Everton 0 Swansea 0
Ross Barkley’s burgeoning career for club and country took another step forward here, according to Everton and England team mate Phil Jagielka — not that it was immediately apparent in such a forgettable meeting.
Content to play on the counter-attack and defend doggedly, Swansea retreated even further into their shell 18 minutes from time when midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The impressive job the Swans had performed in keeping Barkley and his play-making qualities quiet, ramped up a notch thereafter although Jagielka, who expects to see Barkley named alongside him in Roy Hodgson’s latest England squad this week, believes this is the sort of game that will hasten the 20-year-old’s already impressive development.
“That is what happens to the best players,” said Jagielka. “They watch the videos of him and they do target him to make sure if they keep him quiet in a game it can affect his team.
“He is going to have to deal with it and I can’t see it getting much easier for him as he goes on in his career but he’s more than capable of dealing with it.
“It’s difficult and when they went to 10 men they closed the gaps. Ross is still learning and he has come a long way since he’s broken into the first team and I still expect him to go a long way from now. He’s probably finished growing now as an athlete but he will continue to grow as a footballer.
“Nothing gets him down. If you look at today I wouldn’t say it was his best game but he kept on going, kept on going, kept on going. A lot of people in that situation can hide and not want the ball but I’d never expect Ross to be one of those players which will hopefully he finds those bits and bobs to get away from a couple of players will help in his career.”
Barkley’s manager Roberto Martinez could barely conceal his disappointment that two teams with a reputation for expansive football should fail to deliver so badly.
Yet it might have been different had Swansea been awarded a first half penalty for a clear handball by Antolin Alcaraz or for Seamus Coleman’s obvious trip on Jefferson Montero in the second. Manager Garry Monk, who held a meeting with referees’ officials Mike Riley and Howard Webb on Friday to analyse a list of recent decisions to have gone against his team, did not dwell on the latest.
Instead, especially in the wake of the recent controversy that surrounded the penalty his team conceded against Stoke’s Victor Moses, Monk and Montero deserved praise.
“Even the Everton fans thought the challenge on Montero by Coleman was a penalty,” said Monk. ”
EVERTON: Howard 7; Coleman 6, Alcaraz 5 (Besic 31mins, 6), Jagielka 7, Baines 6; McCarthy 8, Barry 6; McGeady 6 (Lukaku 64mins, 6), Barkley 7, Naismith 5 (Pienaar 67mins, 6); Eto’o 5.
SWANSEA: Fabianski 7; Rangel 7, Fernandez 8, Williams 6, Taylor 6; Shelvey 6, Ki Sung-yueng 7; Routledge 7, Sigurdsson 7 (Carroll 75, 6), Montero 7 (Dyer 78, 6); Bony 6 (Gomis 60, 6).
Referee: K Friend 5
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