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Special praise for midfield trio from Silva

Manager’s comments after a nervy home win

Manchester United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Everton dominated the game against a resolute Cardiff City, and were able to nick a 1-0 win at Goodison Park today. Gylfi Sigurdsson potted the winner in the second half after the Bluebirds goalie Neil Etheridge palmed away Theo Walcott’s shot into the Icelander’s path.

Speaking after the game, manager Marco Silva commended the gamewinner, while also talking about what is making the Blues tick in the middle of the pitch.

“He’s performing well like we are playing. The fantastic work the two behind him are doing as well, Idrissa Gueye and Andre Gomes, is helping him.

“He’s understanding more now what I want, the moves he has to do, what are the positions and the space on the pitch he has to receive the ball.

“He’s a very good player with a lot of quality, he can arrive well in the box like I like a player playing in that position (to do). He’s a fantastic professional who works every day and after it’s easy to understand how he can work as well on the pitch during the matches.”

The Toffees had created sixteen shots, with eight on goal, and Silva was happy to get the three points.

“I’m really happy because we won the match. We deserved to win.

“The game was nothing different than we expected. It was a different week for us, we had some players just working with us Thursday and Friday because of the international break.

“We created chances to kill the game, we didn’t do it, and after the game is always open until the end. They are strong in set-pieces, long throws, but we were mature in those moments. We started slowly, it was different the second half and we started to create more chances.”

Speaking separately to the BBC Sport afterwards, Silva expounded on how he saw the game go today.

“We were mature and competent. We should have scored the second to kill the match, but we deserved the three points.

”The most important thing was the win. The first half was not the best performance, we started slow. We should do things faster against teams like this who are strong in defence.

”It was different in the second half, we started to create more problems. But every moment we didn’t score the game is always open, that is the Premier League.

”You always want to play better. That is football, and we were playing against a compact defensive team with lots of individual marking. Until the other team has scored the first or even the second the game was always like that in their [Cardiff’s] other away games too.

”We were the better team on the pitch. We shot 16 times, controlled the ball and had more than 70 per cent possession, more corners, everything more – it wasn’t the best performance but we played game our way.

”The game is always like that until a second goal, so being mature on the pitch again was important for me.

”We keep taking the results and a clean sheet is important. The players are working really hard, all together with good spirit, and that is what I want.

”We are happy. We will analyse the match and then prepare for the next one, like we always do.”