Everton were challenged with showing that they could display the same confidence and determination on the road that they did last weekend at Goodison Park. The short answer is.. no.
Frank Lampard lined the Blues up in a 4-4-2 unchanged from last week, matching the hosts. However, Allan and Donny van de Beek were simply not as good as Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse, with the hosts bouncing back after sleepwalking through the first quarter of an hour to control the game after that.
The Saints had the better chances but the game stayed 0-0 until halftime with Lampard deciding to make the first change. Allan came off for Andre Gomes at the break, but went on to endure the worst fifteen or so minutes he’s ever played for the Blues, giving away the ball cheaply to allow the hosts to go ahead, and then looking about five yards behind the game for the next few minutes conceding a series of freekicks in the process.
The second half only got worse for the Blues despite the introductions of Andros Townsend and Dele Alli as the scraggly defence were pulled apart time and again by Southampton’s speedy attacks. How they didn’t score any of their half-dozen chances we’ll never know, though Pickford did have a huge part to play in much of it.
Everton got more stretched out as the game went on and to no one’s surprise it was the hosts getting the next goal as the defence stayed deep in their slumber while substitute Shane Long rose high to head home with his first touch of the game making it 2-0 late on.
What an awful day Allan had. And his replacement Andre Gomes was somehow even worse.
Collectively though, the entire Everton defence laid a giant egg. They were off the pace all game long, and have no excuses really after having spent a whole week working together preparing for this game. It’s not like the Saints did anything unexpected.
Everton in their current form really need at least 4-5 players playing their best game every time they take to the pitch or else they will get overrun, just like today.
The truth is that Everton are not out of the relegation battle if they keep playing poorly away from Goodison.