Everton survive Pickford howler to snuff out Fleetwood fightback
Carlo Ancelotti warned Jordan Pickford and his defenders to “learn a lesson” despite Everton continuing their winning start to the season.
Pickford’s blunder early in the second half made their third-round tie at Fleetwood a more uncomfortable night than it needed to be for the Premier League club.
They led comfortably at the break thanks to two well-taken goals from Richarlison, but Pickford presented Mark Duffy with a gift after his pass out was charged down early in the second period.
And the England No1 – whose form has been under scrutiny for several months now – then failed to keep out Callum Camps’s overhead kick that made it 3-2 despite getting a hand to the close-range effort.
England manager Gareth Southgate will have taken note, but Ancelotti refused to put all the blame on Pickford for the first goal, although he made it clear he does not want to see a repeat.“I think the first goal was not down to any individual mistakes – we passed the ball back to Jordan and it was a really difficult ball,” he said. “We could have behaved differently, so we didn’t do that well. Of course you have to improve there.
“You want to build up from the back, but when there is not risk. If it is risky it is not good, we can concede a goal like we did tonight and it is a good lesson for the future. I have to speak with the players who were involved when we were building up. Jordan was not the only one [to blame].”
For a while Everton were wobbling, but in the end goals from Alex Iwobi, Bernard and Moise Kean saw them through to a fourth-round home tie against West Ham United.
Joey Barton, the Fleetwood manager, and an Everton fan, said: “I am delighted with the team they put out because it shows Everton are taking the competition seriously. It pays us enormous respect that they turned up and played in the correct manner. At half-time you are challenging the boys to give them a game. We started the half correctly and that allowed us to get them rattled.”
Fleetwood (3-5-2) Cairns 7; Boyes 6, Stubbs 6 (Duffy h-t), Hill 6; Burns 6, Camps 6, Whelan 6, Coutts 6 (Matete 75), Andrew 6; Evans 5 (Saunders 75), Morris 6. Subs Leutwiler (g), Garner, Holgate, Morris.
Everton (4-2-3-1) Pickford 5; Kenny 7, Keane 7, Digne 7, Nkounkou 7; Sigurdsson 7, Delph 7 (Davies 62); Iwobi 8, Bernard 7, Richarlison 8 (Kean 75); Calvert-Lewin 7 (Gordon h-t). Subs Lossl (g), Walcott, Doucoure, Coleman. Booked Delph.
Referee Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).
Big mistake: Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford presents Fleetwood with their first goal