Let’s bask in the numbers:
Blues win with less possession again (29%)
It’s time to face it. Everton are NOT a good possession-based team.
Of Everton’s last nine wins, the Blues have only had more of the ball on one occasion (56% vs Sheff Utd). Of those, four games we had less than 40% of the ball. Against Liverpool, we had just 29% of possession.
But in Everton’s defeats this season the Blues have “dominated” the ball on five of those eight occasions. Of those, three games Everton had 60% or more of the ball.
The less time we have the ball (or should that be the less time we dwell on the ball?) the better we perform.
The table below shows just how strong the correlation between us having less possession and performing well is.
[The table sees matches split into three categories, with Everton expected to beat all bottom seven sides, beat mid-table sides at home and draw away, then draw with typical top seven teams at home and lose away, and just lose to Man City.]
1 clean sheet, several big saves, 3 massive points
This game was a timely reminder of just how good Jordan Pickford can be.
Let’s not forget, after all, that he was our player of the season in his first year with the club.
90% of Pickford’s play is very good or excellent. But those momentary lapses have given plenty of people – including Carlo - good reason to question his place in the team.
But against Liverpool he was flawless, and he needed to be.
Jordan Pickford's stats against Liverpool:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) February 20, 2021
Touches - 47
Goals conceded - 0
Saves - 6
Shots from inside the box saved - 2
Big chances saved - 1
Claims - 1
Punches - 1
Clearances - 1
Attempted long balls - 34
Successful long balls - 10
Long ball accuracy - 29%#EFC #LIVEVE
8 recoveries, 5 tackles, 1 interception
It’s time to start asking: is Tom Davies finally starting to fulfil his potential?
The 22-year-old has fully seized upon Allan’s absence and has been one of Everton’s best performers in recent weeks.
He’s breaking up play, tidy on the ball, progressive with his passing, full of energy and – like Pickford did here – has cut out the frustrating mistakes.
Tom Davies' stats against Liverpool:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) February 20, 2021
Touches - 35
Successful passes - 18
Successful forward passes - 8
Successful long balls - 2
Pass accuracy - 69%
Recoveries - 8
Successful tackles - 5
Interceptions - 1
Clearances - 1
Aerial duels won - 1#EFC #LIVEVE
Everton have won eight out of 12 away games this season
The Blues away form is looking better week-by-week.
Everton have lost just twice on the road this season (back-to-back defeats to Saints and Newcastle), with the last of those coming on the 1st November.
But it’s not just points that Everton are picking up on the road, it’s scalps too. Spurs away. Liverpool away. Leicester away. A dramatic draw at United. Even wins at Wolves and Leeds aren’t to be sniffed at.
Unfortunately, Everton are home to Saints next.
Everton’s ridiculously long wait for a derby win – and especially one at Anfield is over.
Now let’s beat the Reds to a Champions League place.
Goals scored at Anfield in 2021:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) February 20, 2021
Everton - 2
Liverpool - 1#EFC