A few weeks back, the pundits were rightly hailing Declan’s Rice’s midfield masterclass as West Ham United eased past Everton at Goodison Park. This time around, the plaudits were being bestowed upon Manchester City’s Rodri, who may well have been playing in his slippers at the Etihad. The Blues’ patchwork midfield of Allan and Fabian Delph rarely got anywhere near the Spaniard, who ran the game from his central position and could likely have played another 90 minutes, such was his dominance.
Rodri's game by numbers vs. Everton:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 21, 2021
100% take-on success
100% shot accuracy
94% pass accuracy
7 duels won
5 passes into the box
4 ball recoveries
3 aerial duels won
3 tackles made
Pure class. pic.twitter.com/Z9taSE4NOu
How the Times Have Changed
Once upon a time - not so long ago, the Toffees enjoyed a pretty solid record against their near-neighbours in Manchester. After a slow start his first couple of seasons as Everton boss, David Moyes actually racked up 12 wins from his last 18 games against the Sky Blues. Since the Scotsman’s departure, things have not been so rosy as the Merseysiders have registered a mere 2 victories in 20 matches, with the latest reverse making it a miserable 9 defeats on the bounce.
Everton have lost each of their last 9 games against Manchester City in all competitions - only against Portsmouth have they gone on a worse losing streak against a single opponent (13 consecutive defeats from January 1947 to February 1956). #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) November 21, 2021
Outclassed, Simple as That
Deprived of the spine of the team, in Yerry Mina, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the odds were always going to be stacked heavily against the visitors and so it proved. Rafa Benitez had few options in terms of personnel and opted for a compact defensive shape, which kept the Mancunians at arm’s length for almost the whole first half. The Blues rarely threatened the home team however and once Rodri fired in City’s second goal on 55 minutes, the contest was effectively over.
Three goals. Clean sheet. Dominated possession.— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 21, 2021
City made it look easy vs. Everton pic.twitter.com/iG3d0oQuyC
The Slump Continues
Everton have now failed to win any of their last six games and have only a single victory - an unimpressive 2-0 performance at Goodison Park against a woeful Norwich City side almost two months ago - in nine fixtures. Worse still, the Toffees have enjoyed a relatively easy run of matches over the autumn, but a dip in form in combination with a slew of injuries to both key players and those providing squad depth has resulted in fewer points being obtained than would have been anticipated.
Everton vs. non-bottom 3 teams this season:— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) November 21, 2021
• 2 wins
• 3 draws
• 5 losses
• 11 goals scored
• 18 goals allowed
The Blues' 6-game winless streak is the 2nd-longest in the Premier League, only behind Newcastle pic.twitter.com/wngph3P2ur
No End in Sight
Benitez’ men have entered a tough run of games which will continue until they visit Turf Moor to face struggling Burnley on Boxing Day. On paper, the easiest match is next up, at newly-promoted Brentford, but whilst the Londoners are currently enduring a winless run of their own they are still playing with a positive attitude and will present a difficult challenge. The Blues are currently 6 points clear of the relegation zone and only 4 off the European places, but blighted as they are with injuries it is reasonable to expect the team dropping further down the table until near the end of the calendar year.