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Saints At Everton The Verdict
Friday, 10th Jul 2020 09:15

A decent performance at Everton but ultimately not our first win at Goodison Park in the Premier League this century due to another defensive lapse.

Saints started well at Goodison Park and looked determined to get our first win at the ground in 23 years, but a failure to take our chances including a missed penalty, aligned with a lapse in concentration that left Richarlison able to run through completely unchallenged leaving Alex McCarthy stranded saw the hosts get a point in a game we really should have won.

Saints should have been ahead before they were awarded a controversial penalty and as James Ward Prowse stepped up it looked like it would be a deserved lead, albeit one that as was confirmed after the game would have been a travestey of justice with Ward Prowse himself not being fouled for the spot kick.

Perhaps he felt a little bit of guilt, he hit the penalty well but six inchest two high and it hit the bar and went over.

But there was no disputing the class of Danny Ings goal, he almost danced past a bewildered Pickford in the Everton goal and poked the ball home on the half hour mark.

There should have been only one winner now and Saints should have added to their lead and could have been 3-0 up as the break neared, but on the stroke of half time we shot our self in the foot again, leaving Richarlison completely unmarked and disecting two watching defenders who had clearly not communicated with each other to only watch as he raced through and lobbed the ball over Alex McCarthy who could do little to stop it.

It was a travesty and ultimately would cost us all three points.

The second half was a little more subdued from Saints, an early Che Adams effort would be the only effort on target in the second half, but they rarely looked like losing the game.

Another promising display, but another one that highlights the need for a commanding organising, experienced central defender in the heart of the defence.

But it is another game unbeaten and another point, but it probably now means 10th place will be beyond us, a win would have seen us leapfrog Everton and be only 3 points behind Burnley in 10th, but now the 5 point gap is surely too much to overcome with only 4 games left.

But there was plenty of good things on display here and we should all look forward to next season with some optimism, but we really do need to sort out this central defensive problem, an issue that has now been going on for 3 1/2 years, surely we will sort it out now.

Photo: Action Images

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WestSussexSaint added 09:42 - Jul 10
Nick I think it is harsh to lay the blame at the centre backs for the goal. Saints were pushing high up the pitch and that inevitably created space at the back which a great ball and fantastic first touch by Richardlison would have troubled most defences in the league. I also think McCarthy was a bit too quick off his line which left him in no mans land with the early shot.

The main failure to collect 3 points was the lack of converting the dominance we had in the first half into many more goals. Had we done so the Everton goal would have largely been academic.

The effort from the Man City game showed in the second half with less willingness to make runs and press hard.

Overall a good point at a venue which has returned little in the past and it has become enjoyable to watch Saints again. Haven’t been able to say that much some Koeman departed.

saintpp added 10:08 - Jul 10
Had Saints scored that everton goal i doubt you would have blamed their cbs. It was brilliant pass and superb finish. Credit where due to them. Defenders get caught forwards create chances with skill , Jan and Jack will get better the more they play and have the potential to become a great pairing.We drew because of missed chances when we dominated . You cannot expect defenders to be faultless for 90 minutes or all games would be nil nil give them a break.

highfield49 added 10:11 - Jul 10
Be honest Nick, if we had scored a goal like Everton's we'd be proclaiming the precision of the pass and decent finish. Bertrand was a bit caught out but was making ground rapidly and the cross to Richarlison would have evaded even the likes of VVD. Sometimes you just have to admit that any defender can be beaten by a quality cross and I'm struggling to think how we can replace the current central defenders other than by some miracle of transfer genius.
Otherwise another good, solid performance with Adams looking very much like a permanent fixture in the starting line up. I suspect some tired legs will need resting before the next match but we now have a group of players who understand what they need to do and wont be phased by the opposition.

Consigliere added 10:26 - Jul 10
I'm completely with West Sussex on this one - Saints have become entertaining once again. It is an inevitable part of the high press game we are now playing that we leave ourselves open at the back and let's be fair to Everton, it was a great goal scored against us. We would all have happily taken a draw if offered prior to this game and the outcome reflected the efforts of both sides. A great game and a pleasure to watch. No complaints here!

Boris1977 added 10:28 - Jul 10
My initial reaction was damn another defensive lapse has cost us points again but as others have mentioned if the chances had been converted in the first 40 minutes of the game the Everton would have counted for little. A 3-0 lead means a defensive lapse isnt costly.

Also, reflecting comments above, I cannot see Saints signing two more solid reliable central defenders than we currently have. Both have come a long way over the past year and they have to be credited for that as well as Ralph for sticking by them to try and form a partnership. I'm positive they will get better as the results continue to improve as its all about confidence.

Saints do however need cover in the CB position and need to spread the goalscoring responsibility more widely as we cannot rely on Danny boy to keep coming up with the goods every match.

