Everton 3 Leeds 0: Five ways Toffees lifted the Goodison gloom

Everton (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /

Set piece and intensity work shows fruition with instant results

5. Everton backroom staff work bears fruit

We analysed Everton’s backroom staff back when Lampard took charge a couple of week’s ago. Now we can start, thankfully, to see the results of this work as it really paid dividends against Leeds this weekend.

We have already explained the intense high press Lampard likes to play and in both home games so far we have seen this in abundance, especially against Leeds in the first half. This seemed to go missing earlier against Newcastle, the first half injuries a contributing factor no doubt.

What was noticeable however against Leeds was that the formation slightly tweaked as the game went on.

In the high octane first half an hour Allan slotted alongside the two centre backs to be a defensive three and Kenny and Coleman went further forward.

When Leeds started to gain a foothold in the game, albeit at two nil down, Kenny and Coleman retreated to a back four and Allan went further forward closer to Van De Beek.

In the second half when Leeds had more possession it became more 4-3-3 with Gordon or Iwobi dropping into midfield more, however this enabled Everton to break quicker and have more space out wide.

It was also noticeable Leeds switched to three centre backs at two nil down, but this enabled Everton to shackle Leeds’ front players more effectively and held them to a lowly xG of 0.29. They also failed to register a shot on target, although two strikes of Jordon Pickford’s bar from Rodrigo means Everton’s clean sheet was never too secure.

The fact Leeds did not get a shot on target or that close in the penalty area shows how much Everton had control of the game.

Credit must go to Paul Clement on his work with Everton and attacking set pieces since he joined Lampard at Finch Farm. Everton have scored three goals direct from set pieces already, you could say four as the goal at Newcastle also came from a free kick despite it being an own goal.

Against Leeds there was a clear free kick routine for the second goal that hadn’t been seen this season, with Everton players lining up on the edge of the area and having much more room to run on to the corner.

Last season Everton were one of the best at gaining goals from set pieces, as we can see from the below chart, which was before this weekend’s games, they have already moved themselves in the more productive half of this table after Keane’s goal:

Having said that about the productivity from corners, it will help because the more positive football that Lampard plays, the more corners Everton will get also. For example against Leeds they had five corners, above the 3.85 average for the season before this game.

The work defensively from corners still needs improving also, the first Newcastle goal being the proof of that, but with Everton stopping Leeds having any shots on target and of any note from inside the penalty area, again this will reduce the number of corners against them.

It is encouraging the work on the training ground is already being noticed on the pitch on a matchday. These small margins are crucial in relegation battles and Everton are certainly working hard at making them in their favour.

Next up is a Southampton side who like to do all of the above, with them in great form it will be a big test for Lampard and his team, but the win gives them breathing space and fans can once again enjoy Match Of The Day like last weekend.