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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Monday 1 March 2021; 8:00pm
Everton
1 0
So'hampton
Richarlison 9'
Half Time: 1 - 0 
 
Attendance: BCD
Fixture 25
Referee: Martin Atkinson

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EVERTON
  Pickford
  Holgate
  Keane
  Godfrey
  Digne
  Allan
  Doucoure
  Gomes (Iwobi 87')
  Sigurdsson
  Richarlison (King 90'+1)
  Calvert-Lewin
  Subs not used
  Virginia
  Nkounkou
  John
  Astley
  Onyango
  Broadhead
  Bernard
  Unavailable
  Coleman (injured)
  Davies (injured)
  Gbamin (injured)
  Olsen (injured)
  Rodriguez (injured)
  Branthwaite (loan)
  Gibson (loan)
  Gordon (loan)
  Kean (loan)
  Simms (loan)
  Tosun (loan)
  Walcott (loan)

SOUTHAMPTON
  Forster
  Bednarek
  Vestergaard
  Salisu (Tella 63' booked)
  Bertrand
  Armstrong booked
  Ward-Prowse
  Djenepo
  Redmond (Watts 88')
  Adams (N'Lundulu 77')
  Ings
  Subs not used
  McCarthy
  Stephens
  Ramsay
  Ferry
  Jankewitz
  Chauke

Match Stats

Possession
47%
53%
Shots
7
9
Shots on target
1
1
Corners
4
10

Premier League Scores
Saturday
Leeds 0-1 Aston Villa
Man City 2-1 West Ham
Newcastle 1-1 Wolves
West Brom 1-0 Brighton
Sunday
Chelsea 0-0 Man United
C Palace 0-0 Fulham
Leicester 1-3 Arsenal
Sheff United 0-2 Liverpool
Tottenham 4-0 Burnley
Monday
Everton 1-0 Southampton


1 Manchester City 62
2 Manchester United 50
3 Leicester City 49
4 West Ham United 45
5 Chelsea 44
6 Liverpool 43
7 Everton 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur 39
9 Aston Villa 39
10 Arsenal 37
11 Leeds United 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34
13 Crystal Palace 33
14 Southampton 30
15 Burnley 28
16 Brighton & Hove Albion 26
17 Newcastle United 26
18 Fulham 23
19 West Bromwich Albion 17
20 Sheffield United 11

Match Report

It’s not quite true that Everton’s cathartic win at Anfield nine days ago would have counted for nothing had they lost tonight against Southampton but there’s no question that a defeat against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s struggling side would have been a massive comedown. Beating Liverpool on their own turf for the first time in almost 22 years was always going to be a result that stood on its own in the minds of supporters this season but to also finally see a win at Goodison Park after two and a half months has merely intensified the recent sense of optimism over what the Toffees can achieve this season.

It’s still very much “one game at a time” but being within touching distance of the top four with their highest points total at this stage of the season since Roberto Martinez’s debut campaign at the club means that Everton are very much in the thick of the Champions League equation. And rectifying their poor home form against teams they really should be beating was always going to be crucial to their chances of seizing a unique opportunity in These Covid Times.

From an entertainment perspective, this game won’t live long in the memory at all. Everton scored with their only legitimate shot on target — Richarlison had a header well saved by Fraser Forster but was half a yard offside when he made his move for the cross and Michael Keane had a goal ruled out when Mason Holgate was found by VAR to also have been beyond the last Saints defender later in the first half — which was only their fifth accurate effort in over 270 minutes of football at Goodison Park. But if the result does indeed end up being the catalyst that turns around the Blues’ home form and helps propel them into Europe, Evertonians may look back on it as a vital game in the season.

You would hope that consistent displays with more style, slick passing and attacking production will come under Carlo Ancelotti, most likely with more signings of James Rodriguez’s ilk, but for now Everton are effective without being especially dynamic or fluid with their passing game. This was another example of where the opposition, despite being towards the wrong end of the table, on the whole played the better football, were better at their hosts at playing through the press and often made better use of the ball going forward.

