The Blues never really got going against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, as goals from James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams in the first half gave the Saints an advantage they never seemed to give up.
Premier League leaders Everton suffered their first defeat of the season when they lost 2-0 to Southampton in St. Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.
National media reaction to Everton’s 2-0 away defeat to Southampton in the Premier League
Here is a summary of the reaction…
The national media and other publications had a lot to report about the game.
Lucas Digne received a controversial red card in the second half for stepping on the back of Kyle Walker-Peters’ Achilles tendon. Carlo Ancelotti subsequently confirmed that Everton considered the incident an accident and will appeal the decision.
The last undefeated Premier League record is over, and although Everton continues to proudly lead the standings, the ease with which Southampton converted 2-0 here suggests it is unlikely to last much longer.
“The depth of the squad is generally the key component for a permanent title contender.
Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph: A first defeat, a second red card in a row, a conspiracy theory, but above all, this was probably just a reality check.
There was no shame in that, but despite the impressive start to the season, it was a special reminder that quality squad strength is generally the critical component for any permanent title contender. Richarlison and Seamus Coleman were forced to be absent, and with James Rodriguez remaining largely anonymous after a muscle injury that caused significant discomfort in the closing minutes, Everton fell far below the level of the previous season. The dismissal of Lucas Digne also raised questions after both Richarlison received a red card and Jordan Pickford’s reckless intervention against Liverpool last week.
Southampton were already leading 2-0 when Digne was sent off the field in the 72nd minute for kicking Kyle Walker-Peters’ Achilles tendon in the back. It was a curious incident, and since Digne insisted he accidentally caught Walker-Peters chasing the ball, Everton will now appeal in the hope of averting another three-game suspension. Ancelotti called the decision “a joke” and suggested it may have been a result of the negative publicity following the Merseyside derby when Virgil van Dijk needed surgery on the ligaments in his knee due to Pickford’s challenge. “The red was not intentional, certainly it was not violent,” said Ancelotti of Digne. “Perhaps all the talk all week against Pickford, against Richarlison, has influenced the decision, and if so, it’s not right, it’s not fair.
With Southampton already well on the praise, Ancelotti acknowledged his team’s generally “poor performance” and deserved defeat.
Southampton’s manager Ralph Hasenhuttl saw the incident quite differently and, given that Dignes cleats had almost caught Walker-Peters singly just seconds earlier, was convinced that referee Kevin Friend had made the right decision. “I think he tried to kick him first and finally hit him from behind – it was a clear red card for me,” said Hasenhuttl.
Everton was lethargic and lukewarm at best,” said Hasenhuttl.
They sorely missed the suspended Richarlison – without the Brazilian, they haven’t won a Premier League game since he signed up two years ago – and the isolated Dominic Calvert-Lewin, apart from an opening spurt, made a distant figure, but it was the absence of Séamus Coleman, who was sent off against Liverpool, that told the most tales.
Ben Fisher in the Guardian: “Given that Everton has never won a Premier League game when he is two or more goals behind at halftime, it is fair to say that Ancelotti had work to do. During the break, he optimized the staff and introduced Bernard instead of Alex Iwobi, one of the three substitutes from the Merseyside Derby, who had moved up to the starting lineup, but little has changed.
At least Godfrey tried to atone for his mistakes and raced back to get back in possession of the ball after he had lost the ball in the inner field at the beginning of the second half. The body language of Digne and Sigurdsson, who wore the captain’s armband until it was withdrawn at the hour, was not so reassuring.
Everton was lethargic and lukewarm at best. Sigurdsson was on the verge of scoring the first goal after a shot fired from distance slipped off the Southampton crossbar. He struck inside after a pass from Rodríguez, causing Everton’s dignitaries and substitutes, who were scattered across the stands, to gasp.
Godfrey again represented the right-back, but the 25 million pounds from Norwich never looked comfortable. Twenty-eight seconds into the second half, Everton was fortunate not to catch up with a major deficit after Adams Godfrey was able to dodge comfortably inside the channel, but the striker dawdled before firing a tame shot.