Saints slip to Everton defeat

By SFC Media Sat 09 Nov Saints v Everton
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse
Sat 09 Nov 3PM
Premier League
Southampton
1
Everton
2
Ings [50']
Davies [4'] Richarlison [75']
Boufal (88')
Sidibé (65')
Referee: Paul Tierney | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 29,754

In a tightly contested battle at St Mary’s, Southampton were unable to twice come from behind as Everton ran out winners in Saturday's Premier League meeting.

As has become an unwanted theme at home, the visitors took the lead early on through Tom Davies, in a moment that set the tone for the remainder of the half.

It was one controlled by the visitors to leave Saints with work to do at the break, but they set about it manfully after the restart with Danny Ings restoring parity in just the 50th minute.

With a draw offering little for either side, it became an end-to-end affair as the sun set, only for Everton to darken the afternoon for good when Richarlison converted what proved to be the winner in the final quarter-of-an-hour.

Returning to St Mary’s after consecutive away trips, Ralph Hasenhüttl made two changes to the side that so valiantly battled at Manchester City last weekend.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg – who had filled in at left wing-back in the last two outings – was ruled out with a concussion suffered in training, paving the way for Moussa Djenepo to make his first start since returning from a tendon injury.

James Ward-Prowse took the captain’s armband in the Dane’s absence, whilst Cédric also marked his return from a calf problem in place of Yan Valery.

With both managers fronting up to the importance of the early November meeting in their pre-match musings, it was no surprise to see a frantic opening five minutes on the south coast.

Conceding an early attacking free-kick – considered Everton’s soft underbelly – the visitors dealt with Ward-Prowse’s in-swinging delivery, only then to stun Saints with a set play of their own moments later.

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner was flicked towards the back post by Mason Holgate, where Davies had continued his run to head home just five minutes in.

In search of a response, the energetic pairing of Nathan Redmond and Djenepo looked the most likely sources of joy for Saints, and good work from the pair freed space for Cédric on the left, only for his cross to land behind Jordan Pickford’s goal.

Moussa Djenepo in action on his return to the starting eleven

However, as the game ticked towards the 20-minute mark, it was Marco Silva’s side who continued to land the meaningful attempts on goal.

Clever interchange between Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun saw the latter with a chance to head at goal from six yards, but with half an eye on Alex McCarthy, the striker could only head over.

Despite conceding the joint-most number of goals from set pieces, Everton looked a threat from their own, with Sigurdsson providing marksman-like accuracy.

The Icelander’s latest wide free-kick delivery only narrowly evaded Yerry Mina in the middle, with Davies close to poaching at the back post once again.

Although chances then dried up for the visitors, their stranglehold on the game did not, as Saints struggled to find territory.

A series of untidy scrambles in Alex McCarthy’s boxed saw Southampton eventually hack clear, but the other end remained largely vacated but for Pickford’s residence at the halfway stage.

Needing a swing in momentum, Hasenhüttl rolled the dice with an attacking change at the break.

Sofiane Boufal emerged in place of Cédric and immediately made an impact, curling a strike into Pickford’s hands from 20 yards which got the hosts – and the home crowd - going.

Roared on by those inside St Mary’s, the Mercurial Moroccan transformed the hosts’ attack and, joined in causing a nuisance by Djenepo and Redmond, engineered the equaliser.

Recycling a corner that had made its way to the far side, Boufal flashed his way to the byline with a flurry of stepovers, before whipping in a low delivery that couldn’t be missed by Ings from close range.

Danny Ings thanks goal provider Sofiane Boufal

Southampton were back in it, and with plenty of time left to play.

Although the home side were transformed, Everton weren’t willingly going to surrender the chance to pick up a first away success in the league since March, as they too threatened before the hour mark.

Sigurdsson forced McCarthy to routinely tip over the bar with a curling shot from just inside the box, swiftly followed by Tosun dragging a shot wide of the post with a first-time strike.

The game was now anyone’s, but searching for a second in as many games, Ward-Prowse almost found the back of the net in spectacular fashion.

Setting his sights from a free-kick virtually on the line on the left-hand side of the box, Pickford had to be at full stretch to tip the ball over from under his own crossbar.

Trading blows, the importance of the game’s next goal continued to grow as the final 15 minutes approached, with Everton next to produce a wave of attacking pressure.

Holgate – who’d already threatened with a header early in the game – went even closer when he landed a glancing header onto the roof of the net from Lucas Digne’s long throw.

Acting as a warning, it wasn’t long until the visitors restored their lead.

Rarely seen in an advanced position up to this point, Djibril Sidibé made a telling contribution, as his whipped delivery to the far post was perfect for Richarlison to slide home past a hapless McCarthy.

Sensing a chance to put the result beyond doubt, Silva introduced Alex Iwobi from the bench, and, as Boufal had for Saints, the Nigerian made a swift impact.

Seeing a shot on the turn trickle just wide, the former Arsenal attacker then saw a volleyed cross clip the outside of the post after deflecting off of Stuart Armstrong.

Now into the final 10 minutes, a frantic second half finally saw its tempo wane, as the visitors packed behind the ball to ensure a rare away victory wouldn't go amiss. 

Match report sponsored by Unibet
Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Everton
  • Possession (%)
    47
    53
  • Shots
    4
    24
  • Shots on target
    3
    5
  • Corners
    5
    9
  • Passes Complete
    244
    271

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
4
Jannik Vestergaard
35
Jan Bednarek
5
Jack Stephens
2
Cédric Soares
Sofiane Boufal (45′)
16
James Ward-Prowse (C)
17
Stuart Armstrong
Michael Obafemi (91′)
14
Oriol Romeu
9
Danny Ings
22
Nathan Redmond
Che Adams (81′)
12
Moussa Djenepo
10
Che Adams
38
Kevin Danso
43
Yan Valery
3
Maya Yoshida
19
Sofiane Boufal
28
Angus Gunn
20
Michael Obafemi

Everton

1
Jordan Pickford (GK)
12
Lucas Digne
13
Yerry Mina
19
Djibril Sidibé
2
Mason Holgate
7
Richarlison
Michael Keane (89′)
10
Gylfi Sigurdsson (C)
18
Morgan Schneiderlin
11
Theo Walcott
Alex Iwobi (74′)
26
Tom Davies
14
Cenk Tosun
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (74′)
23
Séamus Coleman
17
Alex Iwobi
49
Jonas Lössl
5
Michael Keane
3
Leighton Baines
9
Dominic Calvert-Lewin
42
Anthony Gordon
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