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Southampton had created little at Goodison Park but should have taken a point when first Moussa Djenepo sidefooted wide with only Jordan Pickford to beat in the 84th minute and then, in stop time, Jannik Vestergaard had another glorious chance to level after a spot of pin-ball inside the Everton penalty area.
A seven-point gap between themselves and Fulham offers only limited comfort on such a damaging run. It is not so easy to find the way back to where we have been but you can be sure we will find the way out. A nervous finale from the hosts was to be expected as they held on to a slender lead for their first home win of the year. Everton led from their first meaningful attack.
It was a fine goal produced by a combination of steel and silk. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, making a first start in four games following a hamstring injury, won a towering header against Mohammed Salisu as the pair challenged for a Pickford clearance. A touch off his shoulder dropped to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who threaded a perfectly-weighted pass behind Vestergaard for Richarlison to round Fraser Forster and score from an acute angle.
That said, he could and perhaps should have doubled his tally before the interval.
The visitors conceded a series of free-kicks in dangerous wide positions and flirted with danger at each one. Sigurdsson shaped to take the free-kick but left it for Lucas Digne, who floated a delivery to the back post where Mason Holgate headed back across goal and Michael Keane finished bravely.
Holgate, however, had strayed offside by the time Digne eventually delivered. Without the luxury of a second goal Everton were never comfortable against a Southampton side that refused to let them settle on the ball and carried a threat of their own from set pieces.
Premier League. Andy Hunter at Goodison Park.
Mon 1 Mar Everton Southampton: Premier League — as it happened. Topics Premier League Everton Southampton match reports.
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