Everton manager, Carlo Ancelotti, said Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League loss to Aston Villa had dented their chances of European football next season and hoped their poor home form would not prove too costly at the end of the season.
Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi fired in a late goal to secure three points after Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin had cancelled out the visiting side’s opener through Ollie Watkins.
The result left Everton, who have won only one of their last 10 league games at home, eighth on 52 points. They trail fourth-placed Chelsea by nine points with five games remaining.
“We lost a big opportunity to stay in the fight,” Italian Ancelotti told the BBC. “We’re still in the fight but with less possibility and more difficulties.
“We didn’t start the game as well as this kind of game demands. It was an important game and would have been an important result.”
Everton’s poor home record is a contrast to their away form, with the Merseyside club winning 10 of their 16 matches on the road and losing only three, leaving Ancelotti at a loss to explain the team’s inconsistency.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s difficult to explain why, but it’s true,” Ancelotti added. “… The home run has affected us in the table. I hope it doesn’t affect us in the end.
“The season isn’t finished yet. There are five games and we have to keep fighting. We have important games still – to fight to reach our target.”
Everton visit fifth-placed West Ham United next Sunday.