It could have been all so easy.
But that wouldn’t have been Everton.
Fortunately, Everton weren’t too Everton, and they managed to pick up three points on the South Coast for the first time since 2015, but what did the numbers tell us about the Blues’ performance?
First Half Domination
But just one goal from 12 attempts
Everton got exactly what they need at Southampton: an early goal.
As soon as Tom Davies headed home, the Saints’ fickle confidence was obliterated, with their 0-9 defeat at home to Leicester City still so fresh in the memory.
The Blues breezed through a sleepwalking, fearful Southampton team time and time again in the first half, but they failed to extend their advantage.
Disappointingly, in the latter stages of the half, Everton inexplicably took their foot of the gas in order to cruise through to half-time, rather than putting the game to bed.
And it was hardly a surprise when Saints made a change at half time and looked invigorated, getting at the Blues in the opening minutes of the second half and being rewarded with a goal. Everton simply didn’t make their domination count.
We rested on our laurels, rather than killing off a game when the opportunity was there. We should have tasted blood and feasted on the carcass of this poor Saints side during the opening half.
Last 8 wins have seen us open the scoring in the first 20 mins
It looked as if Davies’ early goal was going to set Everton up to an easy victory at Saints.
Early goals are absolutely crucial to Marco Silva’s side.
There’s a simple formula to calculate Everton’s likelihood of winning:
Did Everton open the scoring in the first 20 mins?
Yes: They should win | No: They won’t win.
Everton have picked up 3 points in the final 15 minutes of games this week
One of the biggest questions of this Everton team has been the mental fragility.
It’s a cracking side when it’s all going well, but a team that seems incapable of digging out a result when things don’t go to plan.
Fortunately, the results against Spurs and Saints this week suggest the Blues might be starting to rediscover their Dogs of War spirit.
After the Blues gave away a goal at St Marys, they took the game to Southampton rather than letting their heads drop, with two of our worst players on the day (Sidibe and Richarlison) even linking up to score the winning goal.
Tom Davies + Mason Holgate
Two of Everton’s youngest, two of Everton’s best
Just a few weeks ago, some were questioning whether Tom Davies and Mason Holgate had a future at the club. Not because they were playing badly, but more because they were simply not playing at an age where they really need minutes under their belt.
However, since they’ve come into the team, both have been excellent.
Both are extremely composed on the ball and provide a lot of quality. Holgate’s long balls were especially impressive once again, as he completed 11 out of 13 attempts. It’s getting hard to see a route back into the team for Michael Keane until Yerry Mina (inevitably) gets injured again.
Everton have had 5th most shots in the league
Only the current top four have had more shots than Everton so far this season. But the Blues have scored just 13 goals in 12 games.
The Blues are also fourth in the league for “big chances missed” (18).
Has Everton’s slow start to the season been primarily caused by poor finishing in front of goal?