Everton succumbed to a third-straight Premier League defeat when beaten at home by Manchester United on Saturday, but Marcel Brands’ summer masterclass shone through as Allan thrived as the lynchpin of Carlo Ancelotti’s plans.
The Toffees reunited Ancelotti with his Brazilian anchor in the off-season after agreeing a £21.7million deal with SSC Napoli, adding Allan to the ranks at Goodison Park as the first piece of a jigsaw that would go on to feature Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez.
It was not the French nor Colombian star who fared best against Manchester United, though, but rather Allan as Everton sought to utilise the 29-year-old’s wealth of knowledge to thwart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils and hit them on the counter.
Only the Toffees’ two centre-halves Michael Keane and Mason Holgate saw more of the ball than Allan while the hosts had possession, with each recording an 8.0, 7.8 and 5.0 share of the ball to rank first, second and fifth respectively among all who featured for either side, per WhoScored.
Only Bruno Fernandes (81) and Fred (80) took more touches of the ball for Manchester United than Allan (76) achieved for Everton, as well, though only Fred (67) attempted a higher number of passes (51) while trailing Keane (81) and Holgate (79).
Allan only misplaced six of his 51 passes and directed 31 of his accurate efforts forward, too, as the Brazilian marshalled the centre of the field to progress Everton’s attacks closer to David de Gea’s net.
An improved effort in the second-half further saw Allan break up Manchester United’s play, despite the nine-time Brazil international recording just three of his nine attempted tackles and two of his six successful efforts after the break.
Ancelotti did not just benefit from Allan’s tackling or passing in defeat to United, either, as the 5 ft 8 enforcer completed four of his five attempted dribbles, on route to 14 successful ground duels from 22 contests, SofaScore.
Allan’s efforts proved such a threat to United that the Red Devils were forced into fouling the 29-year-old four times, more than any other Everton player, while Ancelotti’s forward trio of Bernard, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Rodriguez were only fouled a combined four times.
Rodriguez’s three goals and three assists as Everton romped to four wins and a draw played a great role in their unbeaten start, yet Allan’s efforts were key in the Toffees’ failed bid to avoid a third-straight Premier League defeat.