Everton – Burnley: Everton’s top-four hopes took a big hit with a surprising 2-1 loss to Burnley at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil scored first-half goals for Burnley, who moves seven points clear of 17th and 18th place with 33 points on the season.
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Everton’s lone response came from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and the Toffees also lost Jordan Pickford to injury in failing to take advantage of Chelsea’s draw with Leeds.
The Toffees sit sixth with 46 points, two back of West Ham and five behind Chelsea. Tottenham and Liverpool could both pass Everton with wins on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Three things we learned from Everton – Burnley
1. Shades of 2019-20 Leicester City from Everton: Maybe it’s growing into a system or injuries, but the comparisons between Everton and last season’s Leicester City will be deserved if the Toffees drop out of the top four discussion (or even outside the top seven). Carlo Ancelotti’s men boast two four-match league win streaks and a three-match run as well, but have lost to Fulham, Leeds, and Burnley at home while taking zero points from Newcastle. Leicester’s fall was more precipitous, but saw the Foxes finish four points off the top four last season while dropping some or all of the points to the three relegated sides — Norwich City, Watford, and Bournemouth — over the final 11 matches of the season.
2. Burnley bright: There are jokes to be made about Burnley’s two goals representing 9 percent of their Premier League haul this season, but Sean Dyche’s men very much deserved them and could’ve had five or six on another day. Most important, though, is that those wayward misses didn’t stop their resolved minds at the defensive end. Huge win for the Royal Dyche.
3. Pickford injured: Everton keeper Jordan Pickford had trouble getting up after a diving save attempt shortly after Burnley went ahead 2-0, then left the game before halftime. With Robin Olsen still coming back from an injury of his own, that opened the door for Joao Virginia’s Premier League debut. The 21-year-old didn’t have a ton to do, but an injury affects not just Everton but England ahead of EURO.
Man of the Match: Dwight McNeil
The goal was phenomenal, but three key passes help tell the story of Burnley’s main threat over 90 minutes.
Everton – Burnley recap
Burnley’s opening goal came when Jay Brownhill won the ball off Tom Davies in the Everton half, and Wood kept his composure after settling a loose ball atop the 18 to produce a clinical finish past Jordan Pickford.
The Clarets wanted a penalty when Mason Holgate’s arm, locked with a leaping Ben Mee, stopped the defender from heading on goal off of a corner kick.
Burnley would go up two moments later through McNeil’s sensational strike. The 20-year-old sent Allan for lunch with a chop and then fired a rocket inside the upper 90.
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Calvert-Lewin pulled one back for Everton off a Tom Davies cross, and Allan freed the English striker for a second chance that deflected off Erik Pieters and into the hands of Nick Pope.
Burnley sprung back into life in the 70th minute, Matej Vydra’s shoulder into Ben Godfrey forcing a mix-up between the latter and Virginia but Vydra couldn’t capitalize on the loose ball.
Moments later, Erik Pieters rattled a shot on frame. Then Mee and Vydra couldn’t quite restore the two-goal cushion with separate chances.