Everton in almost 30 years
Stefano Okaka inspired Watford to a 3-2 comeback win over Everton on Saturday, to leave the Merseysiders with just one win in 10 outings.
Romelu Lukaku found the net twice for Everton but Okaka's brace - the first, a stunning flick, along with a Sebastian Prodl header earned Walter Mazzarri's men all three points. It was Watford's first win over Everton since March 1987 and puts them level on points with Manchester United who entertain Spurs tomorrow.
It means Everton have now gone five games without a win and face two tough home games against Arsenal and Liverpool before visiting Leicester. Earlier this week Koeman was dealt a blow with the news that Yannick Bolasie is likely to miss the rest of the campaign after picking up a serious knee injury.
Gerard Deulofeu took over from the former Crystal Palace winger at Vicarage Road and drew an volleyball-style save from Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes with a teasing early cross. The hosts seemed to be building up a head of steam, with Ramiro Funes Mori obliged to slide in and prevent Okaka reaching Étienne Capoue's low cross, when Everton took a 17th-minute lead.
Gareth Barry did not even need to look up to know where Lukaku would be running, hoisting a first-time pass over the Watford defence for the Belgian to finish past Gomes. Okaka's first attempt at an equaliser lacked the pace or placement to trouble Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, but his second effort was a gem.
Nordin Amrabat curled a cross into the box from the right and Okaka, who joined from Anderlecht in August, stole in front of his marker before pirouetting to flick a graceful back-heel volley home from six yards. Watford might have gone ahead before half-time, but Troy Deeney miscued after ghosting in to meet Adlene Guedioura's deep cross.
The second goal would not elude them for long, however, as Jose Holebas bent a free-kick into the box from the left in the 59th minute and Prodl charged in to plant a header past Stekelenburg. Within five minutes it was 3-1. Stekelenburg produced a finger-tip save to keep out Miguel Britos's header, but from the resulting corner Holebas picked out Okaka to glance in his second goal.
Koeman sent on Ross Barkley, Enner Valencia and Aaron Lennon and the latter's left-wing cross allowed Lukaku to reduce the arrears with a close-range header four minutes from time. But Watford held on, a stoppage-time Barkley free-kick the only meaningful effort Gomes had to save.
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