The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW34): Everton 1-1 Southampton
Everton host Southampton with both teams looking to break the gap between themselves and the top half of the table. The Toffees sit one point ahead of Southampton in the table, with an in-form Danny Ings, the Saints will be hoping to leapfrog the Merseyside club in the Premier League table. Both teams kept the same setup going into this match, with Iwobi starting for Everton in this mid-table clash.
The game went one way, and in contrast to the Saints defensive performance in their win over Manchester City, Southampton dominated every aspect of this match. Everton were pinned in by quicks passing from Hasenhüttl’s team, with a defensive setup being barraged by overlapping runs from the Saint’s full backs.
A relentless Southampton attack sees Ward-Prowse run into the Everton box in the 28th minute, and a clumsy trip by Andre Gomes on the Englishman is enough to win Southampton the penalty. It was a poor decision by Gomes as Ward-Prowse was already going down. Ward-Prowse steps up for the penalty and lashes the crossbar to Pickford’s relief in goal. Everton were riding their luck in this half.
Southampton’s dominance paid off in the 31st minute when Stuart Armstrong runs at the Everton defence, miscues his shot and it somehow turns into a fortunate pass for Danny Ings. From six yards out he steps around Jordan Pickford and slots in for the opener. Ings with a moment of real quality which had eluded this positive Southampton performance.
Despite all the Southampton domination on the pitch, all it can take in football to get back into the game is one pass. Everton’s Digne found that pass in the 43rd minute, a fantastic long range cross field ball which floated perfectly to the feet of Richarlison, the Brazilian touched it down and then lobbed McCarthy in the Southampton goal whose slight touch couldn’t stop it going into his net. Everton made Southampton regret missing the penalty.
The second half saw Southampton not change their approach with them continuing to dominate possession. Everton found much of their attacking impetus with Richarlison making darting runs. With thirty minutes left the Brazilian is running at Southampton’s goal, Bednarek intercepts and makes a brilliant tackle to deny Richarlison, but the referee decides to award a free-kick and gives Bednarek a yellow card for was a wonderful piece of defending due to Richarlison making the most of falling over.
The Toffees decision to go three at the back in the second half was allowing Southampton to keep pressing for a second goal, it did help soak up the pressure the Saints were putting on the home team. No real chances were made until the final five minutes of regular time when a Bertrand cross was poked away by Sidibe, and the clearance fell to Armstrong on the edge od the box. The following shot blazed over due to Armstrong getting under the ball to generate the power.
Everton’s second half defending kept the game at a score draw, with this being the first draw Southampton have been involved in this calendar year.
Goal Contributions: Everton
Goals: Richarlison (1)
Assists: Digne (1)
Goal Contributions: Southampton
Goals: Ings (1)
Assists: Armstrong (1)
Man of the Match: Danny Ings (SOU)
Southampton’s first half performance was an immensely positive watch, and the one attacker that shouldn’t be surprising you by his quality in this Saints team is Danny Ings. We would have given it to Ward-Prowse because he dominated the midfield today, but a terrible penalty cost his team. Ings was a focal point of the Saints attack, he played in other people, and finished the best chance they created. Ings status as Southampton’s best player is highlighted in games such as this when moments of quality define the outcome of games.
EVE 1-1 SOU - Insight and Analysis:
Did I expect anything other than Everton once again trying to rip the soul out of football? No. Southampton went there to win the game, they brought the quality to the crypt that is Goodison Park. Everton are too defensive under Ancelloti, they have had to sacrifice a lot of their attacking flair to shape up their defence, and it is limiting their chances in a game to trying to hit teams on the break. I don’t think they have those players just yet, the only one I can see working in an Ancelloti system is Richarlison. Calvert-Lewin offered nothing next to his strike partner today and was a bystander, and Gomes in midfield is shackled with little to do with the ball when his team is parked in their half. This team needs Gueye who they sold to PSG to break up play and trigger counter attacks.
Southampton will come away disappointed with a point, especially after Ward-Prowse missed the first half penalty that could have won them the tie. Hasenhüttl will take positives from this game, Ings was at his best once again to haunt Everton. Everton…barring one moment of true quality for their goal, they were a completely tasteless team to watch. They have on paper better players than Southampton, but they looked miles behind the team just behind them in the table. They weren’t even solid defensively as their midfield was constantly outrun and outbattled by Romeu and Ward-Prowse which is a nice balance in the Saints midfield.
I can see Ancelloti on a big recruitment drive to improve his attack in the next transfer window, you can tell he is trying to figure out who is fit in this team for his system, and after a midfield and offensive performance like today he may have a long list of names he gives the board to scout.
Venue: Goodison Park
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti
GK: Jordan Pickford
RB: Seamus Coleman
CB: Yerry Mina
CB: Michael Keane
LB: Lucas Digne
RM: Alex Iwobi (Sidibé, 45’)
CM: Tom Davies
CM: André Gomes (Sigurdsson, 42')
LM: Anthony Gordon
ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Martin Stekelenburg, Leighton Baines, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Theo Walcott, Djibril Sidibé, Bernard, Mois Kean, Jarrad Branthwaite, Beni Baningime
Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl
GK: Alex McCarthy
RB: Kyle Walker-Peters
CB: Jack Stephens
LB: Ryan Bertrand
RM: Stuart Armstrong
CM: James Ward-Prowse
CM: Oriol Romeu
LM: Nathan Redmond
ST: Che Adams
ST: Danny Ings
Angus Gunn, Shane Long, Michael Obafemi, Pierre-Emil Højbjerg, James Vokins, Kevin Danso, Alexandre Jankewitz, Will Ferry, Will Smallbone
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