Fulltime Thoughts - It was ugly, there’s no denying that. But we’ll take the clean sheet and three points, however they come right now with how shaky Everton look at home.
90+6’ - Still we play on.
Now Pickford is hurt going up for a cross, cleared for a corner.
Cleared, and there’s the final whistle! 1-0 Everton win.
90+2’ - Wonderfully flashy footwork from Iwobi in the corner to kill some seconds.
Djenepo rolling around in agony, doesn’t get a freekick but stays down. DCL landed on his foot from a jump. The clock ticks on.
90’ - Unfortunate deflection hands Southampton a corner on their left.
Multiple shots blocked, falls to Vestergaard, Pickford saves very well and it’s another corner. Oh my.
This one goes through the box and out for a goalkick. Whew.
Joshua King is on now for Richarlison, three minutes added on.
87’ - Gomes with a lovely ball to spring a Richarlison break. He finds DOucoure in the box who has a couple of bites at it before it’s cleared by the defence.
Alex Iwobi comes on for Gomes, first sub of the night for Ancelotti.
84’ - Armstrong with another diagonal slashing run, finds Djenepo for a shot from the corner of the box, flays it wide. Close shave for Everton.
83’ - Saints ramping it up now. Win a corner off Digne on the Everton left.
Holgate heads away.
80’ - Now Gomes tugs Armstrong down. Tella is also booked for going in high on Digne.
JWP inswinger towards goal, DCL does well to head away.
77’ - Andre Gomes with a useful interception and sets DCL free, Armstrong hauls him down and is booked.
75’ - Mistake from Keane allows Saints to get the ball and win a corner now. Too lackadaisical.
JWP inswinger this time.. Pickford parries away, Redmond’s shot is blocked well.
72’ - Southampton corner, Godfrey blocks Che Adams’ cross. JWP outswinger, falls for Redmond deep, and he tries to find the top corner but it’s wide.
69’ - Digne fouls Djenepo. JWP’s freekick is well-cleared by Keane.
65’ - Holgate wins another freekick deep down the right. Looked like a foul, maybe a bit light.
Sig takes it again, Richy gets the touch and wins a corner.
Digne takes and it’s cleared, all the way back to Pickford.
62’ - Djenepo wins a corner off Digne. JWP’s outswinger missed by Richarlison, and Salisu’s header goes just over the bar.
The central defender is off for midfielder Tella now, with Djenepo going to right-back.
60’ - Jan Bednarek the one now catching Richy up high, and the Brazilian goes down. Freekick on the left wing, Digne this time.. Keane again the first to it but his stooping header is wide of the far post.
58’ - Richy wins a freekick, Sig into the box.. Keane heads across the goal and Ward-Prowse does well to head away. Godfrey’s shot on the rebound blocked for another corner.
This one is cleared by the visitors.
55’ - Richarlison wins a corner on the left, his cross cut out by Vestergaard. Sig to take.. Saints clear easily.
47’ - DCL runs into a cul-de-sac of four defenders, and then goes down as soon as he is touched by Vestergaard. Freekick, and Southampton are irate!
Sig to take, off the wall for a corner. The Icelander will put in an inswinger.. off Vestergaard, up in the air and DCL runs into Forster, foul.
46’ - No changes at the break for either side.
Halftime Thoughts - The early goal took the pressure off Everton to make things happen, and instead allows the Blues to do what they have done best this season, which is set up strong and pick off the Saints on the counter.
45+2’ - There’s the halftime whistle. Everton lead 1-0 from an excellently-taken Richarlison goal.
43’ - Godfrey goes over challenging for a high ball, and Che Adams goes down over him. Saints want a penalty, ref is adamant it’s not and VAR confirms that.
Of course the commentators want to compare that to DCL getting a penalty going over Trent Alexander Arnold, conveniently forgetting that the Liverpool defender had put up a boot too as DCL went past him.
40’ - Allan has looked a bit rusty, giving up the ball in dangerous areas. Has the quality and aggression to overcome that.
36’ - Holgate wins another freekick on the right. Sigurdsson takes it.. Richarlison was on side this time and touches it with another number of Blues close, but none of them gambled after the two previous offside calls, and it’s a wasted chance.
33’ - Southampton are passing the ball well enough for Everton to be worried, much like Ancelotti wanted his side to be today, and not get overconfident.
