The new gaffer arrived and brought Blues a welcome three points.
But what did the numbers tell us about the performance?
No Early Goal But a Win!
First win without an early goal since March
This was the first league game Everton have won since March in which the Blues didn’t score in the first 20 minutes.
Not since the 2-0 win over Chelsea on 17th March have Everton won a game without an early goal. The previous nine wins for Everton all came after scoring in the opening 20 minutes.
This was a more patient performance. It was relatively dominant – especially in the first half – and felt like a mature performance, without any desperate substitutions.
DCL – The “1-in-2” Striker?
Averaged a goal every 174 mins in the PL this season
The lad who wears XS shorts to show off his XL thighs netted the all-important winner against Burnley, with a stunning diving header meeting Djibril Sidibe’s sublime cross.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is now averaging a goal every 174 minutes played in the Premier League this season, pushing him into the famous “1-in-2” striker category. Indeed, the only English players under 23 with more goal than him this season are Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham.
There’s no doubt that his game still needs a lot of polishing – especially when it comes to having the ball at his feet in the final third – but his development thus far has been admirably and he’s looking more and more like a player who actually belongs at this level.
Sidibe the Assist King
Everton’s top assister this season
The biggest surprise that Carlo Ancelotti sprung in his first line-up was to include both Djibril Sidibe and Seamus Coleman.
His decision was ultimately rewarded, too, with Sidibe providing yet another fantastic cross to pick up his 4th assist of the season. Only Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (8) and Robertson (5) have registered more assists from full-back this season, and that’s not taking into the fact that Sidibe has only featured in 50% of Everton’s Premier League minutes so far this season.
4 - Among defenders in the @premierleague, only Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold (six) and Andy Robertson (five) have more assists in the competition this season than Everton's Djibril Sidibé (four). Provider. #EVEBUR pic.twitter.com/TSZErDyBnt— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2019
4-4-2… with a difference
Ancelotti stuck with Dunc’s formation, kind of…
On paper, it looked like Everton were set to line up in a 4-4-2 once again, with Sidibe occupying a right midfield role, with Seamus Coleman at right back. And this is exactly how Everton set up with the ball.
But the tactical difference between Ancelotti and Big Dunc was demonstrated early doors here, with Everton slotting into a 3-4-3 when out of possession (with Seamus at right centre-back and Sidibe at right-wing back), with Seamus moved to full back and Sidibe advanced when the Blues were in possession – which they were a lot, seeing 68% of the ball (the second highest of the season for the Blues).
Unbeaten* in 5
Reason to smile heading into 2020…
The despair at Goodison has departed. The optimism has returned thanks to a decent run of results and the acquisition of a big-name manager. Will it last?