Everton’s unbeaten run in the Premier League was brought to an end by Southampton as the Saints picked up their 3rd win of the season to propel them to 5th position in the table.
Stuart Armstrong was back in Southampton starting lineup replacing Theo Walcott, who was ineligible to play against his parent club. James Rodriguez recovered from his knock in time to start the game as Ben Godfrey, Sigurdsson and Iwobi started for Everton.
The first 10 minutes saw both teams try to control the midfield with hardly any forward passes. The first real chance of the game came Southampton’s way when Redmond’s shot from Bertrand’s cross went just wide of the post. Everton hit the post through Sigurdsson after the Iceland international’s dipping shot had the goalkeeper well beaten. Southampton took the lead in the 27th minute through James Ward-Prowse, who fired into the left hand corner after Ings set him up with a nutmegged pass through Keane’s legs. Danny Ings was in action yet again as he set up Che Adams for Southampton’s second goal, whose low shot was deflected into the net. Richarlison’s absence was being felt by Everton as they couldn’t create much going forward. Southampton on the other hand looked dangerous on the attack and composed in defence.
Carlo Ancelotti replaced Iwobi with Bernard, as the Toffees tried to get back into the game. The substitution didn’t seem to change anything from a game perspective as Southampton were having a relatively comfortable afternoon, which prompted Ancelotti to replace Doucoure and Sigurdsson with the highly talented Gordon and Delph. Danny Ings missed a glorious chance to score Southampton’s 3rd after failing to make any sort of contact with Armstrong’s cross. Everton’s afternoon got miserable in the 71st minute when Lucas Digne was given his marching orders for fouling Walker-Peters twice in the space of seconds, as the Southampton defender was brought down by a stamp on his achilles. Southampton took the opportunity to hand Dan N’Lundulu his Premier League debut replacing the impressive Che Adams.
A visibly frustrated Ancelotti stated, “We didn’t play well, Southampton were better than us and they deserved to win. Sometimes you are not at your best, it came after a really good run for us, now we have to look forward with the same spirit and belief. We tried to get back into the game, we had some good control after half-time. The red card was a joke, it was not intentional, for sure it was not violent. Maybe it was a yellow. Maybe all this talk all week against Pickford, against Richarlison, affected the decision and if so it’s not right, it’s not fair. We will appeal, for sure.“
Southampton Manager Ralph stated, “We showed a good performance today against a strong side. It was good balance, good game management through the whole 90 minutes.Overall, it was one of our best performances“.