Report: Richarlison Returns As Blues Battle Out Bremen Draw

Richarlison got his first action of pre-season as Everton rounded-off their Premier League preparations with a scoreless draw against Werder Bremen.

The Brazilian winger played the first half in Saturday’s friendly in northern Germany, a week before the Blues open their campaign at Crystal Palace.

Cenk Tosun also returned to match action, stepping off the bench for the final 20 minutes after overcoming a knee injury which had held him back throughout pre-season.

Everton, however, did suffer the setback of losing Fabian Delph who limped off with an injury after only a few minutes.

It was an afternoon when defence came out on top, with goalkeepers Jordan Pickford and Jiri Pavlenka making a number of saves to ensure the game finished goalless.

Everton’s best chances fell to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bernard in the first half, while substitute Theo Walcott was twice denied in the second. Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes also went close late on, only to be thwarted by the Werder Bremen stopper.

The Toffees lined-up without new signing Jean-Phlippe Gbamin, who had been tying up his transfer when the Everton squad jetted out to Germany on Friday afternoon.

Everton began spritely and twice within the opening minutes Calvert-Lewin had good opportunities to score. With less than 60 seconds on the clock, the striker guided a close-range volley over the bar, then moments later darted forward on the counter-attack and brought a low save out of Bremen goalkeeper Pavlenka - the first of many that the Czech international made throughout the contest.

The Blues then had to deal with the disappointment of losing Delph to an early injury. The summer signing pulled up after just four minutes and, with the Premier League opener just a week away, no risks were taken. Morgan Schneiderlin was the replacement in midfield from the substitutes’ bench.

The standout name amongst home side was former Toffee Davy Klaassen, who made 16 appearances in his one season at Goodison. He fired over the bar with a quarter of an hour played as the hosts grew into the match following Everton’s positive start. There were further efforts from Nicklas Fullkrug and Milot Rashica but neither troubled Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.

Werder Bremen’s Bundesliga campaign starts in a fortnight’s time, so there was a competitive edge and pace to the match which continued right throughout the first half. The Blues won several corners and with the height of Calvert-Lewin, Keane and Mina in the box, there was always a threat from either Digne or Sigurdsson’s deliveries.

It was from a half-cleared corner that Everton created their best opening of the half. Richarlison used his strength to engineer a shot at goal and from Pavlenka’s save, Bernard sliced a left-foot shot high over the unguarded target.

Richarlison was replaced at the break by Theo Walcott in a straight swap on the right-wing.

The substitute’s first action was to link up intricately with Gylfi Sigurdsson, playing a clever give-and-go before drawing another fine low stop out of Pavlenka.

At the other end of the field, Pickford reacted well when former Real Madrid man Nuri Sahin’s free-kick flicked up off the wall. The England keeper then made an better save to thwart Yuya Osako, who had escaped inside the penalty area, and stood up tall to block a close-range effort from substitute Joshua Sargent.

As the contest wore on, Pavlenka continued to frustrate the Blues with further interventions to deny Walcott again and then Lucas Digne, who had raced forward in a swift breakaway.

He saved arguably his best contribution to last as he reacted quickly to readjust and keep out a deflected shot from Andre Gomes in the closing moments, ensuring the match ended in a stalemate.

After trips to Kenya, Switzerland and Germany twice, Everton will now return to Merseyside for the final week of pre-season ahead of the Premier League opener at Selhurst Park next weekend.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Bernard (Davies 82), Delph (Schneiderlin 5'), Gomes, Sigurdsson (Mirallas 82'), Richarlison (Walcott 46'), Calvert-Lewin (Tosun 70').

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