Dwight McNeil's second-half strike gave Everton all three points.Dwight McNeil's second-half strike gave Everton all three points.
Dwight McNeil's second-half strike gave Everton all three points. | AFP via Getty Images

Everton player ratings: Plenty of 7/10's and FOUR 8/10's in hard-fought Nottingham Forest victory

Player ratings from Everton's 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

Dwight McNeil's second-half strike as enough to give Everton and Sean Dyche a key victory as they defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0 at the City Ground.

McNeil gave his side the lead in the 67th minute with a brilliant half-volley into the top corner after good work from Jack Harrison, as his first goal of the season.

The Toffees were the better side in the first half, with Beto passing up a wonderful opportunity in the 23rd minute. Dwight McNeil did well to get in front of the Forest keeper and stop him from catching the ball, and it fell kindly to Beto who couldn't keep his effort down with the goal at his mercy.

Just after the half-hour mark, Anthony Elanga went close with a half-volley that flew just past the post after Everton failed to clear from a cross - a moment which signalled their first true attempt. But Dyche's side went the closest in the first-half, just before half-time, as Abdoulaye Doucoure's brilliant touch and release saw McNeil through on goal from the left. His strike was then cleared off the line miraculously by Murillo, who's intervention clipped the post before heading to safety.

The second-half exploded into life in the 54th minute; Doucoure's pull on Ryan Yates was checked by VAR as a corner came in and it then resulted Felipe hitting the post. A minute later, the defender brought down McNeil just outside of the box a minute later at the other end, which Ashley Young then fired into the wall.

But McNeil gave Dyche the lead in the 67th minute after good work from Harrison, who's cross found the winger at the back post and his measured but powerful half-volley rifled into the top corner to give his side the lead.

Forest rallied late on but failed to create anything substantial and Dyche's side walked away with their first three points since their 10-point deduction. That win makes it seven wins in 11 games and they move up to 18th place in the table, just two points off Luton Town in 17th place. Standout performers include the likes of James Garner and the two centre-backs in what was a hard-fought team performance.

Here's how LiverpoolWorld rated the Everton players after that performance.

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