Saints beaten at Everton

By Gordon Simpson Mon 02 Jan Everton vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Saints react to conceding
Mon 02 Jan 3.00PM
Premier League
Everton
3
Southampton
0
Valencia [73'] Baines [81'] Lukaku [89']
Ward-Prowse (40')
Referee: Kevin Friend | Venue: Goodison Park | Attendance: 38,891

Southampton suffered a third Premier League defeat in succession, as they were beaten 3-0 by Everton at Goodison Park.

Saints had enjoyed plenty of the game on Merseyside and created the better of the chances during the first three-quarters of the match, but they were unable to capitalise, ultimately succumbing to a trio of late goals.

The first came via Everton's second-half substitute, Enner Valencia, before he was then brought down in the area, allowing Leighton Baines to double the lead from the penalty spot. Romelu Lukaku's emphatic finish in the 89th minute then completed the afternoon.

With a turnaround of only 48 hours between games, Claude Puel made six changes from the side that lost 2-1 at home to West Brom on New Year’s Eve.

In came captain José Fonte, who partnered Maya Yoshida at centre-half, with Virgil van Dijk suspended, while Cédric also returned to the line-up.

Jordy Clasie recovered from injury to start in midfield, with James Ward-Prowse also featuring, while Nathan Redmond returned from suspension and Jay Rodriguez was re-introduced to the attack.

Saints lost Cédric after just six minutes, though, after he suffered a head injury when he crashed into the pitched advertising boards, following a sliding challenge with Leighton Baines, meaning Jack Stephens was installed at right-back for his Premier League debut.

Cédric is forced off with an injury

That came just after Fraser Forster had made a good save to beat away Ross Barkley’s fierce snapshot from 18 yards.

The hosts were also forced into an early change, as 19-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin picked up a knock on his first start for Everton and was replaced by Kevin Mirallas.

Saints’ first sniff of goal came after 13 minutes, as a Ward-Prowse cross flicked off the head of Ashley Williams, allowing Redmond to dart in cleverly at the back post, but, from a tough angle, he headed over.

Dušan Tadić then saw a shot from the edge of the area deflected wide by Williams, while, at the other end, Forster diverted a low Lukaku effort across goal away.

Saints went straight back down the pitch, and Redmond tested Joel Robles with a drive from outside the box, which the Everton keeper held.

Robles was beaten in the 26th minute, as he tipped Ward-Prowse’s cross onto Rodriguez, but the effort was ruled out after it went in off the arms of the Saints striker, who also appeared to have been just offside.

Seven minutes before the interval, Rodriguez again threatened, latching onto Redmond’s superb pass down the inside-right, but Robles flung himself to his right to tip away the forward’s well-hit shot across goal.

Moments later, Rodriguez went so close to netting a wonderful goal, spinning past Tom Davies 25 yards out, then side-stepping Williams brilliantly, but, under pressure from a sliding Seamus Coleman, he fired over.

Jay Rodriguez goes close to a stunning goal

Ward-Prowse then picked up the first card of the day, for a late tackle on Davies, shortly before Mirallas got Everton back on the front foot and fired narrowly over from the edge of the box.

The last action of the half saw Redmond flick a header from Sam McQueen’s cross wide, as the sides went in level at 0-0.

The second half began quietly, although Everton began to show some spark after Aaron Lennon was replaced by Valencia just after the hour mark.

Yoshida had to slide in brilliantly to divert Coleman's dangerous low delivery behind, while Lukaku also dragged a shot wide of the far post from 20 yards after being released down the inside-right.

Saints' second change came on 66 minutes, as Sofiane Boufal was sent on in place of Tadić, for his final appearance before departing for the Africa Cup of Nations, with Morocco.

Shortly after, they carved out one of the best opportunities of the match, as Rodriguez flicked a pass through for Redmond, but Robles did well to get in the way of his angled drive from inside the area, with the Everton keeper parrying the ball away.

It proved a crucial save, as Everton grabbed a 73rd-minute lead. Coleman's cross was met by the head of Lukaku, only for Forster to make a stunning save with his right foot, but the rebound dropped kindly to Valencia to turn home from close range.

Puel quickly made his final change, as Shane Long was sent on in place of Clasie, who lasted 78 minutes on his return from injury.

Before Long could have an impact, though, the game was put to bed, as Yoshida brought down Valencia in the area and Baines made it 2-0 with a superbly-taken penalty.

There was still time for Lukaku to put the icing on the cake for the hosts, as he was slipped in down the inside-right, crashing a fierce strike into the near top corner for the third.

Everton

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    54
    46
  • Shots
    17
    12
  • Shots on target
    6
    3
  • Corners
    10
    8
  • Passes Complete
    367
    297

Everton

1
Joel Robles (GK)
23
Seamus Coleman
25
Ramiro Funes Mori
3
Leighton Baines (C)
5
Ashley Williams
17
Idrissa Gueye
8
Ross Barkley
Gareth Barry (85′)
26
Tom Davies
29
Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Kevin Mirallas (12′)
12
Aaron Lennon
Enner Valencia (61′)
10
Romelu Lukaku
15
Tom Cleverley
19
Enner Valencia
18
Gareth Barry
41
Mateusz Hewelt
6
Phil Jagielka
30
Mason Holgate
11
Kevin Mirallas

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
2
Cédric Soares
Jack Stephens (6′)
3
Maya Yoshida
38
Sam McQueen
6
José Fonte (C)
14
Oriol Romeu
4
Jordy Clasie
Shane Long (78′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
11
Dusan Tadic
Sofiane Boufal (67′)
22
Nathan Redmond
9
Jay Rodriguez
24
Jack Stephens
19
Sofiane Boufal
18
Harrison Reed
8
Steven Davis
7
Shane Long
41
Harry Lewis
21
Ryan Bertrand
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