Crucially, though they were blunt in attack thanks mostly to Ancelotti’s impressive back line, one increasingly exemplified by Ben Godfrey’s rapid maturity from young hopeful to indispensable first-teamer in the space of just a few months. And when things descended into partial chaos in the 90th minute and a spate of pinball ended with Mason Holgate shinning the loose ball to Jannik Vestergaard in front of goal, Jordan Pickford came up big to deny the defender an equaliser almost at the death.

Had that gone in, it would have represented another bruising failing by Everton at Goodison Park — a failure to press home their superiority and, in particular in this match, to take advantage of an under-strength and occasionally nervy back line who were bidding to avoid Saints’ ninth match without a win and had the memory of a 9-0 drubbing at Old Trafford fresh in the mind.

That the Toffees, with the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the in-form Richarlison playing as more of a two-man strike-force than is usually the case, didn’t put them under far more of an examination was frustrating but, in the final reckoning, the Brazilian’s superbly-taken goal was all that was needed.

It came in the ninth minute, initially from a “route one” delivery from Pickford (his distribution was particularly good all evening) but once Calvert-Lewin had won the aerial dual with Mohammed Salisu and Gylfi Sigurdsson had collected the second ball, it was all about the finesse of the Icelander’s pass and Richarlison’s expert finish. Threading an almost identical ball to the one James supplied at Anfield, Sigurdsson picked out the Brazil forward’s run who took it wide of Fraser Forster and then whipped a right-footed finish into the empty net from the angle.

Southampton's best chance of the first half also came via a set-piece when Calvert-Lewin had to dive to head James Ward-Prowse's free-kick behind and, from the resulting corner, Moussa Djenepo cut along the byline, Che Adams helped it on into the six-yard box but Jordan Pickford got a glove on the ball after it was turned goal-wards by Mohammed Salisu and then smothered the danger.

Had Richarlison been a touch more alert or decisive on the one dangerous Sigurdsson free-kick off the first half that didn’t result in an offside flag, he might have doubled his tally but he missed getting a toe on the whipped delivery from the right 10 minutes before the half-time interval.

That had been a brief puncture in a trend that saw Southampton having more of the ball and the theme would continue in the second half. Allan looked a little rusty with the ball at his feet at times but settled back in well and it wasn’t Doucouré’s best game in possession either but, as usual, he more than made up it with sheer energy and determination. André Gomes, meanwhile, has a solid game on the left side of a midfield diamond.

Sigurdsson fired a direct free-kick off the top of the defensive wall shortly after half-time and Forster denied Bed Godfrey his first Everton goal in the 58th minute he batted the defender's shot behind after Ward-Prowse had headed away from his own goal line.

At the other end, Salisu just missed restoring parity shortly after the hour mark when his back-header off a corner flew a yard wide of the upright. Nathan Redmond curled an effort past the same post in the 72nd minute but as the game moved into the final 10, Southampton's increasing pressure almost paid dividends. Stuart Armstrong surged through the middle and played a one-two with Nathan Tella before laying it off to Djenepo whose first-time shot flashed inches past the far post.

If that was one heart-stopping moment for the home side, Vestergaard’s chance in the final minute of the 90 matched it but Pickford stood tall and made a vital stop despite having had little do up to that point. The it was just a case of winding down the clock with the help of some mesmeric trickery by 87th-minute substitute, Alex Iwobi, down by the corner flag.

So now attentions turn to a Thursday evening trip to The Hawthorns to face former Everton boss Sam Allardyce and a side having an even tougher time of it at at the bottom of the division. With the Blues’ away record and West Brom’s struggles, Ancelotti’s men should travel with confidence that they can pick up another three points if they play to their potential and that if they can, they will further enhance their top-four credentials, particularly given that two of the teams immediately above them — Liverpool and Chelsea — are playing each other that evening.

Again, one game at a time but every victory is a step closer.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton return to Premier League action tonight when they take on Southampton at Goodison Park, with Calvert-Lewin back in the starting line-up.

