Everton 0-1 Leeds: 3 things Everton learnt from an unfortunate defeat

Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

Ben Godfrey had a decent game.

3. An improved defence?

Even though Everton suffered a loss, it was only 1-0 in a game where Leeds could’ve scored much more. The West Yorkshire outfit had 23 shots in the game and only managed to get 7 on target, 5 of which were saved by Jordan Pickford. The centre-backs were able to hold their own against a Leeds team that seemingly spent most of the game inside Everton’s final third.

All 3 of the centre-backs managed to get a 7.0 rating or above which shows that each of them were vital in keeping Leeds to only 1 goal. Let’s start with big Mick Keane, who had quite the poor start to the game, being one of the players to lose possession more than 10 times, losing the ball 11 times.

One thing that Keane was able to do in this back three was pick out the passes, with one of his long-balls going straight to the foot of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, almost perfectly recreating that Carabao Cup goal against West Ham.

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Keane was also able to fill the stat sheet defensively, grabbing 6 clearances, 2 blocked shots and 2 interceptions, but weirdly the former Burnley man wasn’t able to grab a single tackle throughout the 90 minutes, Keane can work well in a back three, as I previously mentioned, and the communication issues didn’t seem nearly as bad with his two English partners.

Mason Holgate also returned to action for Everton, getting his second start since the injury and his performance was much improved from the Manchester United game, the 24-year old was trusted with the captain’s armband and seems to be getting back to his best, he seems like he may be able to handle playing the full 90 minutes and was only taken off so Everton could try and get men forward.

Holgate was able to bag 5 clearances, 1 blocked shot, 2 interceptions, and seemed to have not lost a touch when it came to his passing ability, completing 94% of his passes with 100% of his 4 long balls being accurate. I don’t think Holgate is at 100% yet, but it’s clear he’s getting back into the swing of things and he was a massive part of Everton’s defensive improvement in this game.

I decided to save the best for last, Ben Godfrey had a fantastic game for Everton even in defeat, grabbing a 7.6 rating, the joint 2nd highest in the Everton team, and it’s clear why he was given such a high rating.

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Godfrey was able to grab 4 clearances (one of them being a goal-line clearance), 2 blocked shots, an interception and 2 tackles. He also committed no fouls which is very impressive for a centre-back who’s still only 22-years old, and this game showed the massive potential the Englishman has and that he could be a top defender in the Premier League in years to come.