REPORT | Everton 1-2 Southampton
Doom and Gloom. Everton drop their fourth home match in a row and falter to 19th amidst growing pressure on the board and the manager from supporters.
It was a week swirling with distractions for Everton Football Club, particularly from the board as owner Farhad Moshiri continued what has been a series of disastrous communications between the club and the fans. The supporters planned a peaceful sit in protest for after the match, but first their was football to play at Goodison Park. Lampard reverted to a back five and partnered Demari Gray with Calvert-Lewin up top, ahead of a familiar midfield of Iwobi, Gueye, and Onana.
Everton came out of the blocks firing in the bear pit of Goodison Park as fans urged the team forward in what many considered the most important game of the season for the club. An end to end affair saw Pickford make a couple key saves, with Calvert-Lewin doing his best to make an impact up top. The pressure built for Everton and finally paid off for the home side in the 39th minute, as Demari Gray whipped in an inch-perfect free kick that found the head of Amadou Onana who thundered home to put the blues ahead.
Onana had a fantastic match in which he won 8/11 of his ground duels, 4/4 of his aerial duels, and completed 93% of his passes. The Belgian midfielder’s influence was an important part of the Everton midfield being able to maintain control throughout the first half. However, the blues inexplicably came out flat once again in the second half in what has become a common tale of two halves for Lampard’s side. Walker-Peters raced forward before dumping the ball of to Che Adams, Adams found James Ward-Prowse who beat Ben Godfrey before firing past Pickford to level the contest.
Calvert-Lewin nearly gave Everton the lead once again in the 56th minute, but his deflected effort could only find the crossbar before being hammered away. Gordon replaced Seamus Coleman in the 69th minute, and Everton nearly scored in the 70th, as a looping ball nearly found Godfrey but the center back just barely was unable to squeeze the ball into the near post. Just when it seemed the hosts were more likely, a devastating second goal from Ward-Prowse silenced Goodison Park. The midfielder shot over the wall and beat Pickford to put the visitors ahead 2-1. Simms would come on late and look bright in moments, but his contributions would not be enough to turn the match as Everton faced defeat once again at home.
Everton have not won a league match since October 22nd, and have 3 wins out of their first 19 league games. It seems all but inevitable that Lampard will not see the end of the season with the blues, and mounting discontent with the board has made positions untenable within the club. A mess on and off the pitch, it truly is a difficult moment to be an Evertonian. Everton next goes to London for yet another relegation six-pointer against former manager and fellow hot-seat inhabitant David Moyes and his 18th placed West Ham United.