Who said pre-season friendlies are meaningless? It’s a great chance to test new players, managers, build up fitness and bring a new group of players together, as well as score 22 goals in one game.
Marco Silva joined Everton at the end of last season and will be hoping for more of the same after his very first game in charge ended in a 22-0 victory over Austrian side ATV Irdning.
Leighton Baines opened the scoring after five minutes, and what followed was far from what Everton will have expected. Kevin Mirallas scored five, including a four minute hat-trick, after only coming on at half-time, while three others scored hat-tricks as Omar Niasse and Cenk Tosun netted four times, with Ademola Lookman adding three.
Having scored five Premier League goals after completing his £27m move to Everton in January, Tosun nearly doubled his tally for the club inside 90 minutes. Nikola Vlasic scored twice and Mason Holgate and Micheal Keane grabbed one each. An embarrassing afternoon from ATV Irdning was particularly bad for one player who left with an own goal to his name, not that anybody will remember the game for that.
Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool, by contrast, drew 0-0 with Bury. Marco Arnautovic scored in West Ham’s 1-0 win over Wycombe, and Arsenal beat Boreham Wood 8-0 in Unai Emery’s first match in charge of the Gunners following Arsene Wenger’s departure last season.
Jordan Pickford will return to Everton after a short break as England’s World Cup came to an end. Pickford is in the running to win the Golden Glove after a series of impressive matches, including a starring role in England’s penalty shootout win against Colombia.
Thomas Meunier had a volley very well saved by the England and Everton goalkeeper, but Pickford could do little about his fourth minute strike or Eden Hazard’s late goal as England lost 2-0 against Belgium in the third place play-off.
Gareth Southgate had kept his thoughts on who will be England’s number one to himself ahead of the tournament, with Nick Pope and Jack Butland also heading to Russia in place of Joe Hart who was overlooked. However, Pickford’s form in Russia, which is likely to see him named in the team of the tournament and pick up the Golden Glove, opens the door to him becoming England’s long term number one.