Soccer

Leighton Baines steps up to crown epic Everton comeback against Watford

David Unsworth may not land the Everton manager’s job he craves but he will never receive a better endorsement of his ability to generate spirit and fight in a team than what transpired on a truly remarkable evening at Goodison Park. The first win of his temporary reign came with passion, pandemonium, a 91st-minute penalty and a 100th-minute penalty miss. “I need a lie down,” said Unsworth after a breathless encounter in which Everton refused to do exactly that.

Watford deservedly led 2-0 just after the hour and Goodison was stirring in revolt against an Everton team looking every inch the relegation candidate. The team, improved by Unsworth’s substitutions, pulled them back from the brink. The indefatigable Oumar Niasse instigated the fightback, Dominic Calvert-Lewin levelled and Leighton Baines converted a high-stakes penalty in injury time, replacing Unsworth as Everton’s all-time leading penalty scorer in the process.

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