Everton were knocked out of the FA Cup following a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford last night, and Frank Lampard will surely be feeling the pressure as the club are now out of all domestic competitions, while also currently occupying a place in the Premier League relegation zone.
The Toffees are currently 18th in the top flight after an awful run of form, collecting just 15 points from a possible 54 after 18 league games, which puts them in a hugely vulnerable position going into the second half of the season.
However, Lampard’s side did show glimpses of their capabilities throughout their clash against the Red Devils, something on which the manager picked up when speaking in his post-match interview.
The 44-year-old stated: “No one is happy in defeat, I am the worst, but you can control the performance, you can’t always control the result, but the performance was great, in lots of ways.”
“We can always be better, but the performance was good when you consider this is a Man United team in good form, their strongest team, they score after a few minutes, but then we show resilience, bravery on the ball, defensive organisation and work ethic, a bit like we did against City, but we were much dangerous tonight in the game and we had good chances in the game.”
Everton had 42% possession and showed strengths in their defensive display with more tackles completed, more duels won and more clearances made than their hosts. However, their lack of killer instinct to convert the chances provided and natural finishing in front of goal ultimately cost them progression in the FA Cup.
One player who ghosted yet again for the Merseysiders, though, was summer signing, Neal Maupay and the striker continued to prove against Erik ten Hag’s side that he has been another one of Farhad Moshiri’s disastrous pieces of recruitment.
Over his 69-minute performance, Maupay failed in 100% of his dribble attempts, only had 28 touches and was dribbled past once, proving once again to be ineffective in front of goal.
In the summer, Everton desperately needed to replace Richarlison and add a centre-forward who could emulate Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s eye for goal, as the Toffees striker has been dealing with a number of injury issues over the last 18 months.
Indeed, Maupay boasts a wealth of Premier League experience and had scored 26 times at that level for Brighton, but he is not the prolific game-changer which was much-needed at Goodison Park, netting only once in 15 appearances so far.
Now that Calvert-Lewin is back fit, there is no reason for Maupay to start for Everton; and if the Toffees can acquire the services of a reliable goalscorer during the January transfer window, it should push the £50k-per-week Frenchman further down the pecking order.