But they have lost three successive home games while the Saints are winless in eight Premier League games since they beat Liverpool in early January, and have fallen from top spot in October — when they beat Everton at St Mary's — to 14th place.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Allan both selected to start but the mercurial James Rodriguez and the improving Tom Davies and the consistent Seamus Coleman are all strangely not involved in the squad... but the dynamic duo of Sigurdsson and Gomes start in midfield. And there's an unprecedented slew of youngsters among the subs: Nathan Broadhead, Ryan Astley, Kyle John and Tyler Onyango all on the bench for Everton tonight.

No Theo Walcott for Southampton, where he is on loan from Everton and therefore ineligible. The visitors had much of the early play, with Everton winning the ball back but then soon losing it, and not looking particularly confident under the press, although Doucouré almost played in Calvert-Lewin. There followed the first corner of the game, to Southampton, cleared well by Calvert-Lewin.

A very neat piece of play saw Richarlison finish superbly after Sigurdsson had played him in following a bizarre double shoulder play by Calvert-Lewin; the Blues ahead in fine style.

Salisu was struggling with Calvert-Lewin's physicality, giving up a promising set-piece that Digne delivered well, Richarlison headed well and Forster saved well at the near post, all to no avail: three Everton players offside at the free-kick.

Keane gave up a corner that eventually saw Ward-Prowse fire over. Digne put in a couple of crosses that were somewhat wayward. Hogate did well to force Redmond into a foul, Digne and Sigurdsson laying a neat dummy, played in for Holgate and Keane finished it off with a point-blank header but Holgate had moved too soon: offside.

Ings then forced a foul off Holgate at the other end, Ward -Prowse curling in a very dangerous ball that Calvert-Lewin got his head on first to head behind. But Saints should have scored off the corner when Djenepo easily went past Doucouré but Pickford was positioned well to prevent the goal.

The visitors had a decent spell with some crisp passing that almost threatened the Everton goal and kept the Blues at bay until Vestergaard took down Sigurdsson for another threatening set-piece. Could the Blues stay onside? They timed it fractionally better but Richarlison needed to hurl himself at the ball if he was going to score.

Half-time finally came with the tempo of the game having slowed somewhat. But in part that reflects Everton's defensive discipline.

On the restart, the Blues soon had another set-piece chance, thanks to Calvert-Lewin getting sandwiched. But the wall deflected Sigurdsson's strike behind, with Holgate impeding Forster on the corner.

Southampton got their own free-kick but it was some ways out, Everton still defending deep and strong. Salisu still coming off the worst against a dominant Calvert-Lewin and not enjoying the treatment.

Some more pacey Everton play through the middle finally won a corner that Sigurdsson put into the danger area full of red shirts. Djenepo and Richarlison collided, Richarlison squealing and winning the free-kick, which was nicely headed on by Keane to Calvert-Lewin at the far post but just too high for him. The ball falls to Godfrey but his shot is crowded out.

Another sniper, in the shape of Bednarek, shot Richarlison in the leg this time but nothing came of it. At the other end, Salisu headed wide from a decent a Ward-Prowse before he was subbed. Everton tried to break at pace but were whistled offside again.

Holgate won a very soft free-kick wide right; Digne and Sigurdsson tried a different routine but it was defended away for a corner, not that well delivered by Digne.

Digne caught Djenepo late, Keane cleared Ward-Prowse's free-kick but the ball came back over the defence to Ings who was thankfully offside.

Some nonsense play at the back saw Keane give away a daft corner that Pickford did well to punch away. Calvert-Lewin drew another foul from Armstrong that was deemed a yellow card offence, the first of the game, and another Everton set-piece but not threatening.

Gomes returned the favour with a soft pull-back. Digne was forced to concede a corner as the Saints pressed more effectively but it only produced more confident defensive work from the Blues, who may have been sitting back a little too much? The Saints finally worked a brilliant chance for Djenepo that somehow flew wide.

Carlo Ancelotti moved to make his first sub with less than 5 minutes left, Iwobi on for Gomes after the Spaniard had just delivered the best ball of the game but the ball would not run for the Blues.