28’ - Now Ings wins a freekick off Holgate, deep on the Everton right.
Ward-Prowse will hit this, an inswinger towards Jordan Pickford’s goal, DCL touches it and gives away a corner rather than let that go in the near post.
Corner not fully cleared and Saints almost sneak down the goalline and Pickford gathers a rebound.
25’ - Holgate wins a freekick now from a dangerous spot, nicking the ball off Ings. Same spot as previous one Sig had put in the box.
Trick!! Digne takes it, headed back across by Holgate, Keane heads home!
Oooh, Holgate is just offside on the replay. VAR calls it off.
22’ - Digne doing well getting free of Djenepo twice in a minute, neither cross is precise though.
20’ - Allan crunches into Ings and wins the ball, it goes to Andre Gomes and he almost finds DCL free behind the backline.
17’ - Danny Ings gets free on the right and wins a corner, Ward-Prowse’s corner is cleared by Richarlison, Redmond volleys the rebound well over.
14’ - Salisu’s high boot almost catches DCL on the break as he looked to head free, and Martin Atkinson has given the Blues a freekick on the right. Sigurdsson to swing it away from Forster.. Richarlison gets his head to it but he’s offside. Forster saved it well too.
12’ - A minute’s silence to remember young Blue Alfie.
9’ - First sustained possession, and Richarlison scores! Sigurdsson finds Richarlison delightfully, he rounds the keeper and slots home perfectly from a narrow, narrow angle! 1-0 Everton!
7’ - Ings and Redmond combine to win a corner. DCL climbs high to clear.
6’ - Doucoure so close to finding DCL’s run, Fraser Forster out smartly to gather.
4’ - Bednarek and Vestergaard have both gone in hard on Richarlison early, and he’s grimacing already.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin offside on a long ball, looked like he had won a corner there. Had combined well with Abdoulaye Doucoure.
1’ - Underway at Goodison. Everton need to get whatever issues they have playing at home out of the way today, the season hangs in the balance.
Ancelotti has provided an explanation for the missing quartet - looks like maintenance for all of them.
Lineups are out, and looks like James Rodriguez is injured again, not even in the squad. Allan returns as does Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Tom Davies, Seamus Coleman and Robin Olsen are all not on the bench either, lots of youngsters though - GK Joao Virginia, F Nathan Broadhead, CB Ryan Astley, RB Kyle John and CM Tyler Onyango.
Everton face two games this week that could go a long way towards determining whether they will be playing in Europe next season, or slipping into midtable mediocrity again. Southampton are the visitors today with the Blues’ form at Goodison Park as hollow as the empty stands, and Carlo Ancelotti knows that getting back on track at home is of paramount importance.
With just Yerry Mina and Jean-Philippe Gbamin injured, this might be the fittest Ancelotti has had his squad all season. The Saints had easily overwhelmed the Blues in the reverse leg of this fixture, and the manager is going to have to find a way to keep his players at the intensity levels they showed against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in previous weeks.
Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side meanwhile have fallen off from their table-topping days earlier in the season, and his injury-stricken squad have picked up only one point in their last eight games.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 25
Date and start time: Monday, March 1st at 12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m ET / 8:00 p.m. BST
Capacity: 39,572 [Behind closed doors]
Weather: 42°F/6°C, clear, 2% chance of precipitation, 10 mph winds
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Pickford; Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne; Allan, Doucoure, Gomes; Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Virginia, King, Iwobi, Nkounkou, Bernard, Broadhead, John, Astley, Onyango
Forster; Vestergaard, Salisu, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Djenepo; Ings, Adams
Subs: McCarthy, Stephens, Ramsey, Jankewitz; Watts, Chauke, Ferry, Tella, N’Lundalu
The Blues traveled to the coast early in October leading the league, but were unable to match Southampton in intensity, losing 2-0. Arguably Everton never recovered from then and are still struggling to string together two consecutive Premier League wins since December, so a win today will go a long way towards earning vengeance for that loss.
Everton actually have a decent record at home against the Saints, last losing a game to them in the 1997-98 season, and winning ten and drawing six since then. The last time they visited was during Project Restart with Danny Ings giving the the Saints the lead and Richarlison equalizing before the break as the 2019-20 season petered out.