Everton have been at the top of the table this season, Burnley always close to the bottom, but the two sides proved surprisingly even in an entertaining draw. Rightly or wrongly, both teams feel they should be winning matches like this, and both created enough opportunities, although neither proved capable of asserting themselves enough to claim all three points, partly because both goalkeepers were in top form.
Everton got off to a terrible start, with sloppy passes from Alex Iwobi and Allan in their own half that gave up possession to Robbie Brady, who wasted no time getting a shot inside Jordan Pickford’s right from a couple of yards outside the area. penalty. It was just the second goal Burnley scored in the league at Turf Moor all season, and they barely had to work to achieve it. In fact, with less than three minutes left on the clock, they had hardly sweated.
That left the visitors 87 minutes to find a draw and at first it seemed they wouldn’t have to wait too long. Starting as a winger, Iwobi was finding plenty of space on the right, and when he found Dominic Calvert-Lewin with a low cross, it took a good save on the line from Nick Pope to avoid a goal. Iwobi sent his next cross straight to the goalie, then Richarlison brought in another save from Pope when facing Calvert-Lewin in the middle might have been a better option.
Carlo Ancelotti was forced to change the shape of his side a bit when Fabian Delph was stopped with a hamstring strain just before half an hour, although many Evertonians would argue that the player is not cut out to be a left back and prefers the left side. The 4-3-3 formation was adopted when André Gomes came in as a replacement, even if it involved Iwobi operating as a right back on the right.
Pickford came to his team’s rescue five minutes before interval, cleverly leaving his line to deny Chris Wood when Dwight McNeil played a smart ball behind Everton’s baseline, then in the three-minute stoppage time brought on by Gomes. who accidentally caught Josh Brownhill with an Elbow to the face Burnley was caught off guard when Richarlison finally chose to cross rather than shoot. Alertly found in the space to the left by Allan, the Brazilian knew Calvert-Lewin was in the middle and crossed for the first time, with enough precision for the forward to claim his 11th goal of the season with a delicate sliding touch to deflect. the ball to Pope.
Once leveled, Everton began to show their quality in the second half, with James Rodríguez exercising more and more influence and Gomes showing his usual vision and touch. If it weren’t for Pope’s outstretched fingers, Rodriguez would have put his side forward shortly after the break, his curling shot to complete a play started by Gomez hitting the mark until the goalkeeper caught up to deflect it.
McNeil was always a danger to the locals. At one point midway through the second half, he produced such a tight turn that he left Allan and Iwobi behind him, though increasingly the game was being played around the edge of Burnley’s area. Ashley Barnes was dispatched in the final minutes to try to do something about it, and her cross could have been converted by Wood had it not been for Yerry Mina’s timely interception, before Pickford made a nimble save to avoid the short header. distance from the New Zealand striker. from a corner.
That might have been the save of the afternoon, although Pope came up with an equally important one when Gylfi Sigurdsson seemed sure to score right at the end. Watched by Gareth Southgate, the two English goalkeepers on display were responsible for keeping the second half scoreless. A draw was certainly a fair result, even if both parties wanted and expected more.
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