There was a great atmosphere today in Goodison Park for Duncan Ferguson's testimonial match against Villarreal, and I doubt anyone will mind too much about the final result. Villarreal concluded their English portion of the preseason with a 2-1 win here, so overall, three wins and a draw.
Villarreal took the lead off a corner (yes! we CAN score off them!), Samu Castillejo's corner nodded on by Bapistao to Gerard who volleyed it home in the 37th minute; Castillejo fired a good chance over five minutes later. Overall, Everton dominated the middle third of the half, Villarreal the other thirds, quality of play was excellent but few chances for either side.
In the second half changes were made, Villarreal took a 2-0 lead around the hour mark when Nahuel outmuscled Coleman for a Jaume Costa pass and beat Howard; the American keeper did well moments later to keep out a third goal, denying Ivan Alejo on an excellent play.
Wayne Rooner came on for Everton in the last fifteen minutes, Duncan Ferguson in the final six, and it was nice, actually, that Everton pulled a goal back in that period, Browning powering home a header past Barbosa off a corner with a couple of minutes to go.
While the final result wasn't critical, Villareral fans had to be impressed by the play of the team. Bittersweet joy with Gerard's goal, knowing that his departure is imminent, but looking forward to new signings, Samu Garcia's return from injury, and Jonathan dos Santos rejoining us now that the Gold Cup is over.
The team was returning via charter to Castellón Airport this evening, and have two days off before a double session on Wednesday. Endavant!!
Goals (sorry, poor quality):