Everton 1 – 2 Southampton
James Ward-Prowse scored a stunning free-kick as Southampton came from behind to win and increase the pressure on Frank Lampard and Everton.
A season of frustration has seen the Toffees once again struggling at the wrong end of the table, and the discontent among the fans was clear at Goodison Park with banners displayed in protest at the club’s owners.
Indeed, there was enough concern at the club for the safety of their board members that they were told to stay away from the ground.
The fans, though, were clearly behind their players, welcoming them to the ground with an incredible scene of blue flares and passionate chanting.
That support was rewarded just before half-time when, after a half low on quality from both sides, Everton took the lead when Amadou Onana headed home Demarai Gray’s superb cross.
But Southampton, who shocked Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, turned it around in the second half thanks to Ward-Prowse.
He slotted in the equaliser after great footwork inside the box and after Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit the crossbar, Ward-Prowse secured a huge three points for the Saints with a free-kick late on that left Jordan Pickford stranded.
Southampton stays bottom of the table but is level with Everton and West Ham on 15 points and is just one point from safety.
Just nine months ago there was a party atmosphere at Goodison Park as they celebrated their Premier League survival with a thrilling 3-2 win against Crystal Palace.
That day Lampard was the hero after guiding the club to safety but fast forward to now and the pressure has been mounting on the Everton boss following a terrible run form.
Earlier this week, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri said he had faith in Lampard and the club’s directors amid the unrest among some supporters.
The team have managed just one win in their past 13 games in all competitions. A win would have significantly relieved that pressure as they could have leapt up to 14th, but as it is they remain deep in trouble near the foot of the table.
The players clearly care and showed fight and determination, particularly in the first half, and they did have chances to get a second themselves, notably through Alex Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin.
But as the game wore on desperation set in and the lack of quality told. After full-time a sit-in protest was held by a number of supporters as they once again showed their frustration at the board.
A week ago, Southampton’s situation looked direr than Everton’s. They had slumped to the bottom of the table and had experienced no new manager bounce under Nathan Jones.
But this has been a huge few days for the club as they built on their victory against Manchester City to secure a win that gives them real hope of moving out of the relegation zone.
Brazilian defender Lyanco was a key player in the win against City and he was solid once again in this game to frustrate Everton while they did not show masses of quality themselves, Ward-Prowse is a deadly set-piece taker capable of winning any match, as it proved at Goodison Park.
source – BBC