Richarlison betrayed Carlo Ancelotti’s praise with a wasteful performance as Everton were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Monday.
The Toffees are no longer in control of their hopes of a top-four finish, after being made to pay for a string of misses when Michy Batshuayi fired home with less than five minutes to play.
Richarlison and strike partner Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a hatful of efforts only to be denied by Vicente Guaita, with the result leaving Everton eighth in the table and five points below the Champions League positions.
A win over the Eagles would have seen the Blues move level on 49 points with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, and they will now strive to overtake their rivals into sixth place when Ancelotti’s men play their game in hand.
Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin will have left Goodison Park on Monday ruing their string of misses, which proved immensely costly for a Toffees side which has won just once in their last eight league fixtures on home soil.
Ancelotti had been full of praise for Richarlison’s efforts in front of the net of late, having seen the Brazilian strike six goals in five games across all competitions following February’s shock defeat to relegation-threatened Fulham.
“Richarlison is a modern striker, a complete striker, because he works really hard,” the Italian said, via quotes shared by Goal. “His physical statistics are really high, like a midfielder – but he has speed, and he is really clinical in the box.
“He is fantastic with the head and clinical in front of the goalkeeper and his movement without the ball is really good.”
However, it was a vastly different Richarlison on show against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace, with the £54m-rated forward spurning a game-high three big chances to score – half of the total six wasted by Everton players, per SofaScore.
Calvert-Lewin accounted for two of his team’s missed big chances en route to claiming SofaScore’s lowest match rating for any player on the pitch at 6.1 out of 10, while Richarlison was graded at 6.4.
Ancelotti pinned Everton’s failure to secure all three points on the slack efforts of his players in the final third, noting via quotes shared by Football365: “The reason [for the result] was we were not able to kill the game when we had the opportunity.
“We had a lot of chances and usually in the last games our strikers in those situations were really clinical. Tonight, they need to do better.”
Richarlison particularly needed to do better, having missed three big chances from his only three shots on target while sending a further three efforts wide of the post, per SofaScore.
The 23-year-old also lost seven of 11 ground duels, far below his average 53% success rate for 5.5 duels won per top-flight game this term, and caused a row to erupt with Lucas Digne, Rodriguez and Gylfi Sigurdsson when he argued over who would take a free-kick.
Richarlison eventually won the argument but could only send the effort wide of the post, a moment which summed up a frustrating display from Everton’s £50m record signing.