Frank Lampard acknowledged his side had not had a shot on target in 180 minutes of football but warned the statistic was a “red herring”, writes the LiverpoolEcho.
Everton failed to work Nick Pope in the Newcastle United goal or Hugo Lloris in the defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, losing both games by fine margins. They did, however, create two golden opportunities at Spurs and Lampard said he was pleased with some aspects of his side’s attacking play.
The Blues boss said work at Finch Farm to improve that area of Everton’s game would continue and added the return to fitness of striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was a significant boost. He also pointed to the failure to award a penalty for a challenge on Anthony Gordon as being a factor in the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle.
Everton matched their hosts in a hostile atmosphere, competing in an end-to-end game that featured needle between the two sides. The teams were ultimately separated by Miguel Almiron’s stunning first half strike. The visitors fought hard after that, and could have been given a penalty when Gordon went down under a challenge by Dan Burn but his pleas were waved away.
Asked what he felt was the difference between the sides, Lampard said: “The goal and maybe a decision that might have gone in our favour.”
Of his side’s display, he added: “The performance was OK. I thought it was a tightly contested game in general play. In our clinical nature in their box, were we clinical enough as we should have been considering how much we played and played through them and played through their lines and received it beyond their midfield? No, that’s a reflection for us. But other than that, I thought against a good team it was a close match in general play, possession wise. And yeah, disappointed that we didn’t have that more effect in the box because I think at that point, we can easily draw or win the game.”
The defeat made it three losses in a row for Everton and two consecutive games in which the side had not mustered a shot on target. Lampard acknowledged work needed to be done going forward but said there was more to the performances than that statistic suggested.
He said: “Dominic looks OK considering he hasn’t played for a long time. And he’ll be better for the minutes in his legs. And, of course, he couldn’t do 90 tonight. But as I say, I think that the no shots on target is a slight red herring, although we have to deal with that because when you play through midfield and you’re making decisions on the last pass or the pass before the last pass, or do you take a shot, we got that bit wrong tonight and and then it’s hard to win football matches of course but when you consider Dominic’s back in now, what that gives us, we can progress as a team in that area of the pitch. We lost Richarlison, we know that, we have got work to do in that area of pitch and we’ll keep working to do that.”