Everton Under-21s were beaten in the Premier League International Cup quarter-final at Goodison Park on Thursday evening, losing 3-0 to a strong PSV Under-21s team.
Paul Tait’s side faced a tough task against an opponent who play their domestic league games in the second tier of Dutch football. However, the Toffees competed well, particularly in the first half.
Manager, Paul Tait, believes there is still positives to take from the game, while praising a “ruthless” display from the opposition.
On the young Blues’ performance, Tait said: “We take loads of positives. The whole tournament has been excellent. We’ve played good teams and the lads have played really well.
“Tonight, was nice to have the young lads playing at Goodison under the lights. I tried to get as many lads on as I could, just to get that experience for them.
“Our final actions could’ve been better, and we lacked a bit of creativity in the final third,” Tait admitted. “The first two goals we conceded were poor goals to concede, so we’re disappointed with that.
“They were ruthless in front of goal. I think you can see they play in a man’s league. You could see that experience.”
Tait was also pleased with Nathan Patterson, who operated in a right-wing-back role as he continues his injury recovery. “He was a threat and had a chance in both halves," added Tait. "It’s another chance for him and James Garner to get minutes under their belts and get them closer to First-Team action.”
Everton found themselves with a chance early on, hitting the woodwork in the 14th minute. After impressive wide play from Katia Kouyate, the ball was played into the box and eventually found Patterson, who fired a volley from the edge of the area against the PSV post.
The young Blues continued to grow into the game throughout a well-contested first half. However, the Toffees found themselves trailing in the 26th minute.
A pass played through the Everton defence created a two on one opportunity for PSV. The ball was played across Billy Crellin, finding Isaac Babadi, who calmly slotted into an empty net.
Both teams threatened throughout the remainder of the half. Crellin was called into action after 36 minutes, denying a second for PSV from close range. Temperatures continued to rise during what was a fast-paced and sometimes feisty opening 45 minutes.
Despite a close first half, PSV became more dominant in the second. Crellin, who was excellent throughout the game, made a plethora of strong stops in the early stages of the half, denying players from across the PSV front line.
They then doubled their lead just after the hour mark. Following a scramble in the box, the ball fell to Jenson Seelt. Crellin managed to get a hand to the shot but the ball slowly rolled beyond him and into the net.
The visitors continued to appear more comfortable and their dominance paid off with at third in the 90th minute, as the substitute August Flyger scored PSV’s final goal.