Everton’s Premier League encounter with West Ham United on Saturday was a game Marco Silva described as a ‘must-win’ match after losing four on the bounce. But while the Toffees rose to the occasion to beat the Hammers, Yerry Mina’s performance has seemingly been overlooked.
Everton welcomed Manuel Pellegrini’s Irons to Goodison Park on Saturday with the threat of matching their 2017/18 record from under Ronald Koeman, who was fired after taking just two wins from his opening nine league games in charge that season.
Silva saw that threat and realised the Hammers presented a must-win match for him and his side that had entered the campaign with aspirations of competing for the European places or potentially even the top-four with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all showing signs of weakness at stages thus far.
Instead, they entered the latest round of fixtures inside the bottom three while West Ham ventured north two points outside the Champions League spots, but goals by Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson ensured some of the pressure was taken off their manager’s shoulders and that Everton climbed out of the relegation zone.
The Brazilian and Icelandic midfielders’ efforts were notable, as were Theo Walcott’s, as he set the tone early on, carving the opening for Bernard to score and tormenting Arthur Masuaku, in the words of the Daily Mail.
Mina’s performance against the Irons was overlooked, though, as the 22-cap Colombia international was only given a six out of ten for his display, despite leaving the field to a standing ovation much like 8/10 Walcott.
The Blues centre-back deserved his applause for a resilient afternoon up against a physical striker in Sebastien Haller, who won ten aerial duels from 23 battles – more than three times as many as his on-the-day counterpart Richarlison, who fought for possession in the air seven times, per WhoScored data.
Mina was also busy in the air with 14 duels on Saturday, eight of which came defensively, while preventing the Hammers from scoring with two successful tackles, two clearances and three interceptions.
No player for either side recorded more interceptions than Mina, who also attempted more shots on target than all of Pellegrini’s visiting side, and was unfortunate not to be rewarded with a goal in the 78th minute when his effort was ruled out for an earlier free-kick.
BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton described the decision to rule out the goal as ‘really harsh’ (via Liverpool Echo), as the incident spotted by referee Paul Tierney was unclear to him and ex-Premier League official Peter Walton.
Had the goal not been ruled out, Mina may have seen his name lauded far more than it was for his influential presence against a West Ham side lacking a lethal edge.
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