Ancelotti Explains Reason For Everton's Leeds Defeat

Carlo Ancelotti says Everton paid for their lack of precision in attack after Leeds United struck late to win a breathless Premier League game at Goodison Park.

James Rodriguez and Richarlison had first-half ‘goals’ ruled out for offside as the teams produced 38 shots between them.

The lone strike was provided by Leeds attacker Raphinha, who sent a 25-yard effort skimming into the bottom corner with 11 minutes remaining.

Jordan Pickford twice brilliantly denied the visitors in the opening half, using his leg to keep out Patrick Bamford at close range, then leaping to claw out Raphinha’s arcing header.

Everton remain sixth in the Premier League, ahead of a frantic December when Ancelotti’s side will compete for 18 points.

“We expected this kind of open game,” said Ancelotti.

"They had chances, we had chances... who took the first chance won the game.

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02:18

ANCELOTTI WANTS MORE CONSISTENT EVERTON

Boss reflects on narrow home defeat to Leeds.

 


"They scored a goal at the end, we could have scored before, they could have scored before... at the end they won because they took the chance to score a goal.

“They played well, we didn’t play badly but it was not enough for the result.

“The opportunities we had, we could have been more clinical with the final pass or final shot.

“That was the game.

“I can't say that the game was not good. The game was difficult but with more efficiency in front of goal we could have won.”

Ancelotti retained the formation which Everton employed to successful effect at Fulham six days ago.

That meant a three-man defence, with Alex Iwobi continuing at wing-back – albeit switching to the left to accommodate the absence of injured Lucas Digne – and Tom Davies coming in on the right, where Everton are still without captain Seamus Coleman.

The hosts began by testing Illan Meslier through Abdoulaye Doucoure’s attempt on the stretch and the Leeds goalkeeper did well again to twice repel Richarlison.

Leeds hit the woodwork when a cross from Stuart Dallas found Jack Harrison, who also prodded wide from close range – but passed to Raphinha for the decisive goal.

Everton sacrificed defender and captain-for-the-night Mason Holgate to pursue an equaliser – after Davies and Iwobi had made way for Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes.

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02:03

HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON 0-1 LEEDS UNITED

Raphinha strike settles breathless Goodison encounter.


“Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman are important players who are out in this moment but, as I have said, we have to manage this because Digne is out for two or three months,” continued Ancelotti.

“In the second half we were better defensively. In the first half we had some problems.

"I know that we had Tom Davies in a new position, we had Iwobi in a new position. Second half we were more compact at the back.

“The work-rate of the wing backs was really high.

“They needed to defend and attack. That is why we put on fresh legs but the performances from both of them were good.

“We played badly against Southampton and Newcastle [in previous defeats]… today was not a top game, it was a good game but not enough to win.

“We competed and if we scored first we could have won.”

Everton are five points off the top of the league but after claiming 13 points from their opening five matches have won one of their past five.

“We started really well, now we have had some problems,” added Ancelotti.

“The victory against Fulham helped us but we have to be focused every game.

“We are in a good position in the table still but, of course, we need more consistency at the back.”

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03:11

'PROUD' HOLGATE REFLECTS ON BITTERSWEET CAPTAINCY NOD

Defender outlines what Blues could have done better in Leeds defeat.