Richarlison has offered Everton a greater sense of hope ahead of facing Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby this Saturday, as Carlo Ancelotti strives to end the Toffee’s 10-year wait for a win over their inner-city rivals.
Everton last beat Liverpool on October 17, 2010 when goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta dealt the damage to the visiting Reds, who have since taken victory in 11 of the subsequent 22 meetings between the two outfits.
Ancelotti will need Richarlison performing at his best this weekend to end the Blues’ run, having entrusted the Brazilian to act as a key figure of his offence this term with starting roles in each of Everton’s opening four Premier League fixtures.
Richarlison was forced to leave the action after just 25 minutes in Everton’s last game prior to the October international break, however, having suffered an ankle injury against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup, and continued to feel the effects against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The issue failed to prevent Richarlison from reporting for international duty with his native Brazil as they began their CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying campaign, but the 23-year-old struggled to make an impact with an ineffective cameo against Bolivia at the weekend.
Yet Brazil boss Tite was not deterred by the slack performance and called on Richarlison to start against Peru on Tuesday night, a decision that paid vast dividends as the £54m-rated ace offered a complete bounce-back display to aid his side’s efforts in a 4-2 victory.
It was Richarlison’s 20th international outing since marking his senior debut against the USA in September 2018 but only his 11th start, but ended the night showing his potential by ending a seven-game goal drought with Brazil’s second of the night to draw the match level at 2-2.
Peru had started the stronger of the two sides with Andre Carrillo opening the scoring in just the sixth minute, before Neymar responded from the spot with his first of the night before going on to bag a game-winning hat-trick and move second in Brazil’s all-time scoring list.
Richarlison’s night did not end with his strike in the 64th-minute – moving his goal tally for the term on to five across all competitions for club and country after his four for Everton – as the Nova Venecia-born forward further aided Brazil’s efforts on the right-wing with two successful dribbles from three attempts and six duels won from 13 contests, per SofaScore.
The attacker won each of his six duels on the ground, while taking 48 touches and playing 18 accurate passes from 24 attempts, which led to one key ball and creating one big chance to score although neither resulted in a goal.
Richarlison often dropped back to support right-back Danilo in defence, too, with two clearances, one interception and three tackles. He additionally found teammates with each of his two long passes but could not deliver an accurate cross with his only delivery of the night.
Ancelotti and Everton will be buoyed by Richarlison’s performance ahead of facing Liverpool at the weekend, especially as he also managed to play the full 90 minutes showing the signs of his ankle injury are now likely a thing of the past.