SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – Conor Coady and Dwight McNeil scored in quick succession in the second half as Everton came from behind to overcome Southampton 2-1 on Saturday and hand the hosts their third straight Premier League defeat.
Everton’s second win of the season lifted them into 11th place with 10 points while Southampton are three points behind in 15th.
Everton seized control of the game after a sloppy start but Frank Lampard’s side lacked quality in front of goal as winger Demarai Gray failed to make the most of several promising openings.
Southampton made the visitors pay after the break when Joe Aribo produced a neat finish after he was afforded too much space at the edge of the box before Everton turned the game on its head in the space of a few minutes.
Coady pounced on an Amadou Onana knock-down in the 52nd minute to equalise and McNeil fired Everton into the lead two minutes later, lashing home from a tight angle following a clever pass from Alex Iwobi.
“My eyes lit up a little bit at the back post when I saw it pop down. It was important we got it and that we bounced back pretty quickly from going behind,” said Coady, who found himself in acres of space for his goal.
“First half we played really well but lacked a bit of a ruthless edge in the final third. I thought we deserved the three points as we were fantastic bar that little spell.”
Southampton kept pushing forward and Jordan Pickford was called into action more than once, with Adam Armstrong and Kyle Walker-Peters forcing the England keeper into smart saves.
Centre half Duje Caleta-Car could have a rescued a point for the Saints when he found himself unmarked at the back post deep into stoppage time but the Croatian failed to keep his effort on target as boos rang out on the final whistle.
“We had some good moments to score a goal but the last decision around the box was not the best. In the second half, we showed we could do it well,” said Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl.
A fourth defeat in five games means only three points separate Southampton and the drop zone but Hasenhuettl added that he was impressed by his team’s fighting spirit.
“The positive thing for me is that we never stopped trying and creating chances… we are convinced by what we have done today. Premier League football is brutal. When you don’t score, you concede. This is what this young team has to learn,” he said.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon and Christian Radnedge)