Aug 092014

Chris Long’s stunning strike on his first Everton start wasn’t enough to prevent the Blues’ pre-season campaign ending with a defeat in Germany.

The young striker turned away from his marker and curled an exquisite shot into the top corner on 16 minutes, but a Moritz Stoppelkamp penalty and a header from substitute Marvin Duksch either side of the break turned the game in hosts Paderborn’s favour.

Left-back Daniel Bruckner then netted his side’s third with 12 minutes remaining after goalkeeper Tim Howard had initially saved well from Mahir Salik.

The Blues had travelled to the newly-promoted Bundesliga outfit for their last friendly outing before next weekend’s Barclays Premier League opener at Leicester City.

And there had been good news in the build-up to kick off, with skipper Phil Jagielka and winger Steven Pienaar returning to the side having missed Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to Celta Vigo.

Manager Roberto Martinez was also able to offer summer signing Muhamed Besic his first Everton start, while Long spearheaded the Spaniard’s attack with Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas not yet ready for action following their exploits at the World Cup.

And it was Long who got the Toffees off the mark at the Benteler Arena, stepping away from a defender before picking his spot and brilliantly bending the ball beyond the reach of Lukas Kruse.

Everton’s lead was to last less than 120 seconds, however, after Howard was harshly adjudged to have brought down Stefan Kutsche in the box.

Stoppelkamp took responsibility for the resulting spot-kick and coolly sent the American the wrong way.

It almost got worse for the Toffees on 39 minutes when Jens Wemmer’s shot arrowed across the face of goal and Kutschke was only inches away from turning it in at the back post.

Martinez made one change at the break, withdrawing Ross Barkley and sending on Leon Osman in his place.

But – as he had against FC Porto at Goodison Park six days earlier – it was Besic who shone brightest in the opening moments of the second half, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international providing another demonstration of his impressive passing range by finding Aiden McGeady in space down the left.

Picking up the ball, the Irishman delivered a cross towards Osman but the midfielder was beaten in the air.

A foul on Tony Hibbert then allowed Leighton Baines to try his luck with a free-kick from 25-yards out but the left-back’s effort whistled the wrong side of Kruse’s post.

After Martinez had sent on Steven Naismith for Steven Pienaar on the hour mark, Paderborn responded by making seven changes.

And, on 68 minutes, they went in front, one substitute, Idir Ouali, finding another in Duksch, the giant striker heading past Howard via the crossbar.

Pressing for a leveller, Everton were then caught out again when Howard brilliantly palmed away Salik’s curling effort, only to see Bruckner latch on to the loose ball and steer it home into an unguarded net.

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 Posted by at 5:13 pm

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