Although the Toffees’ second-half performance was undoubtedly an improvement on that of the first, the fact remains that they dug themselves a hole too big to climb out of. Although the squad has shown in recent months that comebacks aren’t outside of their realm of capabilities, those came against teams such as Crystal Palace and Southampton, not the likes of Manchester United. In fact, United have won every game that they have had a lead in so far this season.
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 120 Premier League games when they have been leading at HT. pic.twitter.com/OetznjBvSi— Squawka (@Squawka) October 9, 2022
As I pointed out in my instant match reaction video on the Royal Blue Mersey Twitter account, Idrissa Gueye’s performance was particularly poor on Sunday night. Considering how vital his position and role are to Lampard’s system, such a substandard display was bound to cost the team. His misplaced pass last week led to Joe Aribo’s opener for Southampton, but this time his error was much more egregious, as his inability to control a five-yard pass led directly to Antony’s third Premier League goal in as many games.
These mistakes have not been common during his career but they seem to have crept into his game over the past few weeks. With James Garner waiting in the wings, he’ll have to clean it up if he wants to remain a lock in Lampard’s starting XI.
Idrissa Gueye's error leading to Antony's goal against Manchester United was his first ever error directly leading to a goal for Everton in the Premier League. #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) October 10, 2022
I stated in my “Opposition Analysis” article which went out on Saturday that Casemiro would have to be at his best in order for Manchester United to win the midfield battle, and that he was. Of the four tackles he made, the most poignant was that which thwarted Iwobi’s attempted step-over, setting the Brazilian up to play Cristiano Ronaldo through for what would end up being the winning goal. Casemiro’s performance was superb and was exactly what the doctor ordered after a difficult week for United, and when you compare his dominant performance to that of Gueye, it’s no surprise that the Red Devils controlled the majority of play. He even had a couple of chances to score after making late darting runs into the box.
Casemiro won 4/5 tackles against Everton, twice as many as any other player on the pitch.— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 9, 2022
Won the midfield battle on his own. pic.twitter.com/4H9736YcX6
As Frank Lampard mentioned in his post-game press conference, Everton left themselves too much to do and not enough time to do it. I personally haven’t been enthused this season by how long Lampard has waited to make changes when his side clearly needs them, but there was a marked improvement in Everton’s urgency and threat once he brought on Calvert-Lewin and changed shape to a 4-4-2. Up until that point, Everton were toothless, Iwobi screamer aside, but at least the final push was encouraging. Unfortunately, they couldn’t manufacture a clear look at goal, and De Gea’s save from James Garner’s cross/shot was the only time the Spaniard was really called into action.
Considering I’ve talked about him after basically every match so far this season, I’ll go easy on the Alex Iwobi plaudits this week. However, I will say that it was great to see him get his goal, and what a goal it was. He’s playing with so much confidence and it is paying dividends for him and his team. Let’s hope some of his teammates can follow suit in the weeks to come.
4 - @AlexIwobi has been directly involved in four Premier League goals this season for Everton (1 goal, 3 assists), twice as many as any teammate. Iwobi has scored or assisted in three consecutive league appearances for the first time since April 2016. Blossoming. pic.twitter.com/aPcUvIMiSU— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 9, 2022