Carlo Ancelotti needs Everton to feel like they’ve “touched” the top four after a victory over Southampton that puts them in line to overtake their rivals on Thursday.
Richarlison beat Fraser Forster to score the game’s only goal, putting Ancelotti’s side level on points with Liverpool and two points behind fourth-placed West Ham, who have a game in hand.
They would move into the fourth position if they beat West Bromwich Albion on Thursday, ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea, who play later that evening.
“We have a wonderful chance,” Ancelotti said after his side’s first league victory at home on December 19.
“I’m not sure how long it will be, maybe one day, two days, three days, but we want to hit the spot, so we have to give it our all on Thursday. If we are there, we must try to see how we feel.”
Richarlison’s score, which came off a pass from Gylfi Sigurdsson, was one of two shots on goal in a game in which neither team could find a consistent rhythm.
Offside was called on Michael Keane’s attempt, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin did well to clear James Ward-free-kick. Prowse’s
The visitors’ best chances came late in the game when Moussa Djenepo fired just wide of the far post after a promising move, and Jordan Pickford saved Jannik Vestergaard, leaving Danny Ings frustratedly kicking a post.
The injury-plagued Saints lost their eighth game in a row, but they are still seven points clear of the relegation zone.