Each Saints attack looked that little bit more dangerous as they won a corner and a crazy spell saw Everton fend off three quick chances, the last a fantastic block by Pickford off Vestergaard. Richarlison was swapped out for King and 3 more minutes of added time that got stretched to 6 when Calvert-Lewin landed on Djenepo's ankle rather painfully.

Saints conjured up another even more dangerous attack that wins a corner which Pickford punched away strongly; the Blues 'hang on' ... or was it another defensive mastereclass?

Kick-off: 8pm, Monday, 1 March 2021 on Sky Sports

Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Doucouré, Allan, Gomes (87' Iwobi), Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison (90+1' King).
Subs not Used: Virginia, Astley, Nkounkou, John, Bernard, Onyango, Broadhead.

Southampton: Forster, Salisu (64' Tella [Y:80']), Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Djenepo, Armstrong [Y:77'], Ward-Prowse, Redmond (88' Watts), Adams (77' N'Lundulu), Ings.
Subs not Used: McCarthy, Stephens, Ramsay, Ferry, Jankewitz, Chauke.

Referee: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Jon Moss

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

After enjoying a welcome nine-day break after what was a flurry of fixtures, Everton return to Premier League action against Southampton in the Monday night game.

Having cleared a huge psychological hurdle by beating Liverpool at Anfield last weekend, the Blues face another test of their mentality, this time in the shape of their bafflingly poor home form against clubs from the lower half of the table.

Carlo Ancelotti's men proved their mettle in the FA Cup Fifth Round win over Tottenham last month but have fallen apart against struggling teams like Fulham and Newcastle and failed to do themselves justice against either West Ham or Leicester.

They have lost three home successive games but welcome a Saints side who are winless in eight League games since they beat Liverpool in early January, a run that included another harrowing 9-0 defeat, and have fallen from top spot in October when they beat Everton at St Mary's to 14th place.

That's just kind of banana skin that has upended Ancelotti's team this season and preparing them mentally this week has probably been just as important as their physical conditioning at Finch Farm. Not since 2,000 fans were allowed inside Goodison Park have the Toffees won on home turf and and that's a trend that cannot continue of European qualification is to remain a realistic goal this season.

In terms of selection, Ancelotti should be in good shape, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a 62nd-minute substitute at Anfield, and Allan, who was unused last time out, benefitting from another week's training to hopefully be available to start. The Brazilian presents something of a dilemma, however, given how impressive Tom Davies has been in the “No. 6” role in recent games. But Allan's versatility means that it doesn't have to be a straight choice and there is plenty of scope for him to be pushed forward into the position occupied by André Gomes from the start against Liverpool, leaving Davies to continue sitting in front of the back four.

Calvert-Lewin's inclusion would be a more straight-forward decision if he is fully over his hamstring issue, although it would move Richarlison back to his wider role on the left and push Lucas Digne back to left-back again. That leaves the question of whether to deploy Ben Godfrey as a centre-half in place of the injured Yerry Mina or as right back, with Mason Holgate playing centrally alongside Michael Keane.

Complicating Ralph Hasenhüttl's cause is a string of injuries that includes Oriol Romeu, who is now out for the season, loanees Takumi Minamino (hamstring) and Theo Walcott (he would have been ineligible to face his parent club anyway) and Kyle Walker-Peters. Ibrahima Diallo, Will Smallbone and Michael Obafemi have also been ruled out.

Regardless of who plays, the key for Everton will be to start fast and with intensity, finding their passing rhythm through the lines and creating early chances to make the breakthrough before Southampton have had a chance to settle. None of that happened against Leeds at home, against West Ham, Newcastle or Fulham and it ended with frustrated, toothless performances and zero points.

This time it has to be different because following the results elsewhere over the weekend, a victory for the Blues would put them back level on points with Liverpool in sixth and two points off fourth place with a game in hand over all of the teams above them. The incentives are huge so it's time to deliver and prolong Southampton's dreadful sequence of results with a confident win to take to West Brom on Thursday.

Kick-off: 8pm, Monday, 1 March 2021 on Sky Sports
Referee: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Jon Moss
Last Time: Everton 1 - 1 Southampton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Davies, Doucouré, Allan, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.

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