Its great being a Saints fan again - COYR

felly1 added 10:44 - Jul 10
To be honest I only come on this site for the hilarious obsession this writer has with our defence. Its almost like every single goal we concede is the fault of our players and never an acknowledgement of the skills of the opposition.
Don't you think the penalty miss was slightly more pivotal in us not winning the game?
3 goals conceded in 5 matches does not signify a bad defence.

halftimeorange added 10:56 - Jul 10
Saints predictably ran out of steam for periods in the second half but, a draw is better than a loss. Although I sound like a stuck record, I really don't see what Redmond gives the team (in comparison to Armstrong who is always positive and a threat). As for VAR, let's be honest - it has reduced the game to a farce. Bizarre rules that even the so-called experts often can't interpret or agree on, wrong calls, unfair decisions and long delays. A fourth official saying to the referee "Think you should look at the pitch side camera" is all that's needed. Oh, and a clampdown on the blatant cheating by players.

underweststand added 10:57 - Jul 10
We played all our best football in the first half and that was worth 3 points in itself.
Luck always plays a part of course, and although Prowsie's penalty miss was based on a wrong decision, we were unlucky with Armstrong's good effort being ruled out and a chance that hit the post leaving Jordan Pickford glad he hadn't cut his fingernails before the game.

Danny Ings really is a handful when you consider he was surrounded by 5 defenders when scoring against Watford, and last night saw him playing hop-scotch with the Everton defence before rolling the ball over the line.

Richarlison's goal was an excellent first time effort, but his off-the-ball behaviour leaves a lot to be desired. Saints look an attractive side going forward, but we still need Adams (or A.N. OTHER goal scorer) to get some in alongside Ings.
In the end one point was a better return than we usually get on most visits to Goodison, but disappointing after the thrills of the first 44 minutes.


schatfield added 11:02 - Jul 10
Nick you are hilarious, the Everton goal was a stunning pass with an amazing finish. Most defenses in the world wouldnt have stopped that but any goal we concede now will be met by your determination to make a point by how bad our 2 centre backs are!
Onto the game itself, we were superb I'm the first half and looked really tired by the 2nd. Number of games with almost the same team seems to be catching up on us.


SanMarco added 11:02 - Jul 10
Nick's overall narrative of the defence being our biggest weakness is beyond doubt. We all awaited the verdict knowing the defence would be blamed for the goal and the response I prepared for that inevitability has been well covered by all my comrades above.

I think Boris Johnson is a lying, lazy, charlatan and a buffoon but I weaken my argument if I blame him for EVERYTHING that goes wrong. We didn't win yesterday due to our other problem of there not being enough 'other' goals in the team. Redmond, JWP, Long, Adams and Armstrong do not score very many. I take the glass half full version of this game - many times in the past we would have lost it in the last 10 mins (at Newcastle this season for instance). We had too much to do to 'challenge' for Europe. If we get up to, say 51 points and come 10th - 12th we will have done very well.

perazi added 11:14 - Jul 10
Good to see plenty of people calling the writer of these "verdicts" out for bizarre, repetitive put downs of our defence. Everton's goal was a result of an inch perfect cross and a class finish from Richalison. I thought Saints first half performance was as upbeat as anything they've produced this season. Ings once again, a class above.

pwithers123 added 12:19 - Jul 10
Absolutely SUPERB 1st half- some wonderful passing and playing speed on and off the ball. Very entertaining . Excellent to watch - which is exactly what Everton were reduced to - watching !!! - because Saints played so well. Keep it going. Hard to believe that those players had just come off the Manchester City game where they put in an immense effort. Everton changed formation in 2nd half and made it harder- and maybe Saints were a bit tired- but they still came back and could have won in the last 15 minutes - so maybe not tired ? Everton goal ? Class act. Fast out of defence. Lovely pass right into striker. Wonderful strike. That would have done most defences. Only person who might have picked that out would have been Van Dijk - due to his height and speed. He is a different class from every other defender in Premier League however. Unfair to lay that on Saints door. Sometimes good goals get scored.

Peterx added 12:57 - Jul 10
Not getting the 3 points was all about not being clinical in front of goal. Armstrong and Redmond had good chances over and above JWP's penalty miss. KWP had another good game and his contribution to date has been a big improvement on what we got from Cedric, Valery earlier in the season. We need to get that KWP transfer over the line as a priority.

SaintPaulVW added 13:04 - Jul 10
I've seen this so many times over the years. We play people off the park for the first half but fail to score. Then conceed a goal and then fail to get a result. Oh well, thanks to Ings at least we got something out of this game.

I knew before I even read Nick's report that the defence would be blamed. Just about everyone else seems to have covered this too. It was a fantastic pinpoint pass and a great finish. To
claim it was all due to a defensive error is laughable.

