WHATEVER the result, spirited Boro – the club as a whole – did themselves proud and flexed some Premier League muscles on a night that felt like a trailer for next term.
I know it is terribly unfashionable these days when only emphatic victory in swaggering style is deemed good enough, , and it seems heresy after a cup quarter-final exit , but I really enjoyed that game and that experience. I know you are not allowed to say it these days after a defeat but it was a great match.
Boro did well at times, they competed, they created a couple chances, they never stopped beavering away but even Aitor admitted they were beaten by a better team and by two moments of magic from a quality player, Gerard Deulofeu. After the early goals well organised Everton were fairly comfortable. Had Boro nicked one it may – may – have sparked a fightback but in truth it never looked likely. It is easy to look for scapegoats and lace into individuals but there are always two teams on the pitch and one of them were markedly better. Especially up front. It happens.
But beyond that, it was great night.