It wasn’t pretty, but Everton finally ended their Goodison hoodoo to keep us in the running for a top four place.
But what did the numbers tell us about this performance?
First home league win of 2021
It’s fair to say Everton really needed a home win here.
And although the Blues made hard work of it against a beleaguered Southampton side, the three points mean that Everton will go fourth (even if only briefly) with a win against West Bromwich Albion on Thursday.
There’s still a lot of work to do at Goodison though, as you can see from our home form table this season (only 12th best in the league):
Goals For: 18
Goals Against: 20
Thankfully, Everton’s next two games are away from home.
Pickford plays long, DCL wins the header, DCL wins the second ball, Sigurdsson controls and plays in Richarlison who finishes with aplomb.
This goal was Everton playing to their strengths.
The Blues were unlucky not to extend their lead when Michael Keane’s goal from a well-worked set-piece was disallowed for offside.
Unfortunately after the disallowed goal, Everton decided to sit back and were much too conservative against a Southampton team visibly bereft in confidence.
Let’s not kid ourselves, Southampton could have easily grabbed an equaliser late on as they spurned two great chances.
The Everton of the opening 25 minutes is what we need to see more of. Not the ponderous Blues thereafter who have dropped points to the likes of Fulham, Newcastle and West Ham United recently.
Completed 77.8% of his passes, including 16/26 successful long balls
After a faultless performance in the Derby, Jordan Pickford put in another confident display against the Saints.
He was rarely called into action in terms of making saves, but what did stand out was his distribution.
He really had his eye in for a pass here and produced several stunning long balls in an attempt to launch attacks quickly from the back – one of which helped setup the early goal. Just look at his pass map.
For context, Fraser Forster’s is also attached below.
Won 10 aerial duels vs Southampton
The athleticism of Dominic Calvert-Lewin is something to behold these days.
Against Southampton he was a relentless thorn in their side. Not only did he manage to win 10 aerial duels against the Saints (the same amount as their back four combined) but his intelligent play also helped him win three fouls.
Everton are a much more dangerous team with him in it.
“You have to believe absolutely, that is where we want to be"— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) March 2, 2021
DCL says Everton's aspiration is to get into the top four this season and says they will try their hardest to achieve Champions League football #EFC
Allan returns with an 86.5% pass success
Another welcome return in a Blue shirt was Allan. Despite this being a game of many sloppy passages of play, the Brazilian was one of the coolest heads on the pitch completing 86.5% of his passes, with only Ben Godfrey enjoying a higher success rate among both teams (93.3%).
He also made three tackles, one interception and one clearance to ensure Everton’s clean sheet.