Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Lukaku is the missing link for Everton

Everton's new signing Romelu Lukaku signs autographs during the pre-season friendly between Everton and Porto at Goodison Park
Everton's new signing Romelu Lukaku signs autographs during the pre-season friendly between Everton and Porto at Goodison Park

It was an eventful day at Goodison Park as Everton celebrated Leon Osman's 11 years of service and presented record-signing Romelu Lukaku to the crowd.

And how he will be needed as the Toffees could still only manage a 1-1 draw with Porto.

Everton struggled to craft and take clear-cut opportunities in the absence of a recognised number nine, but Steven Naismith still managed to coolly sidefoot them in front just before the interval.

It was then that Lukaku, who spent last season on loan at Goodison, was paraded to rapturous applause and his potency up front was clearly the missing ingredient as Porto fought their way back into the game and Jackson Martinez grabbed a deserved equaliser.

Radamel Falcao announced his return to goalscoring action as Monaco's 1-0 win prevented Arsenal from winning the Emirates Cup. Falcao ghosted into the box and nodded home from a free-kick eight minutes before the interval.

Valencia took the trophy after earlier beating Benfica 3-1.

Thibaut Courtois got the nod ahead of Petr Cech for Chelsea's game with Werder Bremen, but he was unfortunate to find himself on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline.

The Belgian keeper, returning to Stamford Bridge after two years on loan in Spain with Atletico Madrid, was beaten from the spot by Eljero Elia before Ludovic Obraniak's powerful header made it 2-0 at half time.

Didier Drogba made his return to action for Chelsea in the second half, but Felix Kroos made it 3-0 with another spot-kick late on.

Two goals in two minutes from Luis Alberto and Ezequiel Rescaldani consigned West Ham to a 2-0 defeat to Malaga as the Spanish side won the inaugural Schalke Cup at the Veltins-Arena.

Newcastle rounded off the tournament by humbling the hosts 3-1 thanks to goals from Emmanuel Riviere, Rolando Aarons and Remy Cabella, while Donis Avdijaj pulled one back for Schalke.

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