Mason Holgate has paid tribute to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison after their power-packed performances against Manchester United on Sunday, declaring “no-one would like to play against” the in-form Everton strike duo.
Calvert-Lewin hit his 15th goal of the season – and saw what would have been a dramatic winner ruled out by the VAR – as the Blues drew 1-1 in an incident-filled Goodison Park clash.
The 22-year-old has formed an explosive partnership with Richarlison in recent weeks, and the pair’s skill, speed, energy and smart link-up play were instrumental in a purposeful Everton display against United.
Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison – who has hit 12 goals so far this campaign – fired in four shots apiece during the game, while their selfless running and combativeness also impressed. Combined, they battled out a total of 33 duels and regained possession for Everton on seven occasions.
Furthermore, no player in the Premier League has fired in more shots on target or scored as many goals (8) as Calvert-Lewin since Carlo Ancelotti took charge of the Blues on 21 December.
“Dom is on fire,” Holgate said. “We all know what he can do.
“With him and Richy up front, no-one would want to play against them.
“If I had to play against them every week, I’d be gutted.
“They’re two good strikers – we’ve got a lot of faith in them and they’re scoring a lot of goals for us.”
Sunday’s clash also represented Andre Gomes’ first Everton start since fracturing his ankle in the Blues’ game against Tottenham Hotspur just 119 days previously.
The Portuguese delivered an accomplished performance alongside Tom Davies in the heart of the Toffees midfield and Holgate says Gomes’ rapid recovery is testament to his strength of character.
“You can see Andre’s class,” Holgate said.
“He’s definitely surprised me, just how fast he has come back.
“Not only to come back, but he looks like he’s not been away.
“He’s flying into things. You see people come back from injuries like that and they might change their games a little bit to begin with.
"But he’s come back straight away and had a really good influence.”
Everton’s draw with United means the Blues remain in 11th spot in the Premier League – but just five points behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in a congested table.
And Holgate insists the team’s sights remain firmly fixed on achieving European qualification.
“It’s achievable and we’ve got to be pushing for that,” he added.
“We’re more than capable of putting a run of results together, and that’s what we need to do.
“We’ve just got to keep going.”
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