Benitez laments lack of Everton threat as injury and form woes deepen at Man City

Date published: Sunday 21st November 2021 5:48 - Dan Burnham

Rafael Benitez speaks to Fabian Delph during Manchester City vs Everton, November 2021

Rafael Benitez lamented a lack of threat on the counter-attack as Everton’s injury and form woes worsened at Manchester City.

The Toffees not only slipped to their fourth defeat in their last five matches, but they were also totally outclassed in the process. Just one shot on target all game highlighted the ineptness of their performance.

Benitez has now picked up just one win in his last nine Premier League matches, which was at home against strugglers Norwich.

Despite the level of opposition at the Etihad, the Spanish manager wasn’t happy to accept the manner of defeat.

He told Sky Sports: “I don’t like to lose against anyone. It doesn’t matter the name of the team or the level of the team.

“I think that these kind of games you have to be a threat in the counter-attack. We had our chances in the counter attack without creating too much.

“And it was a question of time that you are defending and you will make a mistake.

“I think we try and we had two or three situations in the first half that we didn’t do well in the counter-attack and it was just defending and normally you have to just lose these games.

“We changed a bit after the second goal, to change against City is not easy. It is a pity because the team was training well.

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“It is difficult when you’re not winning. But I think we were close in a lot of games, it’s about how the team is reacting.

“We know the players injured will be a problem. We have to go to January and try and win some games. And we are convinced that in the second half of the season, with players coming back, we will be stronger.”

Everton were already without first-teamers Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andres Gomes, Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina.

Benitez demands more of front men

And as well as Richarlison getting a booking, meaning he’ll be absent for the trip to Brentford next week, Demarai Gray picked up an injury.

He lasted only 17 minutes of the match, which didn’t help his side’s chances of getting anything from the match.

Benitez added: “Clearly he is one of the most dangerous players in the counter-attack and he had one chance when he was one-v-one with a defender [before getting substituted].

“When you don’t have [him], you are missing something more, but still with the players we had up front we have to create something.”

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