Everton beat Newcastle 1-0 on Thursday night thanks to a late Alex Iwobi goal against the run of play, after Toffees midfielder Allan was sent off for a cynical tackle on Magpies winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
The goal, which sparked crazy celebrations which saw manager Frank Lampard break his hand, moved the Merseyside club three points clear of the relegation zone.
While Allan may appear to be the villain of the night for the eventual winners, it was Abdoulaye Doucoure who received the lowest match rating out of anyone who started the match, apart from Newcastle’s Joelinton, who was given a 6.0 rating by SofaScore, compared to the Frenchman’s 6.6.
Doucoure is Everton’s highest-performing midfielder this season with a 6.89 average match rating in the Premier League from Sofascore, completing 80% of his passes per game. However, last night he only managed 72%, also completing ten fewer passes than his seasonal average.
Not only did the 29-year-old lose 13 of his duels, he also lost possession 13 times and was dribbled past twice as Newcastle routinely looked to exploit the area of the pitch that Doucoure covered due to his poor performance.
Failing to complete any long balls forward or crosses in the game, he proved to be ineffective for Lampard last night; and with Andre Gomes waiting for opportunities on the sidelines, more performances like this may prompt the 43-year-old into potentially deploying other options.
However, having made six goal contributions in 20 Premier League appearances, the former Watford man remains Everton’s most creative midfielder statistically, posting the third-most goal contributions in the team.
Among central midfielders in the top five leagues and continental competitions in Europe, Doucoure ranks in the top 10% for ball recoveries per game (11.86), top 8% for pressures in the defensive third per game (8.93) and top 12% for assists per 90 (0.17). This shows that he still has plenty to offer to Lampard’s team, but on Thursday night he let the manager down with his below-par performance.