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missed a penalty as Everton and Southampton played out a drab 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Thursday; a result that leaves both sides marooned in mid-table.
Saints started the game superbly, having a goal ruled out for offside and missing a penalty inside the opening half an hour. They finally went in front in the 31st minute through Danny Ings, who showed quick feet to score his 19th Premier League goal of the season.
Their lead did not last long however, with Richarlison latching onto Lucas Digne’s long ball and firing home just before halftime.
The second half was an altogether less eventful affair with Che Adams’ early strike – which stung the palms of Jordan Pickford – the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.
Here’s 90min’s breakdown of the game…
Key Talking Point
Carlo Ancelotti would have been desperate for a response from his players after their pitiful showing against Tottenham last time out but the Toffees’ start was surprisingly pedestrian. They struggled to progress the ball through midfield, leaving Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin isolated upfront.
Their fortunes changed when they started pursuing more direct passing and trying to get their pacy front line in behind the sluggish Saints defence.
This was how they created their first goal with Lucas Digne spraying an incredible 40-yard pass into the Brazilian’s path. These searching balls were repeated throughout proceedings.
The point does little to help the Toffees and the lack of creativity in midfield will worry Ancelotti. If only someone like… oh, I don’t know, James Rodriguez was available?
Starting XI: Pickford (7); Coleman (6), Mina (5), Keane (6), Digne (6); Iwobi (5), Davies (6), Gomes (6), Gordon (6); Calvert-Lewin (6), Richarlison (8*)
Substitutes: Bernard (6), Kean (6), Sidibe (6), Sigurdsson (5)
STAR MAN – Richarlison
Providing an important outlet ball for his side all evening, Richarlison seriously impressed at Goodison Park.
The Brazilian took his goal superbly and made the most out of his meagre service from midfield.
Key Talking Point
Each passing game makes it harder and harder to believe that this is the same Southampton team that lost 9-0 against Leicester earlier this season.
Saints were irresistible going forward in the opening 45 minutes with Ings and Che Adams feeding off each other expertly. However, at the break they were somehow not ahead, with a James Ward-Prowse’s penalty and several other gilt edge chances being spurned.
Southampton were made to rue their missed chances when their attacking vigour petered out in the second half. The performances was still a fairly encouraging one though which will have whet their supporters’ appetites for next season nicely.
Starting XI: McCarthy (6); Walker-Peters (6), Stephens (7), Bednarek (6), Bertrand (6); Armstrong (7), Ward-Prowse (5), Romeu (6), Redmond (5); Ings (8*), Adams (7)
Substitutes: Hojbjerg (5), Long (6)
STAR MAN – Danny Ings
Another game, another Danny Ings goal. The striker’s form this season has been as enjoyable as it has been unexpected and with 19 goals now registered, he may yet secure the Golden Boot.
It will look nice alongsider his Saints’ Player of the Year award that he also looks destined to win.
Everton now turn their attentions to a trip to Wolves on Sunday while Southampton are next in action against Manchester United on Monday.