Last season’s trip to St Mary’s Stadium came in a week that marked the nadir of Everton’s 2017-18 season. A 4-1 drubbing by an awful Saints side that came hot on the heels of a 5-1 hammering at the hands of Atalanta was followed four days later by the appointment of Sam Allardyce… desperate times calling, in Farhad Moshiri’s view, for desperate measures.
Southampton 2 – 1 Everton
Richarlison toiled unsuccessfully as the lone striker before being hooked after the Blues conceded their second goal
Everton went down to another demoralising defeat, this time at Southampton where the Blues failed to turn their dominance of possession into anything of substance.
Ever since the Roberto Martinez fairytale started to turn sour, somewhere between the Europa League defeat in Kiev in March 2015 and the consecutive home defeats to Leicester and Stoke the following Christmas, the issue of Goodison Park’s atmosphere has periodically been a topic of debate among Evertonians.
Everton scrapped their way to an ugly but hugely welcome victory in a game that was often befitting the terrible conditions at Goodison Park.
André Gomes will return to the starting XI after being rested for the first half against Lincoln
Everton are back at Goodison Park for a third successive home game to start the year with Bournemouth the visitors as Marco Silva attempts to stabilise his team’s teetering Premier League form.
For a team struggling through the kind of run Everton find themselves midway through the season, a home tie against a side in the fourth tier of the English football is precisely what you would want. Granted, any game against a lower league side is a potential banana skin and the Blues were unlikely to replicate Tottenham’s record-setting feat of last night against Tranmere but a healthy home win to calm the nerves was certainly on the cards.