A better first half performance
It may not have been perfect, but Everton looked better in the first half than they had in recent weeks. Despite being unable to capitalize on their possession advantage, the passing was better and the team actually looked dangerous at some points.
Regardless of the improvement, there still seems to be something off about this team. The players still look lethargic and it takes them a little to long to get into the match. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne didn’t really get into the match until around 30 minutes in. In road games Everton need to attack early and put the home team on the back foot. The Blues didn’t do that. And while they did eventually settle into the match, they were unable to make anything happen to put them in the lead.
No goals despite possession advantage
Everton held a pretty solid possession advantage throughout this entire match. Despite this they were only able to muster one shot on target until Sigurdsson’s stoppage time goal. Usually it is Everton in the position Southampton found themselves in, low on possession but high on scoring chances. In the end, Everton seemed unable to make use of the advantage they had been given.
To the eye Everton’s passing looked significantly better than it had the last two weeks. There were some beautiful moments in Southampton’s half. Flicks and through balls seemed to actually find their targets in this game. Despite what appeared to be an improvement in the passing department Everton did nothing to bother the Southampton keeper. Scoring chances almost developed, but until stoppage time, none of Everton’s offensive attempts were successful.
This has become a huge problem for Everton. This team may not be the most talented, but there are some skilled players on the pitch. The fact that they cannot get solid chances on goal is an issue. The issue at striker will always be there, but more often then not they struggle to get chances into any player, let alone the striker.
Dreadful defensive performance
This was easily one of Everton’s worst defensive performances of the season. They may not have had six goals scored on them like they did against Tottenham, but the two goals they allowed were glaring errors.
Both of the goals that Southampton scored were the result of overly aggressive defensive play that left the remaining defenders in a bad situation. Southampton may not be the most skilled team, but they still have the ability to punish out of position defenders. Kurt Zouma’s over-zealous aerial challenge left the perfect amount of space for James Ward-Prowse to run at goal and blow a shot past Jordan Pickford.
There were even a number of times where Nathan Redmond was flying past the center backs and easily could have made this match a lot less close than it was. This may be a tactical issue, but Everton could do with being a little less aggressive with their defenders as they were caught out multiple times in this match.