Gylfi Sigurdsson's sixth goal of the season proved to be enough for Everton
Marco Silva saluted the maturity of his team as they stuck to their task and saw out a 1-0 win over Cardiff at Goodison Park this afternoon.
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the game's only goal when he tucked home after Neil Etheridge had palmed Theo Walcott's shot into his path minutes after Sol Bamba had denied him with a goal-line clearance.
It was a game of few clear chances for a Blues side who enjoyed 71% of the possession overall but struggled to find their rhythm in the final third.
As expected, Neil Warnock's Cardiff made things difficult with a stubborn, defensively-minded display while they looked to try and make an impact at the other end from set-pieces and Aron Gunnarsson's long throws but Silva said that he and his players did their homework and got the job done despite the disruption of late returns from international duty.
“The game was nothing different from what we expected,” Silva said afterwards. “We have had some players working with us only on Thursday and Friday. It is not an excuse but we expected a tough game.
“We didn't score the second goal to kill the game off so it is always open to the end.
“Cardiff are strong at set pieces and from long throws and were getting lots of balls in our box. We worked well in those moments and were very mature.
“I am really happy because we won the match and deserved to win.”
Sigurdsson's strike was his sixth goal in his last eight Premier League games and it came against his former South Wales rivals from his Swansea City days which, perhaps, added a layer of satisfaction to the winning goal.
The Icelandic star said that the result reflected the patience that Everton had to maintain while they stuck to their game plan in an effort to break Cardiff down.
“It was similar to the Brighton game, when it was 1-1 at half-time,” Sigurdsson told evertonfc.com. “We knew we had to be patient, keep playing the ball, passing it around and eventually we were going to get chances.
“One goal was enough today because we kept another clean sheet.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. They are very hard to beat, they defend really well, and they are very dangerous when they have throw-ins and corners.
“They have got very strong players in the box, so I thought we dealt with it really well, especially near the end when they could have nicked a goal."
Reader Comments (20)
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1 Posted 24/11/2018 at 19:49:42
Another clean sheet is pleasing against what can be best described as a rather robust opponent in Cardiff.
Our centre halves look like they wont take any shit from anyone and Mina is the character and nasty arse we have always needed but its sad that Zouma who barely put a foot wrong has to be left out but thats the benefits of a good squad.
Its impossible to drop Keane this season because the transformation in that lad this season has been amazing, and we are seeing a confident lean mean slick defender that made us buy him in the first place.
Im pleased with Silva and his ideas and I feel confident that he knows what hes doing, its going to be another huge test for him next Sunday at the Pit to see if we can get something.
2 Posted 24/11/2018 at 21:15:28
Early days but I'm struggling to think of a better manager than this in years. Martinez had a bit of it but he was also a tool and stubborn. I think Silva isn't... which will make him a success. His tactics are spot on his subs are happening at the right time most of the time, and he isn't afraid of the media darlings.
I generally think we have the best chance in a very long time of winning at the sewer next week – mainly down to him.
3 Posted 24/11/2018 at 23:35:10
4 Posted 24/11/2018 at 23:46:56
5 Posted 24/11/2018 at 23:48:44
Maybe he'll see that it might be as hard to get into the Everton side as the Chelsea side that he wants to play in next season.
Finally, we have a manager that will pick the best team at his disposal; if Zouma warrants a place, then he'll get it on merit.
6 Posted 25/11/2018 at 00:29:04
Richarlison is better on the wing, but his threat keeps the opposition defence from putting their defensive line up. Both Tosun and Calvert-Lewin would be overrun by the defence. The pass-completion rate in the final third is still round 75 percent.
Being positive, Everton are 6th in the table and potientially higher if these areas can be addressed. It will take time but, if I had been told this time last year, that Everton would have a solid defensive capability, which can switch to an effective offensive capability, at this stage, I would have been more than happy.
7 Posted 25/11/2018 at 00:45:00
Good to watch, positive in possession, and becoming increasingly solid by the game.
Imo we wasn't great today, Gana wasn't his usual self, looked a little jaded, the right hand side didn't offer a lot as Theo kept looking for easy backwards passing instead of running at the defence, Bernard was poor, and Richarlison was a shadow of his recent self.
But despite all this we had positives to take away again, the biggest for me was Gomes, he bosses the match and was a million levels ahead of anyone in a Cardiff shirt.
Also Mina and Keane kept another clean sheet, that can only be good for confidence.
Like others have said, the Premier League offers no walkovers; each win needs to be earned and, even with all our possession and set plays, we didn't look at our best today, yet won the game. Go and ask Mark Hughes about his Southampton team today, they were also ahead on every stat but lost their game at Fulham.
Big match next week vs the Red Shite, let's hope the new Everton can play without fear and refuse to bottle it. If we can get Theo and Bernie firing for next week, we can scare the shit out of them and come at them from all over the place with fast creative lads up too.
Now we're up to 6th, we need to set targets like break into the top 4 or 5 before the end of the year. The timing of our form is good if we can keep this up through December, we might surprise a few so-called big sides.
8 Posted 25/11/2018 at 00:47:53
Sure Silva may have played a part in getting him back mentally to where he was at Burnley, but just as importantly the management team have ensured there are options in the squad now should they be needed. We now have 5 players capable of playing in central defence
Hopefully they can do some productive work in the transfer market to do the same up front! Richalison is doing a good job but there needs to be a real striker playing. I actually thought Calvert-Lewin should've come on yesterday, not Tosun.
