Fulltime Thoughts - Tough slog at times, plenty of sideways passing and meaningless possession, but that’s what you expect when playing Burnley. Ancelotti will need more time with his charges, but starts his reign at Goodison with a win that the Blues deserved.
90+5’ - Still no whistle, Everton holding the ball in the Burnley half. There it is now, and Merry Christmas Blues, a winner from DCL gets the Blues all three points!
90+4’ - Davies wins a free kick in the middle and that will let a few more seconds tick down.
90+2’ - Play has mostly been centered in the middle for the last few minutes, but now Walcott concedes a freekick in the left channel of midfield.
Dangerous cross into the box but Tarkowski is offside, the high line outside the box is working so far.
90’ - Walcott now on for Sidibe, four plus minutes to be added on.
85’ - Kean with a stepover in the corner of the box, wins a corner. Sigurdsson’s corner is nodded on by DCL, but no one there to get a touch on it as it flashes diagonally across the goal.
Richarlison comes off for Tom Davies now as Ancelotti will look to consolidate. Theo Walcott had been warming up too just before the goal.
83’ - Sidibe almost has his second assist, finding Richarlison 1-on-1 with Pope, but the two players collide and both go down, ref blows for a foul for the visitors.
80’ - Some urgency in Everton’s play now, and there’s a goal! A flying header from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, gets his head to a sweet cross from Sidibe from the right, and it bounces off the far post and rolls in, beats Pope easily. 1-0 Everton!
Everton, meet Ancelotti, Ancelotti meet Everton— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 26, 2019
Calvert-Lewin gives Everton the lead! pic.twitter.com/DMwQDONjqA
78’ - Sidibe breaks down the right, nice low cross in and it’s just ahead of Kean and Richarlison, Pope claims it bravely.
4-3-3 it looks like now, with DCL out wide on the right and Richarlison on the left, Kean the spearhead.
76’ - This could be trouble. Rodriguez beats the offside trap but Pickford rushes out to claim, and he steps out of the box with the ball in his hands, though he looks to have kept the ball in the box. The assistant referee gives it as a handball outside the box though!
The freekick whizzes into the box but the referee spots an infringement and Everton can clear.
There’s the first sub, and it’s Bernard going off for Moise Kean now.
73’ - Wood comes off for Ashley Barnes, still no movement from the Everton bench.
Sigurdsson buzzes in another freekick, and Mina gets to it first, but again the header is straight at Pope.
71’ - Coleman takes a pop from distance, just over the bar, didn’t really have too many options around him.
67’ - Sigurdsson’s countryman Gudmundsson is on for Brady.
63’ - Digne’s pressure on McNeil wins a corner. Sigurdsson takes, and cleared, of course.
60’ - Digne and Delph combine to get a cross into the box, DCL has a free header but it’s tame and straight at Pope.
59’ - The crowd is getting quite restless now. Time for a substitution, something different?
McNeil finds Brady with a raking cross across the box, the Burnley player left by both Coleman and Sidibe, but his header is neither a shot nor a cross and it goes wide.
56’ - Sidibe makes a run into the box, his first touch is horrible and the ball runs away from him, and the clearance ricochets off his abdomen and goes just wide as Pope runs into him. No penalty, but was so close to a fortunate goal.
54’ - Bernard stops and then threatens to shoot, wins a corner, cleared away too easily. Best player for the Blues today, so far.
52’ - Everton are pushing again, and Burnley have done very, very well blocking shots, crosses, passes. 14 so far, including three in their own box.
50’ - Burnley win a cheap freekick in the middle third, lofted into the box and Jay Rodriguez heads well wide.
47’ - Early corner for the Clarets, takes some huffing and puffing and finally cleared.
46’ - Marcel Brands and Bill Kenwright seen exchanging a chuckle, can only wonder what about. Burnley get us underway in the second half.
Halftime Thoughts - The Blues have had 76% of the possession, but haven’t created too many clear chances off those.
45+1’ - Sidibe concedes a corner, uh oh. Clarets are taking their time with it and referee Anthony Taylor has seen enough, blows the whistle, haha.
44’ - Coleman pressure wins a corner late in the first half. Sigurdsson’s corner is cleared, only to Digne who fires from outside the box, blocked for another corner.
Seventh corner of the half, cleared again and then a Burnley player is fouled in the box as the cross comes back in.
Ancelotti is quite irritated by how much time-wasting Burnley have been engaging in, as the board goes up, with one minute added on.
42’ - Bernard and Digne work their magic, and the Frenchman’s centre is cut out, then Bernard sets him up for another cross and DCL heads well over.
39’ - Blues win a freekick deep down the left. Sigurdsson takes, and it’s cleared, corner from the same side. Inswinger again, and Pope comes out to claim. Definitely an area that Pickford is lacking in, commanding his penalty box like that.
