Everton had an opportunity to climb back into the top half of the table with a win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday evening but failed to secure even a single point losing 2-1 away from home.
Crystal Palace got really stuck into this game, and Everton let them with a poor defensive display from start to finish from Rafa Benitez’s side, who were unable to stop Crystal Palace loan superstar, Conor Gallagher from scoring twice, and centre back, James Tomkins from adding one too.
Despite losing possession five fewer times than Palace, the Toffees failed spectacularly to hold possession throughout the game with just an overall 39% of the ball over the 90 minutes.
Although Salamon Rondon did manage to find the back of the net in the 70th minute, the lack of creativity in the first hour of the game left Everton out of the chances of securing a win at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Rondon was subbed on for none other than Everton gem, Richarlison, who failed to make any impact on the game in the first half and beyond, prompting Rafa to collar the Brazilian back to the bench in the 58th minute, and rightly so.
After a spectacular performance against Arsenal last Monday, Benitez put his trust into Richarlison to deliver the crucial goals and attacking prowess needed to secure the much needed three points for the struggling Everton side, who as it stands, sit 14th in the Premier League table collecting just three points from their last five games.
As tallied by SofaScore, there was very clear justification for Benitez to feel the need to remove Richarlison from the side early into the second half, with the Brazilian forward losing 100% of his twelve duels whilst on the pitch, completing only three passes and not offering a single shot on or off target for the duration of his game time.
Richarlison didn’t appear pleased to be taken off as the camera panned to him taking his seat in the dugout, but the manager’s decision was given further justification when Rondon bagged a goal back for the Toffees just 12 minutes after he replaced his teammate.
Benitez appeared to take one step forward against Arsenal, but took two steps back on Sunday against the Eagles, with the away side not looking convincing all over the pitch throughout the game, after barely having a third of possession and failing to offer better defensive play.
The Spanish manager will now need to go back and analyse the next move as they face a tough challenge on Thursday against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. When they go there, Richarlison simply has to improve because his performance today badly betrayed his superiors.
In other news: Everton enter transfer race for Gini Wijnaldum