Richarlison justifying links with Real Madrid after sparkling display at Arsenal

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Everton were beaten by a world-class finish and an offside goal as they failed to break their rotten run of form away to Arsenal.

Both goals in the 2-0 defeat arrived in the second half, the first a stunner from Alexandre Lacazette with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netting the second moments later despite being yards offside.

However, Everton had their opportunities, particularly in the first half and the scoreline did little to justify their attacking endeavour.

At the heart of their play was forward Richarlison, fresh from his three-match suspension.

Here, we analyse the performance of the Brazil star.


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Marco Silva deployed the 4-2-3-1 formation he’s used for the majority of this season, but he shook up the teamsheet with Dominic Calvert-Lewin leading the line.

Richarlison took up his usual position on the left of Everton’s middle three in behind the young striker, although quite often the Brazilian was joining Calvert-Lewin to make a two in transition, or bursting beyond the frontman.

And it was that partnership, or rather lack thereof, which Everton were made to pay for as Calvert-Lewin on a couple of occasions was guilty of overplaying instead of playing Richarlison through.

However, we saw the attacking traits of the Brazil international which is why the likes of Real Madrid are already being talked about as future suitors.

He was dynamic and direct, causing right-back Hector Bellerin all sorts of problems as he moved in from the left and there were two instances when the summer-signing came close to opening the scoring, only to be denied by goalkeeper Petr Cech.

His influence waned after the break as Everton struggled to contain the hosts, yet the difference he makes to his side is undeniable.

It’s been a long time since a 21-year-old made such an impact on an Everton side.


Confidence – Richarlison clearly possesses all the physical traits to take his game to the next level, but unlocking that potential will require the right mentality. Against Arsenal, he showed the type of swagger and confidence needed at the very top. He was fearless and that quality will take him far.

Energy – When you’re carrying your team’s attacking threat, energy is absolutely pivotal and Richarlison had bags of it. He comes alive on the ball and can leave defenders for dead, an example of which was shown in the first half when Bellerin struggled to get across to stop him advancing to fire in a dangerous shot at goal.


Team play – Perhaps understandable because he had such a beating of Arsenal defenders, however, Richarlison only registered 13 accurate passes and not one key pass, which is an area of his game lacking. Too often he’d be in threatening positions and when the pass was on, he’d pick the wrong option.


2nd min CHANCE: But not for Richarlison. Literally 90 seconds into the game and Calvert-Lewin is played clean through on goal by Tom Davies in the right channel. He should square the ball for Richarlison to tap home but instead, he tries to round Cech, loses his footing and the chance is wasted.

20th min SHOT: Strength and skill wrapped in one movement. Theo Walcott spreads the ball from the right, Richarlison kills the ball dead with a sumptuous touch, turns away from Bellerin and as Calvert-Lewin drags markers away, he has space to shoot. A low drive is well parried by Cech, though.

44th min SHOT: An example of that direct running we’re talking about. The ball is played out to the Brazilian wide on the touchline. He breezes inside, powers to the edge of the box and forces another good stop from Cech.


The difference Richarlison makes to this Everton attack is obvious, but you have to be worried about the lack of quality around him. He looks absolutely levels above some of the players he started with against Arsenal and when you’ve thrived alongside the likes of Neymar during the international break, one wonders how long he’ll settle for playing with second-rate quality.

RATING: 7/10

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