Xenia Sports – London
Gareth Southgate is fortunate to be able to choose between Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope as England’s number one goalkeeper, according to Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Everton’s Pickford and Burnley’s Pope made several important saves as the sides drew for the first time in the Premier League following an entertaining encounter at Turf Moor watched by England boss Southgate.
Pickford denied Burnley striker Chris Wood in a one-on-one opportunity while Pope clawed away a curling effort from Everton forward James Rodriguez destined for the top corner and then thwarted substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson late on.
Pickford was dropped by Ancelotti for the game at Newcastle last month following a string of high-profile mistakes but the Italian believes the current England number one is getting back to his best.
Ancelotti said: “Jordan did really well. He had two or three really good saves, now he’s really better, he has more confidence, for sure, and for this reason he’s showing his great quality.
“Pope made a great save from Gylfi, we were really close to winning the game with that opportunity. Gylfi was unlucky and Pope did really well.
“Gareth Southgate has to be really pleased to have these two goalkeepers in the national team.”
Ancelotti was forced into a change before the half hour as Fabian Delph pulled up sharply, clutching his hamstring, before limping gingerly off the field.
Ancelotti said: “He had a problem with his hamstring so we are going to check in the next few days.
“I’m disappointed because he was in good condition, he worked really well and I hope he can recover soon.”
Everton had lost four of their most recent five Premier League fixtures and was caught cold by Burnley, who took a third-minute lead when Robbie Brady drilled home from 25 yards on his return from injury.
Brady has gifted the opportunity after a loose pass from Allan was intercepted by Ashley Westwood, but the Brazilian would atone later in the half.
Allan dispossessed Westwood and Burnley’s pleas for a foul fell on deaf ears before the Everton midfielder released compatriot Richarlison, whose first-time cross was turned in by a sliding Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Calvert-Lewin’s goal on the stroke of half-time was his 11th of the season as he continued his rich vein of form, but Burnley manager Sean Dyche was frustrated referee Anthony Taylor did not give a foul for Allan’s tackle.
Dyche said: “I don’t think VAR should be getting involved in everything on the pitch. It’s the referee I’m actually questioning.
“That for me is deemed a foul in modern football, I don’t actually agree that should be a foul but the rules and the way football pans out now, virtually every week that gets given.
“There was low-level contact on his shoulder, knee and foot but he still went over.
“I see it every week, those in the middle of the pitch are given all the time. Lo and behold when we need it: not given. It’s happened too many times this season.
“I ask my players not to roll around the floor, I ask them not to squeal or dive. But it’s actually costing us and it cost us here.”
Burnley remain in the relegation zone but Dyche was heartened by his side’s performance after last week’s 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City.
He added: “Overall I think it’s a good point. The performance level was what we’ve come to expect over a number of seasons here: the will, the command, the drive, and some of the quality was good as well.
“We created some good chances and look like an effective unit. I thought you saw a reaction from the group to try and get a result.”