Swansea have far bigger problems. They haven’t won since the first game of the season, but they came within minutes of winning here. New manager Bob Bradley made eight changes to his starting line-up and those changes brought renewed vigour and focus. The Swans defended in their own half, but pressed hard and broke fast. Everton’s midfield, the industrious pairing of Idrissa Gueye and James McCarthy couldn’t quite get to grips with false nine Gylfi Sigurdsson, allowing him to drop back and forth to create openings. It was he who was felled by the struggling Phil Jagielka five minutes before half-time. It was he who slammed home the resultant spot kick to give Swansea the lead.
It had been an even first half, but that in itself was simply not good enough. Swansea were supposed to be there for the taking. They hadn’t won since August. They shouldn’t have been as organised and emboldened as they were. Everton increased the intensity after the break, but it wasn’t long before the crowd became agitated with their failures and the players transitioned between safety-first balls to wild, hopeful lumps up the park. Aaron Lennon, starting in the league for the first time all season, was substandard. Coach Duncan Ferguson’s face twisted with fury when he gave the ball away midway through the second half.
The final ten minutes brought a desperate surge of runs and, with one minute left on the clock, an equaliser. It will not make the shortlist for goal of the month. Yannick Bolasie lofted the ball into the box, Swansea failed to clear and Seamus Coleman, of all people, looped his header into the net. It was a goal that spares Everton a humiliation, but not an inquest.