Yerry Mina was Carlo Ancelotti’s hero at Turf Moor on Saturday as Burnley held Everton to a 1-1 draw.
Ancelotti recalled Mina to the starting line-up in place of Mason Holgate after benching the Colombia international for last weekend’s defeat to Leeds United.
Mina impressed Ancelotti throughout the week in training to warrant his ninth start of the campaign, and refused to let the Italian down with an inspired performance to protect Jordan Pickford’s goal.
Burnley opened the scoring inside the third minute when Robbie Brady used Michael Keane as a shield to whistle a low effort home past Pickford, having picked up possession in the centre of the field following a moment of indecision from Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The Clarets continued to pepper the Blues’ box throughout the affair as they sought to move out of the Premier League relegation places, but saw their lead wiped out in first-half stoppage-time when Dominic Calvert-Lewin tapped in Richarlison’s delivery.
A crucial lunge from Mina in the 79th-minute to deny Chris Wood a go-ahead goal helped keep Everton level with their hosts, before further clearing danger in the closing stages to thwart Josh Benson and Ashley Barnes to offer Ancelotti further validation for his team selection.
Asked if Mina had been brought in to improve Everton’s defensive physicality, Ancelotti told BT Sport ahead of kick-off: “Not for the physical. I saw them well in training and so gave them a chance. Mina didn’t play against Leeds, but he is in a good condition.”
Mina ended the 90-minutes at Turf Moor with a team-high four interceptions and five successful tackles, plus three clearances and four aerial duels won, per WhoScored.
The £18m-rated former FC Barcelona man further penned a game-high 77 total passes, of which a game-high 63 found teammates, while never being dribbled past or dispossessed.
Ancelotti will have been buoyed to see Mina respond to his omission from the Leeds defeat in such fashion, with Everton hosting title-chasing Chelsea at Goodison Park next time out, as he once again displayed the “strong character” the Italian has previously lauded him for being.