Rom knows the score (“it’s just banter”), but what do the numbers tell us about this Everton performance?
Richarlison + Sigurdsson Goals Vital
26 for the pair this season
The race for Everton’s golden boot remains tight this season, with Gylfi Sigurdsson once again pulling level with Richarlison with his long-range strike following the Brazilian’s acrobatic effort. Indeed, the Brazilian managed to get off an impressive six shots in the first half alone and was proving a real problem for United, prior to coming off just after half-time with an apparent rib injury.
What’s more, of the 27 players to have reach double figures in the Premier League so far this season, only Richarlison and Marcus Rashford are aged under 23. Let’s not forget how young Richarlison and how much room he still has to grow. There’s no doubt he has the capabilities to become a truly world-class player.
The Blues do, though, need to be careful not to become too reliant on the pair. Sigurdsson and Richarlison have 26 league goals between them this season, account for over half of Everton’s 50 league goals.
Hard Work Pays Dividends
Everton ran nearly 8km further than United all game long
Similarly, to the Arsenal game a couple of weeks ago, an early goal put their opponents on the back foot and the Blues managed to keep them there for the entire 90 minutes.
In the past (mostly in the Moyes era and earlier), if the Blues had gone ahead against one of the big sides, they would promptly drop everyone behind the ball and look to defend that lead. That was not the case against United (nor Arsenal) with the Blues continuing to press their opponents high up the pitch.
Everton’s work rate was outstanding against United, with the Blues running a combined 4km more than their opponents in the first half alone, and just under 8km for the whole game.
Quality on the Ball
86% pass success rate in first half
Remarkably, every single Everton player bar Gylfi Sigurdsson (61.5%) managed a pass success rate of over 80% in the first half, meaning Everton completed 86% of their passes going into the break.
This was a real show of quality and confidence for the Blues, and can hopefully be used to help strengthen the confidence throughout the squad, which proved to be frail in last week’s defeat to Fulham.
Back-to-back wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and United
Coming into a period were many Evertonians (myself included) didn’t expect us to pick up a single point given our torrid form, Marco Silva has transformed Everton into a top football team once again.
Everton picked up nine points from a possible nine against Chelsea, Arsenal and United – outnumbering the total number of points we picked up in the previous eight games – a turnaround made all the more spectacular considering we played Wolverhampton, Leicester City, Newcastle and Watford FC in the period previously.
Record v Big Six
10 points at home, 1 point away
There’s no doubt about it, the last three home wins, plus the draw against Liverpool have shown huge strides of progress. It means that the Blues have picked up 10 out of a possible 18 points at home against the top six in the 2018/19 season, although the big challenge is to improve the away record. Everton have picked up just one point away to the top six this season (at Chelsea), with Tottenham Hotspur still to play on the final day.
Nobody really expects Everton to beat the big teams away from home, but if the Blues want to gate crash the top six in the coming seasons, they at least need to take points away from them on more occasions.