Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has no answers as to why his team are producing such contrasting performances home and away.
They lost 2-1 to Aston Villa – their eighth defeat in 17 league matches at Goodison Park – just a week after 10 of that team recorded the club’s first win at Arsenal in 25 years.
This season the Toffees have also won at Anfield for first time since 1999 and beaten the likes of Leicester and Leeds on the road.
However, at home it is a different matter with just one league victory in 10 matches since the turn of the year with just six points accrued over a period which has seen them lose to Newcastle, Fulham and Burnley.
Their points-per-game ratio at Goodison this season is 1.12 – the lowest in their entire history – yet away from home they have taken 23 points out of the last 30 available.
Even for an experienced three-time Champions League-winning manager like Ancelotti it is baffling.
“It is difficult to say why we have this kind of home run,” he said. “This is the same team (bar James Rodriguez who pulled out of the warm-up with injury) that won against Arsenal eight days ago.
“We were in good momentum and good form and then another bad performance at home. It is a completely different team, a completely different attitude.
“Of course we could do better at home. Away was different. It’s all unbelievable – it’s unbelievable the run we had away and it’s unbelievable the run we’ve had at home.
“We are still in the fight (for European qualification) but not for what we did at home, for sure what we did away. I think we have the points we deserve to have.”
Rodriguez is expected to be back for next weekend’s trip to West Ham but the fact he has had a minor recurrence of a calf injury which caused him to miss the whole of March will be a concern for Ancelotti as without him his side looked devoid of ideas.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his 20th of the season with a header from a corner to cancel out an early goal by the excellent Ollie Watkins, who could easily have taken his Premier League tally beyond 13 had it not been for England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Villa got the winner they deserved 10 minutes from time when Anwar El Ghazi curled home from distance.
While the win only moved Villa, who have nothing to play for, up to ninth head coach Dean Smith was pleased with their attitude.
“When I look at the team you are normally giving them marks out of 10 and no-one was under a seven, which makes for a good team performance,” he said.
“It is easy to say we have nothing to play for or the players aren’t showing much desire but I think they showed how much desire they have (against Everton) and in the West Brom game (when they scored a last-minute equaliser).
“We have been inconsistent over the last two or three months but we’ve lost a talented player through injury in Jack Grealish and we’ve had to find another way to find that creative spark. In the last two games we have shown we can do that.”
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