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Saints hit back for draw at Everton

Football
Sun, 17 Apr 2016
AFP


Liverpool: Sadio Mane salvaged a point for Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday as Everton's poor Premier League home form continued with a fortunate 1-1 draw.

Roberto Martinez's side went into the game with eight home defeats to date this season and looked headed for a ninth, before going ahead against the run of play in the 68th minute.

The Toffees' Argentine defender Ramiro Funes Mori bagged the goal after first fluffing a header, only for Saints striker Shane Long to inadvertently pass him the ball back, and he duly fired a left-footed shot into the back of the net to take an unlikely lead.

But Everton continued to pour recklessly forward and Mane equalised eight minutes later in a goalmouth scramble as the hosts failed to deal with Dusan Tadic's cross on 76 minutes.

Southampton had come into the game after three wins in four games, their defeat coming at Leicester, and Shane Long and Virgil van Dijk might both have scored to clinch the three points.

A scrappy first half had ended goalless after Everton struggled to even get out of their own half at times and Tadic headed against the crossbar.

Long also hit the post after Ryan Bertrand's corner, while Joel Robles tipped Bertrand's free-kick around the post as Everton rode their luck early on.

Everton go into the FA Cup semi-finals against Manchester United on April 25 with just one win in their last eight league outings.

Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, both on the PFA Young Player of the Year shortlist, could be back for that season-defining tie.

Ronald Koeman's side are still in the chase for a Europa League spot, although they have played more matches than their nearest rivals.

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