Tag Archives: Gylfi Sigurdsson

Everton suffers ugly Europa League defeat by Lyon at home

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Everton’s poor start to season continued with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Lyon in the Europa League, with the game descending into a melee in the second half following an ugly brawl sparked by the captain Ashley Williams.

Lyon — who, like Everton were without a win in Group E — took the lead inexplicably just after six minutes through Nabil Fekir’s penalty, awarded for Mason Holgate’s rash and ill-timed challenge on Fernando Marcal.

Then, a second-half flashpoint which could see Everton and Williams facing punishment came, as Williams’s shove on the Lyon goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes, sparked heated confrontations between players in front of the Gwladys Street end.

The match was held for a couple of minutes as the group melee surged to the direction advertising hoardings, with a supporter holding a child in one arm spotted aiming a punch in the direction of the keeper.

Afterwards and seemingly roused by the clash, Williams headed a perfect free-kick cross delivered by Gylfi Sigurdsson to turn from villain to hero from six yards and equalized.

Sigurdsson came close again moments later with a second free kick that hit the inside of a post, but Lyon responded and extinguish any hopes of an Everton revival. As Maxwel Cornet turned back a ball across goal from the right-hand byline, a slight flick from Bertrand Traore in the middle was enough to secure all three points for the Ligue 1 club.

The defeat, which comes after a 3-game winless streak despite a huge amount of summer transfer activity amounting to well over £100m for the Toffees, further calls into question the future of coach Ronald Koeman with the club.

“We made too many mistakes,” the Dutchman said after the game. “It was thanks to Jordan Pickford that the score was only 2-1. We started well but made a really stupid fault after just five minutes.”

“I have no complaints, it was the right decision from the referee to give a penalty, but there were a lot more mistakes and bad decisions after that. That’s what we are looking at the moment: doubts, errors, and players without confidence. I know from my playing days what that does to you.”

“The final decision is by the board not myself,” Koeman then added regarding his position. “If the board thinks I am not the right man they will tell me.”

Everton enters Europa League after draw with Hajduk Split

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Everton secured a spot in the group stages of the Europa League after a 1-1 draw away against Hajduk Split.

With a 2-0 lead from the first leg, Everton only need a draw or a one-goal loss to advance, and for most part of the first-half their disciplined and measured plays ensured that they could secure such a result.

However, Hajduk Split looked to shake things up just two minutes before half-time, with Josip Radosevic letting fly a swerving 35-yard shot that beats Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.

But it did not take long for Everton to respond, as their £45m club record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson pay due to his transfer fee on his first full debut with a stunning volley.

Starting a move by closing down a loose ball on the right, as he was falling backwards by doing so, the Icelandic playmaker sent a looping, angled volley over the goalkeeper Dante Stipica and into the back of the net from 50 yards.

Everton coach Ronald Koeman said after the game “I saw Gylfi’s goal, but I don’t think everyone on the bench did. It was incredible. I don’t have any other word for it. You need to be clever to see that possibility and after two or three weeks of the season, it could be the goal of the season [already]. It was really important to be level so quickly in the second half.”

Split, needing three goals to counter the away goal rule, could have regained their lead as Ashley Williams conceded a penalty for a clumsy challenge, but the spot kick was well saved by Pickford this time around. The penalty save was key as well because there were still 30 minutes to go at that time,” said Koeman.

However, Everton will have a more difficult test ahead as they travel to Chelsea on Sunday, with Koeman also revealing that the Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gueye had been rested with a slight hamstring problem.

Everton to increase bid after Swansea reject £40m deal for Sigurdsson

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Everton will be increasing their bid for Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson after a the Welsh club rejected £40m deal for the signature of the Icelandic playmaker.

However, Everton’s chances of signing the player was buffed significantly after Sigurdsson, 27, returned to Wales after pulling out of Swansea City’s tour of the United States less than an hour before the players were due to leave their hotel in London on Thursday.

The Icelandic international was present in Swansea’s friendly at Barnet, where he wore the captain’s armband in the second half of a 1-0 defeat against the League Two club.

Swansea manager Paul Clement spoke afterwards about Sigurdsson’s situation, explaining how he wanted the player to stay but highlighting how “there’s a business side to football as well”.

Sigurdsson’s decision to opt out of the pre-season tour took Swansea by surprise and has seemingly made the possibility of a move inevitable, with Everton set to press ahead to try to complete a transfer in time for the midfielder to join them in the Netherlands next week.

Nonetheless,the Toffees need to make an improved bid after their initial one in the region of £40m was rejected as it did not meet Swansea’s £50m valuation of the playmaker.

Still, there is a high chance that Everton, who have been tracking Sigurdsson for a long time and they were never going to be discouraged by Swansea’s £50m valuation.

While Everton most definitely believe Sigurdsson is worth that sum — they are fiercely determined to do what it takes to sign a player directly involved in 22 Premier League goals last season — it was believed that they had merely hoped that a deal could be struck for in a bargain price of less than £40m.

Paul Clement: Gylfi Sigurdsson should stay at Swansea

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Swansea City manager Paul Clement believe that Gylfi Sigurdsson would stay at the club.

Sigurdsson, 27, rejoined Swansea City after two-years with Tottenham Hotspur where he had spent two years struggling to secure regular first-team appearances.

However, his return to the Swans has been fruitful as the Iceland international scored nine Premier League goals and assisted another 13 in this campaign — helping the club secure survival with one game to spare.

As such, Sigurdsson is likely to take into consideration his experience at Spurs to remain rooted in Swansea despite attracting interest from Everton.

“I think he has a unique situation,” Clement said. “He was here on loan and then he went to Tottenham, which was set to be the next step in his career.

“It didn’t work out, (but) he came back here and has done really well. He is going to have that in his mind. If he is going to make the next step it has to be a positive one.”

“He cannot have another situation like he had at Tottenham, where he potentially goes somewhere and is in and out of the side and does not gather any momentum. Otherwise he is better staying here, being a key player and building something around moving this club forward.”

While Swansea had mostly been fighting against relegation for the past two seasons, Clement hopes that Sigurdsson would stay if he could be convinced the club could distance themselves from the drop zone next season.

“We want him to be able to see from the second half of the season that he is not going to have another situation like this season,” Clement said. “A lot of players have to make that decision in their careers. I am not necessarily talking about Gylfi, but do they want to be a smaller fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?”

“He has a lot of ambition and I can understand that. I hope he stays here, but I also hope in the future he gets the opportunity to play for a really big club.”

Clement himself had been Swansea’s third manager of the season after Bob Bradley and Franceso Guidolin, took over a side in January that was bottom with only 12 points from 19 games.