Toni Rudiger labelled our start to the second half at Everton yesterday as ‘unacceptable’ and said it was that period of the game that cost us.
With the three teams around us not playing in the Premier League this weekend, we had a chance to make up ground on them in the race for a Champions League spot. We started well at Goodison Park and created a number of opportunities to take the lead, but none were converted and we were quickly punished after the break when Richarlison headed in.
A second Everton goal with 20 minutes remaining ended any chance of a comeback and Rudiger made no excuses afterwards.
‘It’s unacceptable the way we came out, and we lost the game in 10 minutes,’ he lamented.
‘We played a good first half, and we could have scored one or two, but we didn’t. The way we approached the second half is not acceptable. We were passive, and if you are passive against any opponent in this league, it’s dangerous.
‘It was like the same game against Wolves [last week], just this time we lost.’
There is now a two-week break for international football during which time Rudiger will join up with the German national team. When the domestic action returns for the final stretch of the season, starting with a trip to Cardiff, he is clear about what needs to be done.
‘We still have eight games to go, but we cannot always say ‘next week, next week, next week’. We really have to do better, definitely, because we were not allowed to lose this match.’