A familiar story, but with a different narrative.
Everton failed to beat a bottom-half team at home once again, but it wasn’t through a lack of chances.
Let’s see what the numbers told us about the performance.
Points Dropped at Home
Just five home wins from 15 this season
There’s no doubt about what has cost Everton the opportunity to storm the top four this season: the ability to beat bottom half teams at home.
Crystal Palace joined Leeds United, Burnley, Newcastle United and Fulham in picking up points at Goodison Park – although thankfully it was just the one this time.
If Everton had won those five games, the Blues would be second in the league right now. Instead, we’re sitting in eighth wondering whether we really want to enter the inaugural Europa Conference League next season.
Just one goal from 15 attempts
Everton’s recent troubles at Goodison Park have come from the fact that they simply haven’t managed to create chances.
But that wasn’t the problem here. Yay?
The issue against Palace was turning chances into goals.
Indeed, Everton’s expected goals was 2.53 to Palace’s 0.60 – the second highest Everton have achieved this season (only the 5-2 win over West Brom in September was better: 4.16).
Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin's shooting stats against Crystal Palace:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) April 5, 2021
Shots - 8
On target - 5
Big chances missed - 4
Goals - 0#EFC #EVECRY
Not scored from more than 8 yards out this season
Let’s not make any bones about it: this was Calvert-Lewin’s worst performance of the season.
A season in he has scored 19 goals for Everton in just 32 appearances, as well as bagging four in his first seven England appearances.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t think DCL would ever make a long-career in the Premier League when I first saw him. Nor have I ever seen a player improve so much year-on-year.
Many aspects of his game are approaching world-class: namely his hold-up play, athleticism, aerial ability and positioning. But he’s not the finished the article yet.
With the ball at his feet in front of goal, he’s not the best. One-on-ones certainly aren’t his fortay and as you can see from his goal map below, he very much has a “type” when it comes to scoring. DCL is great at being the first to react to balls into the six-yard box and directing headers into the goal.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about DCL though, it’s not to rule him out. If he can make the adjustments needed so that he’s effective with the ball at his feet in and around the 18-yard area, he could become one of the very best strikers in the world.
1 goal, 92% pass accuracy, 2 chances created
The return of James Rodriguez and Everton’s ability to create chances was not a coincidence.
The brittle Colombian is Everton’s playmaker and we sorely miss him when he’s not available.
James Rodriguez's stats against Crystal Palace:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) April 5, 2021
Touches - 65
Goals - 1
Shots - 3
On target - 1
Successful passes - 49
Successful attacking third passes - 14
Successful long balls - 8
Chances created - 2
Pass accuracy - 92%
Recoveries - 10
Successful tackles - 1#EFC #EVECRY
Everton would have been 3 pts off 4th with a game in hand with a win
Results over the weekend couldn’t have gone much better from an Everton perspective.
But once again, the Blues failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
West Ham United, of all teams, now hold fourth position and Everton will surely rue the fact if it is David Moyes’ Hammers that can claim a Champions League spot this season.
Everton have nine games left and although just five points separate us from fourth, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that we’ll be savouring any European football next season.