Everton v Manchester City Review: five talking points

Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /

With DCL injured, Richarlison showed Lampard his worth in the striker role

4. Richarlison shows his worth as a central striker

As rumours circulated and were then confirmed as the teams arrived at Goodison Park on Saturday, Calvert-Lewin would be missing from the Everton line up due to an abductor injury picked up in training.

Therefore we knew Richarlison would be asked to take up the central role and perhaps as a nod to the FA Cup tie on Thursday which Calvert-Lewin will miss also, Demarai Gray was a substitute which will see him start against Boreham Wood.

With Alex Iwobi and Anthony Gordon retaining there places, at least the disruption was minimal from the vibrant and attacking display against Leeds at Goodison two weeks before.

The inconsistent nature of Richarlison’s performances sometimes infuriates Evertonians, but his desire and effort is usually never in question. Last week at St Marys’ he was the one in the first half pressing the hardest and trying to make things happen, as the game went away from Everton so did his enthusiasm.

Richarlison put that behind him as again he harassed the City backline all evening, was always looking to attack straight at the heart of the CIty defence and even at one point tackled his own teammate Gordon in his desperation to make things happen.

As he did so successfully for the Brazil Olympic team in the summer in a lone striking role, Richarlison does look more threatening for more of the game when he has this task.

So can he do it if Calvert-Lewin is out or is a better option for some games?

Of course he can, but he needs the right support with him. I felt if Gray had been next to Richarlison instead of Iwobi – not due to anything Iwobi had done – then it could have been an even better first half for Everton where they matched the final third attacking percentage of City.

Again Gordon was positive when with the ball but has not had much opportunity to play with Richarlison as the main central striker. This of course can be developed further on Thursday night against Boreham Wood as Calvert-Lewin will be missing again.

Everton deserved to get at least a goal and a point from Saturday’s game, and Richarlison forcing Ederson into a save that then resulted in the controversial handball incident with Rodri summed up the endeavour the forward had against one of the best teams in the world.

As he showed against Arsenal where he linked up with Gray so well in the second half comeback, he can time his runs so well (yes two goals were disallowed for miniscule offside offences) when his teammates have the ball just in the oppositions half.

With the midfield three showing how Everton should tacticially line up going forward this will suit Richarlison and these runs he is so good at making.

If you have watched Everton several times this season when he has played this role many times he has gone to make the runs only for a teammate to pass sideways or backwards.

Now with Lampard’s more positive nature and Everton looking to win the ball higher up the pitch this will only help and suit Richarlison as the central striker.