Everton returned to Premier League action on Saturday, but it ended up being a frustrating start to the season as they failed to turn first half dominance into goals at Crystal Palace once again.
Below, we’ll take a look at five of the most telling stats from the game.
Eerily similar to the last meeting at Selhurst Park.
It’s not been that long since the Blues last visit to South London, with the two sides also playing out a goalless draw at the end of April.
Both sides also lined up in the same formations, with Palace opting for a classic 4-4-2 against Everton’s 4-2-3-1.
Everton also had 64% of possession and three shots on target in both games, while the only changes in Everton’s starting line-up came in the form of Yerry Mina replacing Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes for Idrissa Gana Gueye.
What’s more, the Blues even played in the same away kit as last season – with the new home and away kits too closely resembling Palace’s, while the third kit, bizarrely, isn’t being released until 23rd August.
For reasons beyond the kit, Everton's goalless draw with Crystal Palace was 'so last season'.— David Alexander Hughes (@DAHughes_) August 11, 2019
The Blues lined up in the same 4231 formation that they played in their last match at Selhurst Park back in April.
Palace also lined up in their same 442 formation from that match.
Unconvincing debut from Gbamin
Poor numbers across the board from new midfielder
Jean-Philippe Gbamin struggled on his Blues debut having come on much earlier than expected to replace the injured Andre Gomes just before half time.
He had a pass success rate of just 77.4% - much lower than all of our other central midfielders: Gomes (89.7%), Morgan Schneiderlin (88.9%) and Tom Davies (85.7%), and completed just one tackle and made no interceptions – not the numbers you’d expect for a Gueye replacement. He was also twice dispossessed (one of which almost led to a Palace goal), while none of the other central midfielders were dispossessed at all.
Of course, he only joined the club last week, didn’t have a full pre-season and is still just 23. However, he needs to get up to speed very quickly as he will surely start at home to Watford FC next week with Schneiderlin suspended and both Delph and Gomes possibly still out injured.
Just 12 tackles against Palace
While I mentioned that the game was eerily similar to the fixture in September, there was one number that was significantly lower.
In April, the Blues completed 20 tackles but this time around they completed just 12, with Palace recording 21 on both occasions. The Blues also averaged over 18 tackles per game last season.
This could be an anomaly. But it could be an early warning signing that Everton are missing Idrissa Gueye.
Richarlison still key
Brazilian made the most tackles in a Blue shirt
Speaking of tackles, Richarlison showed just how well-rounded his game is by making no less than four successful tackles – with no other player in Blue managing more than two.
Richarlison is our prize-asset, and it’s not just going forward he’s a threat: he also works incredibly hard and put in a masterclass of “defending from the front” against Palace.
32 shots, no goals
In the last two games at Selhurst Park, Everton have had 32 shots (10 of which were this weekend) yet not scored a single goal.
The Blues had four very big chances against Palace but failed to put any away. One would hope, though, that Moise Kean can help make Everton more clinical this season.