Iwobi impresses watching Okocha as he scores maiden goal of the season in Everton’s loss to Manchester United

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Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi scored his first goal of the season as Everton lost 2-1 to Manchester United in a Premier League match at Goodison Park on Sunday.
  • Iwobi grabbed early goal for the Toffees
  • Nigerian starred in central midfield again
  • 26-year-old was central to Everton’s game

WHAT HAPPENED? With his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha watching in the stands, Iwobi needed just five minutes to put his name on the scoresheet when he broke through the defence and scored a brilliant goal from outside the penalty area after firing the ball inside the right post.

Brazilian winger Antony leveled matters 10 minutes later when he received a well-taken defence-splitting pass inside the box and buried the ball into the bottom left corner before Casemiro disposed Iwobi and set up Cristiano Ronaldo to score his 700th career club goal and United’s second on the stroke of halftime.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Everton coach Frank Lampard has been deploying Iwobi in central midfield this season, having moved him from the wings and that is where he started on Sunday, playing alongside Senegal international Idrissa Gueye and Belgian Amadou Onana.

The Nigeria international showed why he is highly regarded by his coach by grabbing the early goal while he marauded the midfield, playing deep to win back possession while moving higher up the pitch to set up his teammates as the Toffees chased the game.

Iwobi is slowly turning into Everton’s playmaker and he ended the game as his team's highest-rated player after his goal, while he had two key passes and made as many interceptions. He managed one tackle with his 73 percent pass accuracy the highest among Everton players.

ALL EYES ON: Having been described as “one of the best midfielders in the Premier League at the moment,” Iwobi came into the game carrying the responsibility of creating chances for Everton given he has four assists this season, but took his assignment to the next level by scoring early.

The way he easily won possession and sought to quickly launch attacks would have also delighted his coach and fans who hope he can continue in the same way going forward.

THE VERDICT: While he has been praised by Lampard, Iwobi is still getting used to playing in central midfield, given the way he lost possession in key areas and moments. He was at fault for United’s second goal as after winning possession, he was immediately dispossessed by Casemiro who teed up Ronaldo.

WHAT NEXT FOR IWOBI? The Arsenal academy graduate can make not just Everton fans happy but the red side of north London as well, if he scores or sets up a teammate in next Saturday’s Premier League clash away to Tottenham Hotspur.