On Sunday afternoon, Southampton recorded a 4-1 home win over beleaguered Everton at St Marys in the Premier League. The Saints enjoyed the better of the first half and took the lead through a well-taken effort by Dusan Tadic on 18 minutes.
The home side continued to dominate possession and have the better of the attacking play.
However, on the stroke of half-time Everton equalised completely out of the blue.
Everton’s club-record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson picked up the ball on the edge of the area and hit a sumptuous effort that hit the bar and both posts before crossing the goal line.
The late first-half goal should have energised the visitors. However, the home side came out stronger in the second half and made their dominance count with two goals in 13 minutes.
The Saints second goal arrived on 52 minutes. England international left-back Ryan Bertrand produced a superb cross from the left and striker Charlie Austin bulleted a header home at the near post, leaving Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with no chance.
The home side’s dominance continued and six minutes later Mauricio Pellegrino’s side extended their lead. It was almost a carbon copy of the second goal. Bertrand again found space and crossed for Austin to head home.
Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth tried to change things by bringing on young winger Ademola Lookman for Kevin Mirallas. However, it had little effect on the Toffees attacking fortunes. The Toffees also saw England centre-back Michael Keane hobble off with an injury. The Merseysiders day got even worse in the 87th minute. James Ward-Prowse found Steven Davis just inside the area and the midfielder poked the ball past the despairing dive of Pickford.
The victory was a big one for the Saints, as it moved Pellegrino’s side up to 10th place in the league. Scoring four goals in one game was also a major boost, as the home side had previously only scored six Premier League goals at St Marys all season. The south coast side had also failed to score in nine of their previous 12 home games in the top-flight. Boss Pellegrino had come in for criticism from the Saints fans. The win will ease the pressure on the Argentinian boss.
The defeat just adds to Everton’s recent misery. The Toffees had now suffered two defeats in the space of three days, conceding nine goals in the process. Unsworth’s side are now 16th place in the Premier League table, just two points clear of the relegation zone.
The current situation is a grim one for the Merseysiders. The clubs hierarchy are under pressure to appoint a permanent boss. The latest developments in the betting have seen Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill become the favourite for the role.
The 65-year-old’s odds to get the job have shortened to 10/11. The experienced boss has previously managed Leicester, Aston Villa and Sunderland in the Premier League.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche’s odds have also shortened slightly over the past few days, as Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri looks to bring in a boss to steer the club away from danger in the Premier League.