It was a first away win of the season for the Blues as Gylfi Sigurdssons superb second half effort had the points heading back to Merseyside.
Everton lined up without a recognised striker as Richarlison was chosen to lead the line. The game started at a high tempo with both sides looking to take control of the game and assert their authority upon proceedings. Each side held a high press and the game looked open from the off.
Making his first league start, Bernard made a constant nuisance of himself on the wing, making life difficult for Amartey all afternoon. Just seven minutes into the contest and the Blues found themselves ahead when Bernard took the ball deep into the box using some lovely trickery before dinking the ball into an area in which Schmeichel failed to deal with. With the Danish keeper out of position it was left for that man Richarlison to confidently fire home putting the Toffees into the driving seat. Minutes later and Everton were unlucky not to find themselves two to the good as Sigurdsson couldn’t quite get on the end of Richarlisons scuffed effort.
The game always looked lively and the first goal did nothing to change that with each side enjoying quick breakaways. As the fast pace failed to die down, it was no surprise when the Foxes put themselves on level terms shortly before the break, countering Everton from their own corner. Ricardo Pereira picked the ball up and immediately broke away, linking up with Kelechi Iheanacho, before being played back in and turning Jonjoe Kenny inside out leaving the Everton right-back for dead, eventually finishing the move with Jordan Pickford’s touch not being enough to keep the ball out.
Going into the second, the game was well up for grabs but no team that had ever scored first in this fixture had gone on to lose and today was going to be no different. Events quieted down after the break with either side unable to match the intensity shown in the first, that was, until just past the hour mark when Foxes captain Wes Morgan saw red for a second bookable offence having caught Richarlison, from who the defender also fouled for his first. With the game turned on its head, Everton found inspiration and Silva’s men began to push for the lead.
As the Blues began to assert their dominance, Gylfi Sigurdsson came up with a moment of magic as the Icelandic midfielder took the game by the throat. In a move of pure genius, Everton’s number 10 received the ball and turned exquisitely before putting his stunning long range strike into the top left corner leaving Schmeichel helpless. It was Gylfi’s sensational effort that saw the Blues leave victorious despite seeing the hosts threaten well into stoppage time with the best of the chances falling to Amartey as the full-back missed his free header from close range.
Its back to back wins for the first time this season for the Blues and Silva’s men look as though they could finally be settling. The performance all afternoon was that of a very positive one with notable performances off Sigurdsson, Bernard and Digne being the standouts. The creativity and fearless offensive work is massively encouraging and Silvas style looks as if its growing game by game. The defensive side of the system will take time but slowly it is getting there. The last two league games have been massively improved and if the side can keep these levels up then the signs are promising.
As mentioned time and time again already, that man Gylfi Sigurdsson was fantastic all day. His goal on its own was enough to win this one but all afternoon the midfielder looked lively, created chances and looked a player full of confidence. Also mentions should be given to Bernard as the Brazilian worked tirelessly and constantly gave the Leicester defence problems to think about and his link up play and quick feet were immense. Kurt Zouma was solid at the back and had his best performance so far in a Blue shirt.
Overall though, it would be unfair to even consider anybody else but Gylfi today.
Next For Silva’s Men:
Everton now have a two week gap due to the international break before returning to league action as they welcome out of sorts Crystal Palace to Goodison. If the current level of performance is sustained then it should be another successful afternoon for the boys in Blue.