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Everton vs Nottingham Forest: Toffees, Tricky Trees trade late goals

Demarai Gray's goal canceled out Brennan Johnson's opener to share the spoils between Everton and Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park.

Demarai Gray and Brennan Johnson traded late goals as Everton drew Nottingham Forest 1-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday.

It was a welcome equalizer for Everton, who started brightly but was in danger of going three matches without a point to start the Premier League season.


Steve Cooper’s Forest, on the other hand, looked set for a second-straight win when Johnson beat Jordan Pickford late, but the Everton goalkeeper set up Gray’s goal minutes later.

Forest now has four points to Everton’s one.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

What we learned from Everton vs Nottingham Forest

Pickford shows class: The England keeper was again locked in a keeper duel, this time with impressive Dean Henderson, but he’s a shot-stopper and ballplayer and that was on full display with his amazing assist to spring Gray through on Forest’s goal. That’s something England fans will applaud and USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter will note ahead of the World Cup.

Everton still in some trouble without (several) attacking signings: If the Toffees have to sell Anthony Gordon to bring in 2, 3, or even 4 attackers, well, it has to happen. Pickford was good and you can expect the defense and midfield to stabilize to some degree, but there’s just nothing going on up top outside of Gordon’s engine (and he’s gonna wanna show more finish given his potential Chelsea price tag).

Forest bedding-in will take time: Remember how many of these Forest players are new if you’re projecting them to go down, because the flashes coming from the Tricky Trees are enough to believe they can not just survive but maybe even thrive (in a mid-table sense) once Jesse Lingard and Co. figure each other. Morgan Gibbs-White had a couple of ‘wow’ moments off the bench and Forest might not even be done spending yet.

Tactical focus

This was pretty wide open and it led to big days for both keepers. Nottingham Forest has recruited well and Neco Williams, Taiwo Awoniyi, Jesse Lingard, and Dean Henderson are all showing their worth (though Awoniyi will want his finishing boots to arrive ASAP. Frank Lampard’s Everton is showing resolve and hunger, but definitely needs quality. When Amadou Onana and Allan are both fit, the middle of the park could get fierce.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Stars of the show

Jordan Pickford: He’s had his ups and downs but it’s been all ups since the final quarter of last season or so. Pickford not had four saves but his ridiculous pass to unlock all of Forest besides the keeper helped Demarai Gray make it 1-1.

Dean Henderson: Seven more saves for the Manchester United loanee, who is the reason the Tricky Trees are on four points.

Alex Iwobi: Four key passes for the Everton midfielder, who is finding the center of the park to his liking (for now).

Neco Williams: 70 touches, five tackles, and two key passes for the Liverpool export

Morgan Gibbs-White: It was a cameo, but the new Forest man showed why his price tag was higher than many expected.

What’s next?

London away days. Everton heads to Brentford at 10am ET Saturday while Fulham visits Arsenal just 2.5 hours later.

How to watch Everton vs Nottingham Forest live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, SaturdayStream online: Watch live on Peacock Premium

Everton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Andros Townsend, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Andre Gomes, Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Omar Richards.

Follow @NicholasMendola