Everton 1-2 Southampton: The Saints hold on to the decisive win in the relegation battle
Everton 1-2 Southampton: The Saints hold on to their crucial win in the relegation battle as Nathan Jones’ men put pressure on Frank Lampard… while Goodison Park drowned in boos as angry faithful demanded changes
- Everton took the lead in the relegation battle thanks to Amadou Onana’s header
- James Ward-Prowse equalized for the away team just after half-time
- Ward-Prowse’s brilliant free-kick then gave the Saints a 2-1 lead in the deciding game
- Goodison Park was drowned in boos after the game – with fans wanting change
Southampton’s inspirational captain James Ward-Prowse scored a brilliant brace to confirm Everton’s worst run at Goodison Park since 1958 and leave both clubs tied bottom in the table.
Everton, whose directors stayed away fearing disgruntled fans for their safety, took the lead in the first half through Amadou Onana’s first goal for the club.
But Ward-Prowse equalized shortly after the restart and then curled into a trademark free-kick to provoke a cacophony of boos and protests from full-time home fans and leave Frank Lampard’s job hanging by a thread.
James Ward-Prowse’s second-half brace gave Southampton all three points against Everton
It was the first time Everton had lost four consecutive league games at home in 65 years – with ‘sack the board’ chants from all four corners of the floor – while the Saints ended a six-game losing streak with their win over Nathan Jones in first League victory as coach after two cup successes in the last week.
With both teams in the bottom three and struggling, Goodison always valued substance over style.
The absence of Everton’s board members following threats against them summed up the toxic mood at the Merseyside club. Several banners were displayed before kick-off with slogans addressed to chairman Bill Kenwright and owner Farhad Moshiri.
Frank Lampard couldn’t afford a distraction, especially as bottom-placed Southampton had been lifted by a midweek EFL Cup win over Manchester City.
Centre-forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin was ready for the return and there was a welcome bonus to see Alex Iwobi, who was carried away on a stretcher at Old Trafford eight days ago.
Everton took the lead through Amadou Onana’s powerful header from a Demarai Gray corner
Southampton’s Romeo Lavia got the mood going with an early foul on Amadou Onana that earned a yellow card. And Everton, whose fans forgot their dissatisfaction in the boardroom to get behind the team, were almost rewarded when Demarai Gray fired a shot wide.
The Saints needed time to make progress but Everton looked nervous as they ventured forward. Following a corner from James Ward-Prowse, Jordan Pickford opted to deflect a header from Mohammed Salisu, which aimed at goal with considerable power. Mohamed Elyounoussi had also deflected a shot from wide.
Everton needed a sedative and it came after 39 minutes. Gray’s sweeping corner sailed over Salisu and Onana stopped his leap perfectly to connect it with a down header that bounced once and went past goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
It was Onana’s first goal for the club after a £34m move from Lille and he kissed the Everton badge with due glee while Lampard hugged his corner shooter.
The mood lifted immediately and Iwobi almost made it 2-0 with a shot that just missed the far post.
Frank Lampard would have been delighted with Everton’s first half but they soon collapsed
Then, with practically the last kick of the first 45 minutes, Southampton almost made the Evertonians cry into their half-time cup.
Samuel Edozie collapsed down the left and sliced a pass downfield to Ward-Prowse, who took the first hit and headed for the bottom corner until Pickford got his desperate fingertips to deflect onto the post.
Everton ignored the warning and Saints equalized in the first minute of the restart. A routine long ball was nodded too easily by Che Adams and Ward-Prowse capitalized on the rebound.
With a neat spin from the Southampton captain, his marker dropped Godfrey and the midfielder had an easy task of beating Pickford from eight yards.
Everton supporters tried to stay behind their team even though the mood had turned more subdued. That almost changed after 56 minutes when Calvert-Lewin’s shot looped after a Salisu save and hit the underside of the bar.
Referee John Brooks checked his watch, but it didn’t beep to indicate he’d crossed the line.
Ward-Prowse scored another free-kick as Southampton took the lead in the big tie
Southampton threw in the signing of Carlos Alcaraz for his debut after an hour with Lampard in January and threw a shot at local hero Anthony Gordon – Coleman made way as Everton returned to a back-four to seek a winner.
Leading the charge was 21-year-old Onana, whose dashing run through midfield earned Ibrahima Diallo a yellow card.
But instead of Everton scoring next, it was Southampton again through their magician Ward-Prowse.
Gray lost the ball to Adams in the Southampton half and from a quick breakaway Gordon shot over the Scotland international.
Free-kick specialist Ward-Prowse lived up to his reputation by deflecting his shot over the wall and into the corner of the post before Pickford had even moved. It was his 16th free-kick in the Premier League, putting him second on the all-time list behind David Beckham.
Everton tried to collect themselves but the closest they came to equalizing was a blocked James Tarkowski shot in added time, while Lampard stood with his arms outstretched after Gordon went down in the penalty area and called for a penalty.
Nathan Jones’ side came from behind to win their third straight game in all competitions
Lineups and match facts
Everton (5-3-2): Pickford 7: Coleman 7 (Gordon 69 5.5), Godfrey 6, Coady 6.5, Tarkovsky 6, Mykolenko 6; Iwobi 6.5, Onana 8, Gueye 6 (Simms 82 6); Calvert-Lewin 6, Gray 7
Unused subs: Begovic (Gk), Holgate, Mina, Doucoure, Davies, Gordon, McNeil, Maupay
Goals: Onana 39
Manager: Frank Lampard
Southampton (4-5-1): Bazunu 6; Lyanco 6.5, Caleta-Auto 6, Salisu 6.5, Walker-Peters 7; Edozie 6.5 (Armstrong 61 6), Diallo 6 (Maitland-Niles 85), Lavia 6 (Alcaraz 61 6), Ward-Prowse 9, Elyonoussi 6 (Perraud 85); Adams 6.5 (Marah 85)
Unused subs: Caballero (Gk), Aribo, Djenepo, Orsic
Goals: Ward-Prowse 46, 78
Bookings: Lavia, Lyanco, Diallo
Manager: Nathan Jones
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11635343/Everton-1-2-Southampton-Saints-hold-vital-victory-relegation-clash.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Everton 1-2 Southampton: The Saints hold on to the decisive win in the relegation battle