Everton were unable to secure a single point in their game against Crystal Palace on Sunday evening and faced a defeat of 3-1 to the Eagles away from home, putting the Merseyside club firmly in 14th for the foreseeable in the Premier League table.
Rafa Benitez’s side failed to dominate throughout the game against Crystal Palace with just 39% possession throughout, which ultimately lead to a brace from Conor Gallagher and James Tomkins scored his first goal since December 2019 against the Toffees to secure a 3-1 comfortable win.
One player who failed to offer dominance and control in his position was Abdoulaye Doucoure, who started the game in his usual position, but over the course of the match had become a complete liability for the Toffees. Richarlison may have been the one to hauled off early after a shoddy evening but his midfield colleague didn’t have the desired impact either.
Via SofaScore, Doucoure lost possession a total of 16 times (once every 2.8 touches), won fewer than half of his ground duels, and failed to make any creative impact on the attacking third of the game with no key passes or crosses over the entire 90 minutes of play.
The £75k-per-week beast furthered his forgettable performance by committing two fouls, one of which cost him a yellow card, which he aggressively contested against with Kevin Friend, where he was lucky not to receive further punishment for his reaction.
In the French midfielder’s defence, he was playing further back during the first half, which would have added an element of hindrance to his ability to be creative in his play for the forwards.
However, it does not excuse his wasteful performance, losing possession on many occasions and failing to dominate the midfield to break down the build of play from Crystal Palace.
Benitez will go back to the drawing board early this week with the hopes of emulating the confidence his Everton side displayed against Arsenal last week, but they face an extremely difficult challenge as they are away from home again, against Chelsea on Thursday evening.
There will be time for the manager to assess the situation, and potentially make some changes to his team to refresh his side, ready to take on the challenge the Merseyside Blues face at Stamford Bridge midweek.