Anthony Gordon and Andros Townsend were rare bright spots as Everton lost to QPR on penalties in their Carabao Cup third round tie.
Everton were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Queens Park Rangers on penalties after the game finished 2-2 in regulation time. The result will come as a blow for Rafael Benitez, who was keen to progress further in the tournament, as it possibly represented a great opportunity to win a trophy.
QPR striker Charlie Austin opened the scoring around the 17th minute, with Lucas Digne getting an equaliser at the half-hour mark. Rangers quickly responded with yet another Austin strike to see Everton trailing at half-time. Within two minutes of the second period, Andros Townsend equalised, setting the game up nicely.
However, both sides could not muster another goal, as the game went into a penalty shoot-out. Both sides took eight kicks each, with Everton missing their last one to hand an unlikely victory to QPR as the Championship side advances into the next phase of the EFL Cup.
As for Everton, they must now refocus their efforts in the Premier League when they take on Norwich City at the weekend. However, Benitez will be disappointed with the outcome, as a chance for a trophy has vanished. Here’s how Everton’s players fared during their defeat to QPR.
Asmir Begovic: 4.5/10
Five goals conceded in two games do not represent a good record for any goalkeeper, and Begovic was poor for both QPR goals. Things looked better for him in the second period, although there was much less pressure on his goal.
Jonjoe Kenny: 4/10
Jonjoe Kenny had a game to forget as QPR realised he could be the weak link in defence. The hosts attacked and dominated his side and found success way too often.
Mason Holgate: 4.5/10
Rightly criticised for both QPR goals. Holgate got caught up in a bad position for the first one, although it was also down to bad team performance. For the second goal, Holgate was culpable, as he gave the ball away in the build-up, and Everton got punished.
Ben Godfrey: 4/10
Austin beat Godfrey very easily in the air for the second goal, and after that, the young defender never really got back into his stride for the rest of the game. He needs to improve quickly, as such drastic displays could hurt his chances of regular football this season.
Lucas Digne: 6/10
The best defender on the night for Everton, who also produced a wonderfully taken goal. Taken off later in the game owing to an injury, but Digne was effective overall.
🏥 | INJURY NEWS
🗣️ | Rafael Benitez on Lucas Digne/Andre Gomes: "A little problem with the calf, both. So we will see. I don't expect they will be serious but, just in case, I think it was much better to be cautious with that."#FFScout #FPL #GW6 #EvertonFC pic.twitter.com/xUUPVX5GgH
— Fantasy Football Scout (@FFScout) September 21, 2021
Andros Townsend: 7/10
Proving to be a bargain signing every time he wears the Everton shirt. Townsend chipped in with yet another crucial goal to equalise early in the second half. Should become one of Benitez’s trusted players from now on.
Tom Davies: 4/10
One of the real reasons for Everton to have such a dismal performance was their lack of control in midfield, and Tom Davies was at the heart of this problem. He could not get to grips on his position and looked weaker than the opposition, who got the better of him every time. He was also the only Toffees player to miss the spot-kick.
Andre Gomes: 4.5/10
Like Davies, Gomes also suffered from a lack of ideas on controlling the midfield. He could not get to grips as QPR midfielders looked more dominant in all aspects. He was reduced to taking long-range shots, with hardly anything on target.
Anthony Gordon: 7/10
A bright spot among his dismal Everton teammates on the evening. Gordon was instrumental in whatever the Toffees were positive about in the game. He also chased many loose balls, worked hard and created many few chances for his side. Should push for more playing time as the season progresses.
Anthony Gordon vs QPR
45 touches 👏
84% pass completion 👑
4 key passes (most by any player on the pitch) 👀
3 long balls completed (100% accuracy) 🎯
1 penalty scored 🥅
Deserved better after his excellent performance 🐐 pic.twitter.com/te4vHJt4fI
— Evan (@efcevan) September 21, 2021
Alex Iwobi: 4/10
Iwobi has developed a bad habit of giving away the ball way too easily, which was the case against QPR. The even bigger problem on the evening was him missing a perfectly good chance to score when one-on-one with the QPR keeper.
Salomon Rondon: 4.5/10
Rondon was only serviced with half-chances during the game, as players behind him in attack failed to deliver anything of substance. Still getting up to speed with his new club, the QPR game was a real chance to prove his worth.
Abdoulaye Doucoure: 5/10
Doucoure came on to help the side gain momentum in the attack but could not influence the game.
Demarai Gray: 4.5/10
Sent in to spark a late goal, but Gray found it hard to bring his recent form into the game.
Michael Keane: 5/10
He might as well have scored with his first touch since coming on. Apart from that, nothing of great importance from Keane.