Southampton beat Everton 2-1 in a matchup of teams in the Premier League relegation zone. The Toffees were ahead at the break, but a second half brace by James Ward-Prowse gave the visitors all three points.
The game was preceded by news of a possible threat to Everton’s directors. Security for the club suggested that the board of directors not to attend the game.
The instructions came after CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale was recently put in a head lock by a fan at a recent match.
“Following a thorough risk assessment, and in response to tangible threats received by the Club and intelligence we have gathered, the Club’s Board members have been told they must not attend today’s fixture,” a security and safety advisor said.
The Merseyside club also issued a statement on the problem as well. “This is an unprecedented decision for Everton Football Club – never before has our entire Board of Directors been ordered not to attend a match on safety grounds. It is a profoundly sad day for Everton and Evertonians,” stated the team.
Leading up to the match, home fans greeted the Everton team bus as it traveled towards Goodison Park. Despite the aforementioned threat, the supporters surrounding the bus were more enthusiastic and encouraging.
Toffees started match on the front foot
Amadou Onana got the Toffees off to a solid start in the actual game. The midfielder scored his first ever goal for the club late in the first half. Demarai Gray sent in a floating cross from a corner kick and Onana headed it in.
Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu attempted a driving save, but the shot was struck well into the net.
Ward-Prowse drags Everton down
Southampton did, however, level the scoreline seconds into the second half. Che Adams headed a pass directly into the James Ward-Prowse’s path and the midfielder scored from a few yards away.
The Englishman’s first touch took the ball away from a lunging Ben Godfrey.
Ward-Prowse scored again later in the half with a glorious free kick. Typical to the player, Ward-Prowse curled the ball perfectly over the Everton wall and into the net. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford didn’t even move.
Many Everton supporters stayed in their seats following the disappointing loss. The fans held banners and sang about getting the board out of the club.
Despite the victory, Southampton are still currently bottom of the league standings. However, the Saints are now level with Everton and West Ham. All three clubs have 15 points, just one point behind 17th-placed Bournemouth.
Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images
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