Everton 1-2 Southampton: Player ratings as Ward-Prowse sinks Everton

Ward-Prowse made the difference
Ward-Prowse made the difference / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Southampton picked up a huge win at Goodison Park courtesy of a James Ward-Prowse double, dragging Everton into the bottom three.

Just how badly Everton needed a win was highlighted by the fact that the club released a statement prior to kick-off announcing that the board of directors had been advised not to attend due to a “real and credible threat to their safety and security" given the anger the fans felt towards them.

The club's player did little to improve the mood of those fans in the opening stages of the match with Southampton starting it on the front foot, missing a big chance just over 20 minutes in.

On the half-an-hour mark, the visitors so nearly took the lead when Mohammed Salisu got on the end of a corner, but Jordan Pickford saved from point-blank range.

10 minutes later, Amadou Onana got on the end of a corner at the other end and his header found the back of the net to put his team in front. After that, Everton pushed for a second but weren't able to find one before the break.

They were made to pay for that as Ward-Prowse levelled things up straight after the restart, firing in from inside the box after controlling a knock-down from Che Adams and taking on Ben Godfrey.

Things opened up after that with Dominic Calvert-Lewin hitting the bar at one end before Pickford saved another effort from Ward-Prowse.

A massive chance presented itself to Godfrey in the 69th minute when Gavin Bazunu failed to deal with a cross from Alex Iwobi but the defender was unable to direct the ball into the open net from a few yards out at the back post.

Everton looked the far more likely of the two sides to find a winner at that point, winning multiple corners, but it was a counter-attack from one of them that resulted in the third goal of the game.

Such a counter led to Southampton being given a free-kick just outside the box and set-piece Ward-Prowse got his second goal of the game with a signature effort.

That left Everton with a mountain to climb and they didn't look like climbing it, creating precious little after going behind.

Anthony Gordon forced an opening in the 90th minute but James Tarkowski couldn't turn his cross in, seeing his effort blocked.

Frank Lampard's side then had a penalty claim turned down and were given a few more corners but couldn't create anything from them, falling to another defeat.

Everton player ratings

GK: Jordan Pickford (5); CB: Ben Godfrey (5); CB: Conor Coady (4); CB: James Tarkowski (5); RWB: Seamus Coleman (6); CM: Alex Iwobi (6); CM: Idrissa Gueye (6); CM: Amadou Onana (8); LWB: Vitaliy Mykolenko (6); ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (6); ST: Demarai Gray (6).

SUB: Anthony Gordon (6), Ellis Simms (6).

Southampton player ratings

GK: Gavin Bazunu (6); CB: Lyanco (6); CB: Duje Caleta-Car (7); CB: Mohammed Salisu (7); RWB: Mohamed Elyounoussi (6); CM: Romeo Lavia (6); CM: Ibrahima Diallo (6), (7); LWB: Kyle Walker-Peters (6); AM: James Ward-Prowse (9); ST: Che Adams (7); ST: Samuel Edozie (6).

SUB: Carlos Alcaraz (6), Adam Armstrong (6), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (6), Sekou Mara (N/A), Romain Perraud (N/A).

Player of the Match - James Ward-Prowse