What cost us the points was missing the penalty and failure to capitalise on our domination of the first half.

While a draw away from home is not a poor result, to me it still feels like 2 points lost.

COYS! Stiffer challenge on Monday. Really looking forward to it.

Whatsforpud added 13:57 - Jul 10
Nick, I have to agree with everyone else here. I don't always buy usual 'lack of concentration' in defence - sometimes good goals are scored. What we lacked in this match, especially in the second half, was the usually good link up play between Redmond and Bertrand. Redmond was overshadowed by Armstrong, who was more of a threat.

Colburn added 14:07 - Jul 10
Oh dear Nick... Can only agree with all of the above comments.. Nearly the entire game was played in Evertons half, and this a few days after the Man City exhausting effort.. Well done Saints, another day we'd have won 3-1 but the performance was outstanding again by everyone. Best passing of the season first half, crisp and accurate. Keep up the great work and improvement!

I'm sure Wesley Hoedt would have prevented Evertons goal wouldn't he? Hahaha


erick added 14:19 - Jul 10
Saints were awesome, the left side needs to increase the work rate to match the right(Stuart, KWP) overshadowed Redmond n Bertrand, djenepo was needed or ferry in place of Redmond from 60th minute.

redwight added 14:23 - Jul 10
Nick, maybe it is time for you to get back on here and admit that this time you've got it wrong. So many times I have agreed with you about our CB's, but not yesterday. Cannot add much to what has already been said, other than that Redmond's failure to deliver is becoming more of a worry with each passing game. That apart, the first half was outstanding.

KilkennySaint added 15:53 - Jul 10
Little harsh on the defence, its was a world class pass right to Richardson's foot and he finished it well, not many defenders would cope with it but we should have been at least a couple goals ahead by then.

Richarlison likes playing against us, he has scored in 3 of the last 4 premier league meetings.

Good performance all around, KWP is looking better in every game, signing him up should be a priority, even if its done part of the deal with Højbjerg, with Romeu's recent performances and the emergence of Smallbone i think we can let Højbjerg go, to be honest i think Højbjerg was just been ok for us, some decent performances, it was his passion we loved but i think that is fading.

My concern is where the goals will come from if Ings gets injured, do we need another striker or do the others around him need to chip in with more goals ?

I would agree an extra CB is needed, I've been impressed with Stephens & Bednarek, but if one gets injured we will be in Trouble. The CB situation has at least been acknowledged over the past 3 1/2 years, just not very well, Hoedt was a blunder(i know he had potential but a lousy attitude) & Vestergaard (who had some good performance for us) hasn't really worked out for us. Hopefully our recruitment this summer will be an improvement over the past few seasons.

On another note - I know Ings will be our player of the season but I've really impressed with Armstrong this season, i think he could go on a be a saints legend.


Number_58 added 21:23 - Jul 10
Nick has banged on about the central defenders for so long now maybe it's time he redirected his disappointment at the manager who picks them every week, or Southampton FC who, for three and a half years (as he repeatedly tells us), have mysteriously failed to go out and find anything better. Nick obviously knows better than the club. I've almost reached the point now where I wish Saints would get Hoedt back off loan for a few matches just so Nick can see how lucky we are to have Bednarek and Stephens.

AmericanSaint added 02:15 - Jul 11
Hahahahahaha - sorry I was late to this party. Nick, I have a question for you - how many pints did you have before you wrote this piece? I will be the echo chamber here - Everton's goal was class act all around. Stunning diagonal pass, sublime first touch to control and then a smart finish (even with Mac getting a glove to it). Enough of that. I will say that after watching the "pen" multiple times, it was NOT a "pen". We played extremely well and just were not able to finish it off. No need to dwell on it, just move on and get ready for MU, who are playing out of their skulls right now. It will be tough, but I think they will already be looking past us. COYR

underweststand added 10:38 - Jul 11
Not every goal is preventable, or can be blamed on poor defending.
Although Prowsie didn't put away the penalty that shouldn't have been, his free-kicks (like Le Tissier's haul) weren't preventable either ,and it would be very unfair to blame opposition defences /goalies because he scored from unstoppable shots.
However, one point from an Everton game is very creditable when you consider our past failures at Goodison.

Ralph's recent comments reflect the views of some fans who are disappointed in some of Nathan Redmond's recent performances. Although he can turn it on (when he wants) he does have long spells when he simply "goes missing" - or just isn't in the right place to help. I recall similar statements from Ralph in the pas , and it needs a metaphorical "kick-up the pants " to get Nathan firing on all cylinders..maybe a bench place to start the United game may be the jolt he needs.
For any player (especially youngsters) a game v. MU is something they'd normally watch on TV, but the likes of Smallbone and Ferry may eventually get minutes on Monday, and a chance to prove themselves against some of the best internationals in the Prem.


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