David Moyes' side capitalise on decision to send off the David Wheater, while the home side lose their sixth home game out of seven this season and remain in the bottom three
Everton recorded a straight-forward 2-0 win over Bolton on Saturday as Marouane Fellaini and Apostolis Vellios scored the goals at the Reebok Stadium, with the hosts seeing David Wheater sent off.
Wheater was given a straight-red for a wild tackle on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, much to the displeasure of the home fans and the match was an up-hill struggle from there.
Fellaini gave David Moyes’ team the lead moments into the second-half as he knocked in Bilyaletdinov’s low-cross and substitute Vellios secured the three points 12 minutes from time with an easy finish after a cross-goal pass by Cahill.
Neither manager was forced into too many changes before the match as Owen Coyle brought in Zat Knight for the injured Joe Riley at the back and named 19 year-old striker Michael O’Halloran on the bench for the first-time in the Premier League.
Everton boss David Moyes also made only one change, bringing in Diniyar Bilyaletdinov for Royston Drenthe on the left wing, and the Dutch winger didn’t even make the bench while Sylvain Distin failed to prove his fitness after recent injury struggles and Jonny Heitinga continued in his place.
The first chance of the match came less than a minute in as Chris Eagles did brilliantly to get in behind Tony Hibbert before cutting the ball back to Kevin Davies who arrived in the box late, but the experienced striker put his effort over.
Thirteen minutes in, Tim Howard was forced into his first save of the match as Davies cleverly left the ball to run to Ivan Klasnic, taking a defender away from the Croat, but the former Werder Bremen striker’s effort was punched away by the American custodian.
With 20 minutes gone, a big talking point occurred as David Wheater saw red for a wild, studs up lunge on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov after a heavy first-touch. The home faithful weren’t impressed, clearly feeling the Russian made the most of it, but there was no doubting the maliciousness of the tackle, even if it wasn’t two-footed.
Moments later, the pantomime villain of Wheater’s red card, Bilyaletdinov, should have given the visitors the lead, but his half-volley in the area after good work down the right by Seamus Coleman went over from 10 yards.
The first-half provided few other major talking points as the final twenty minutes or so followed a very repetitive formula; Everton attack after Everton attack.
Everton’s dominance was undoubtedly caused by Wheater’s red card, but the visitors couldn’t truly capitalise as they registered many chances, but none paid off.
However, less than two minutes into the second-half, Moyes’ team had the lead they deserved. Bilyaletdinov played in a brilliant low-cross between the defenders and goalkeeper from the left, allowing Marouane Fellaini to sneak through and knock the ball past Jaaskelainan first time.
The goal came at a critical stage as it effectively rendered Owen Coyle’s half-time thoughts redundant, but it was coming.
Coleman was almost the next to get his name on the scoreboard as the Irishman cut in from the right, before his left-footed shot was deflected, but thankfully for Coyle, Jaaskelainan made the stop, if a little unconvincingly.
With 12 minutes to go, Everton had their second. Baines’ ball from deep was knocked back across the area by Cahill and Apostolis Vellios was on hand to knock it past a helpless Jaaskelainan.
The final 10 minutes saw the match peter out with various substitutions taking the sting out of the occasion, but no one can argue with the result, however it won't be surprising if Coyle has something to say about the red card.