37’ - Ever since Holgate and Coleman started overlapping, the Blues have looked much better, pulling Burnley out of position.
35’ - Digne gets rolled and concedes a freekick, an opportunity for the Clarets to swing it into the box. McNeil’s cross is perfect, Mina loses Chris Wood who heads over from about seven yards out.
33’ - Bernard has been making a nuisance of himself in the Burnley box, winning a corner and a throw-in as well. He now leads a run into the area, and finds Sidibe out wide, his low cross takes a couple of deflections with Pope making the save then stranded, and the ball is cleared.
Pope has been the difference so far, two excellent saves off Holgate and Sidibe keeping it scoreless.
29’ - Bernard makes a run to the right touchline and crosses the ball into the box, Bardsley clears for a corner. Digne takes, and it’s cleared.
Now Dwight McNeil nips at Coleman’s ankles and the Blues win a freekick, about 30 yards out on the right. Sigurdsson will curl it in.. and Tarkowski gets his head to it and clears.
23’ - Richarlison wins another middle-third freekick, Sigurdsson curls it into the box and DCL gets his head to it, goes just wide.
20’ - Coleman makes a great run, plays a 1-2 with RIcharlison and beats his man in the box, but his cross/shot from the right is blocked.
18’ - Blues trying to mix it up, long ball as well as playing through the middle, but Burnley’s discipline is good.
12’ - Everton look good on the break, getting vertical with numbers. Richarlison is fouled by Robbie Brady centrally, about 25 yards out. Digne and Sigurdsson both look interested.
It’ll be Digne, and goes off the wall for a corner. Sigurdsson wafts it into the box, but Bernard obstructs Pope.
10’ - It’s looking like a 3-5-2 for the Blues, with a triangle of Fabian Delph, Sigurdsson and Bernard in the middle.
8’ - Richarlison finds Sidibe charging down the right, his cross is blocked and it’s a corner. Sigurdsson takes it, and Pope comes all the way out to take it cleanly, unchallenged.
6’ - DCL wins a freekick in the middle third, Sigurdsson curls it in, Mina heads down and it comes to Holgate five yards out, and he kicks out at it and Nick Pope saves from point-blank range! Oh so close!
3’ - Freekick from the middle causing trouble already, with an unmarked James Tarkowski heading across goal, and Pickford in no-mans land, but Mina heads away for a corner.
The corner from the Everton left is over Pickford, Mina is beaten but it goes off a Burnley player’s shoulder and out.
1’ - Richarlison gets the Ancelotti era underway, COYB!
Immediately we see a three-man backline, with Yerry Mina in the middle, Mason Holgate on the left and Seamus Coleman on the right, and Lucas Digne and Djibril Sidibe as wingbacks.
A minute’s applause before the starting whistle to remember all of those we have lost over the past year.
Well, well what do we make of that line up then. Even the Everton social media crew don’t want to comment on the shape.
Starting XI: Pickford; Digne, Mina, Holgate, Coleman; Sidibe, Sigurdsson, Delph, Bernard; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Keane, Davies, Walcott, Kean, Tosun
Having both Sidibe and Coleman in is interesting too. In a classic 4-4-2 shape Sidibe at right midfield could definitely provide some attacking punch in the final third.
Everton will mark the beginning of the Carlo Ancelotti tenure with a clash at home against Burnley. The Blues will be challenged with breaking down Sean Dyche’s organized ranks, and even though they’ve gotten a couple of players back from the lengthy injury list, now Alex Iwobi has been added to the walking wounded.
Duncan Ferguson’s interim stint at manager saw three draws and a win against some difficult competition, and for now Ancelotti might stick with the same formation until he gets to spend some more time with his squad in training.
This game marks the halfway point of the season, and after a miserable start to 2019-20, the Toffees will be hoping for better results in the second stanza under veteran Ancelotti.
Visitors Burnley sit five points ahead of Everton, having bounced back from a difficult season of their own last year. Their gameplan of bunkering and letting the hosts controlling possession has worked to their benefit so far, and we’ll get a first look at how the new Blues manager decides to attack the parked bus.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 19
Date and start time: Thursday, December 26th at 7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Weather: 43°F/6°C, light rain, 51% chance of precipitation, 14 mph winds
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Starting XI: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Brady, Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Rodriguez
Subs: Hart, Lowton, Gudmundsson, Drinkwater, Barnes, Pieters, Long
The Blues went to he Clarets in early October in a dull and dreary affair that ended up 1-0 for the hosts, the only goal of the game coming from a set-piece, of course. Burnley will look to do the same again today, trying to take advantage of any errors in marking from set-pieces while looking to hit Everton on the counter attack wherever possible.