1. Winning not their best- a sign of a good side.
Before analysing the dominant second-half performance, it’s worth acknowledging the first 45 minutes against Fulham were below par for Everton. Although the visitors only edged the possession by 1% it surmises Everton’s poor start. Ball retention was poor and at times Everton looked penned into their own half.
The home advantage did not look evident in Everton’s play up until Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty miss in the 51st minute- then things changed..
2. Character and resiliency was shown.. By the Goodison crowd as well as the players.
With each side accumulating both 13 fouls, the game was feisty and well contested. Decisions going both for and against Everton- it was no surprise to see referee Rodger East first wave away the penalty incident, had it not been for the linesman, Goodison would have erupted.
The penalty miss riled up both Sigurdsson and the crowd alike. It was the perfect response by Sigurdsson who contributed two goals and two top class finishes at that. The crowds mood shifted following the first goal and both the team and Goodison felt in tune. Fortress.
3. A solid defensive performance.
A clean sheet for the first time this season! And full credit to the backline for their performances- Micheal Keane in particular. 50 touches and seven aerial duels won. It’s quite incredible taking into account his recent hairline fracture.
Jordan Pickford’s 1v1 save against Vietto was immense, and Idrissa Gueye cemented his place on the team sheet for the foreseeable future. 81 touches, 88% pass completion, 10 tackles. What a performance.
4. Cenk back amongst the goals..
Following a six game goal draught, Cenk Tosun was elated to head home in front of the Gwladys Street courtesy of a magnificent far post cross by Theo Walcott.
One would hope this run of goalscoring form continues, even if goals come from off the bench as they did in this instance.
5. Bernard is boss 2.0..
Again, Brazilian Bernard lit up Goodison Park with an exquisite piece of ball manipulation before delaying a pass into the path of Sigurdsson who sealed the 3-0 win.
With Southampton in the League Cup on Tuesday, Bernard surely by now has to be in contention to start a game as opposed to only having 20 minutes max to showcase his ability. Let him run wild Marco.