POPE V PICKFORD

With Gareth Southgate in attendance and the battle for goalkeeping spots in the England squad hotting up this was an audition for two Three Lions hopefuls in Nick Pope and Jordan Pickford.

A penny for Southgate’s thoughts. Pickford was the more eye catching for a while, making excellent saves to deny Ashley Barnes and Aaron Lennon. But his role in both goals is certainly questionable.

Matt Lowton made the most of Pickford’s unnecessarily deep position to thread a ball through to Barnes for the equaliser, while the former Sunderland goalkeeper was caught under Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s corner for Chris Wood’s winner.

Pope’s performance had neither the highs nor the lows of Pickford’s. There weren’t the crowd pleasing saves, but the 25-year-old denied Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott in the first half and made a couple of commanding claims late on.

Pope is surely still an outside bet to make the World Cup, but he can’t have done his prospects much harm here. Pickford showed his enormous potential, but he was far from faultless.

COMEBACK KINGS

The stats associated with Sean Dyche’s Burnley tend to be positive. But there is one that has been gathering in numbers and momentum this season, until it was banished on Saturday.

This was the 54th time the Clarets had conceded first under Dyche in the Premier League. On the 53 previous occasions they’d failed to come back to win. Not any more.

This Is Lancashire:

At half-time there was talk in the press box that this could be the day. Burnley didn’t deserve to be behind at the break and had looked positive.

After the game Dyche revealed he’d told his players they had nothing to lose during the interval and they played like it in the second half, pinning the Toffees back for long periods and they deserved to finally land that comeback success.

SUBS

A week ago Dyche was criticised for not using his substitutes, the first time he hadn’t gone to his bench in two years.

Against Everton he made only one change but it was a positive and early substitute and it had a huge impact on the game.

Jeff Hendrick had another difficult 45 minutes in the number 10 role but having seen his side go in behind, despite playing well, Dyche took the bull by the horns. Off came Hendrick, on came the returning Wood.

This Is Lancashire:

The change increased Burnley’s dominance. Ashley Williams and Michael Keane couldn’t cope with the twin threat and Barnes and Wood struck up a promising partnership.

KEANE’S RETURN

Talking of Keane, this week a mixed first return to Turf Moor. The centre back, given a warm round of applause when his name was read out before kick-off, admitted his first season at Goodison had been indifferent and it seems there remains plenty of doubters amongst the Blues’ support.

He turned in a strong first half performance, coping well with Barnes’ physical threat and looking assured.

But he was unsettled in the second half and the Clarets preyed on the suggestion he is struggling to defend on his left hand side. Twice Barnes got in behind on that side to Matt Lowton through balls.

This Is Lancashire:

The performances at Burnley that earned Keane his move to Everton and Burnley a £28million profit came with the 25-year-old on the right side of defence, so why he is being played on the left now is something of a mystery.

BACK FOUR

We’ve become so used to seeing a settled back four at Burnley that’s been unusual in recent weeks to see all of Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Stephen Ward out of the side at one point or another.

Injuries and suspensions have played their part and this was the first time they have all started together since November 26, when Lowton picked up an injury that ruled him out.

At that point the Clarets have kept six clean sheets in their first 13 Premier League games, but only four have followed in the 16 since.

The return of this settled defence should help Burnley tighten up again over the final weeks of the season, although they were occasionally unsettled on Saturday, especially in the first half when the visitors looked a threat on the break.