Everton took on Southampton United with 5 of their first-team regulars being out with light injuries and Southampton, being without a win in 8 games and having Romeu injured with a broken ankle for the rest of the season makes for an interesting encounter already.
A win for Everton would take them level on point with their Merseyside rivals even though they still have a game in hand.
Everton showed their intent so early on and in the 9th minute, Sigurdson's pass found Richarlison and he only had to round up the goalkeeper before slotting it home to make it 1-0. More pressure on Southampton after conceding so early. That was Richarlison's 3rd goal in 3 games and this was a good goal for his confidence.
Southampton tried to respond with Redmond and in the 18th minute, an effort fell to him after an initial corner kick was cleared but his volley shot went over the bar.
Gomes played a lovely curling low pass to find Calvert-Lewin but the goalkeeper came out early to thwart the party. Smart play from Gomes there.
Everton has scored 10 headed goals this season and they thought they had gotten the 11th one in the 26th minute when Digne's free-kick found Holgate before heading down for Keane who headed home. VAR came into play and Holgate was flagged for offside. That was a huge relief for Southampton. Calvert-Lewin denied Southampton a goal when he headed clear a goal-bound effort. Not long after, Djenepo's brilliant footwork got him behind his marker and found Adams who kicked the ball into the box but hit Salisu and it went out for a goal kick.
Danny Ings got in the way of an effort Djenepo should have gotten in the 33rd minute when Redmond played a lovely ball into the box. VAR reviewed a penalty shout from Adams when he claimed to have been fouled in the box but he wasn't.
The half time whistle blew and Southampton would take a huge positive with their lovely performance in the first half.
The second half started with Southampton hoping to get a draw at least if not a win but that wasn't meant to be. For the entirety of the game and after the final whistle, Southampton would still feel aggrieved for not getting the reward their performance deserved. They played without fear and with a determination to turn their fortunes around. They had lovely chances in the second half but it was just not meant to be. Everton should have increased their own lead as well but the solitary goal was what separated the two sides.
Everton managed to get the win and they would be happy to go level with Liverpool and then play West Brom on Thursday and a win would take them past Liverpool. Southampton needs to start finding form to win so as not to be dragged into the relegation fight. They are 7 points above safety but with results like this over 5 more games, then they can be sure the pressure would be turned on.
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