'If we could score before them we could have won' - but Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti credits Leeds United performance

The Toffees head coach reflected on his sides defeat.
Leeds United defeated Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park. Pic: Jonathan GawthorpeLeeds United defeated Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds United defeated Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Carlo Ancelotti felt the first goal would prove decisive in today's enthralling Goodison Park clash between his Everton and victors Leeds United but acknowledged his men didn't do enough to win.

The newly promoted visitors gave his Toffees numerous problems in the first half, forcing Jordan Pickford into saves and hitting the woodwork.

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It was a thrilling first 45 minutes as the two sides traded attacks, as Ancelotti expected.

"We knew this kind of game, it was an open game, they had opportunities, more in the first half than the second," he said.

"We had opportunities in the first and second half.

"I feel the team who scored first could win. They played well, we didn't play bad but it was not enough to have the result. The opportunity we had, we could be more clinical on the final pass, the final shot. I think that was the game."

Everton had to cope without wing-backs Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman, but Ancelotti didn't feel let down by deputies Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies, despite the former struggling to contain Jack Harrison in the first half.

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"We missed some players but we need to be ready to adapt," said Ancelotti.

"They adapted quite well. The work of the wing-back was really high, they need to defend and attack, that's why I put on fresh legs. I think we played bad against Newcastle, today was not a top game, it was a good game but not enough to win. If we could score before them we could have won."

As for the winner, Ancelotti attached no blame to keeper Pickford who was beaten from long range by Raphinha's long-range drive.

"It was a straight shot, Godfrey was close to the ball, Jordan didn't see the ball when it started to move I think, it was close to the body of Ben Godfrey," said the Everton boss.

"It was difficult to save. Jordan made fantastic saves in two or three opportunities."