Getting a few more goals out of this team would really have us contending. But what a difference from last season. Fat Sam would have treated Cardiff as if they were Madrid!!
9 Posted 25/11/2018 at 01:47:53
Getting results is the main thing even if some games are proving tougher than expected but then that's the Premier League. No easy games.
Wouldn't it be the icing on the cake for this half of the season if they could inflict the first blot on the RS next week but we need a referee who can be fair and unlike the one who denied Watford a clear penalty when the score was 0-0.
10 Posted 25/11/2018 at 03:15:18
So what a revelation he is now. Confident and assured, great positional sense, and he can pass the ball forwards. Were Koeman and Walsh brilliant or lucky?
11 Posted 25/11/2018 at 03:27:07
If you watched when he was subbed today, Silva embraced him and it was more than just a “good job”, it was emotional. I wouldn't be surprised if maybe Lookman was going to be in the starting 11 but Walcott wanted to play after his Grandfather passed and Silva did the thing great man-managers do and let him go out there with the team.
Yes, he's been wasteful in attack yet he also gets into good positions, with his movement leading to the goal today. That said, I think Silva knows that Lookman is taking that spot before the season is over, which is exactly why he and Brands refused to sell him despite the many on this site who called for “bad attitude” Lookman to be sold.
12 Posted 25/11/2018 at 08:51:06
Im sure he would shiny Richarlison back to the left if he was confident that we had a truly top class striker on our books but he probably looks at Tosun, DCL and Niasse and whatever way you dress that up, its hardly great options to have, its not Harry Kane is it?
So Silva probably feels sticking with Richarlison is his best bet until he can purchase a more clinical striker in a transfer window.
13 Posted 25/11/2018 at 09:05:32
14 Posted 25/11/2018 at 11:34:03
Pickford inspires a lot of confidence
Our two full backs, Coleman and Digne, are pretty decent, although you get the feeling that we have yet to see them at their best
2 clean sheets in 2 games for our new centre-back pairing, Keane and Mina; I don't see Silva changing that soon.
Our 3G Midfield (Gana, Gylfi and Gomes) is well settled now and complement each other very well.
The Front 3 is the problem area – they haven't clicked together as a unit, although there have been some excellent individual performances. Will Silva stick with Bernard, Richarlison and Walcott or will he give Lookman a look-in?
The glaring problem area for me is our corner conversion. We have converted 0 out of the (I don't know) 50+ corners so far this season? Those are terrible stats, I hope Silva works the corner routines really hard this week, it could mean the difference between Top 6 and out of it.
15 Posted 25/11/2018 at 11:45:56
Strange performance against a well organised defensive team. It was the type of game Ive seen us lose many many times. 3pts and us upto 6th. So content with that today.
Silvas signings have improved us all over the park. Gomes is getting better game by game, Digne has made me forget last season (Martina), he has settled in very well and moved Baines out on merit. Yerry helped keep 2 clean sheets and is only at 90%. The boys from Brazil both quality but put a shift in when needed and when things arent working out for them. I dont see any of them fearing a visit to Anfield, nor will the manager who has yet to taste defeat against Klopp. (That will soon change as EFC manager, weve all suffered long enough to know that unfortunately)
Gana is back to his best as the stats prove, Gylfi is starting to produce on a more consistent level.
So I for one see a lot more positives than negatives about this squad.
16 Posted 25/11/2018 at 12:18:08
17 Posted 25/11/2018 at 12:21:37
Koeman was rubbish. Silva at least tries to do the correct thing and is tactically better than Koeman and Fat Sam will ever be.
18 Posted 25/11/2018 at 13:11:20
Firstly – thanks for the kids' cards every birthday, they love getting cards from America.
Secondly – I was thinking the same about Walsh. We've got Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Sigurdsson, Gueye, Keane and Pickford under his watch, as well as a few promising youngsters such as Bowler and Gibson. Maybe Walsh wasn't as bad as some made out, he just needed a decent manager.
Not saying that I'd have Walsh over Brands, but his track record now is looking a little better.
19 Posted 25/11/2018 at 15:02:50
I've learned over the years to expect letdown and in a funny way I was more nervous about them in the 1990s when we were protecting such a proud unbeaten record for 5 years against them.
These days we have lost so many that whilst I'm not saying defeat hurts less, the likelihood is usually a Liverpool win or a draw (which these days I celebrate like a win).
We go there in reasonable form but I'm not expecting to get anything because that would go against the grain of how things have gone in the last two decades in derbies: they usually turn up for them and we don't.
If we rock up there and play out of our skin on Sunday and get a positive result then great but to do that all, and I mean ALL of our players will need to be bang on it and the attackers will need to be clinical because against their defence chances will be severely limited.
At Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal we were well in the games but spurned some really really good chances, Bernard at Chelsea in the second half springs to mind and Calvert-Lewin at Arsenal.
If we are to win at Anfield, then – when the chance presents itself – a hero needs to be made and the ball needs to be hitting the back of the net.
20 Posted 25/11/2018 at 16:30:26
I didn't know about Walcott's circumstances. Though he was having problems with the dual role that Silva is demanding of most of the players.
I agree with your thoughts on positioning; he does help Everton to keep their shape defensively and going forward but there will be increased competition for his place down the line.
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