They don’t ask how, just how many. Everton traveled to Turf Moor today and left with all three points thanks to a 5-1 win. It wasn’t quite as dominant as the scoreline suggested, and Burnley may have even created more chances from open play.
The Blues, though, were uncharacteristically efficient in taking their chances. Yerry Mina (corner) and Lucas Digne (free kick) both scored on set pieces, Gylfi Sigurdsson buried a penalty, and Digne completed his brace late on with an absolute howitzer past Joe Hart. Oh yeah, Richarlison added the fifth with a nifty outside of the boot finish well into stoppage time.
As expected, Sean Dyche’s relegation-threatened side posed a major physical threat. Bernard in particular was subject to numerous borderline challenges, and the Clarets got their only goal off a set piece. Marco Silva’s decision to play a towering back three paid off, though, as Everton mostly handled the aerial bombardment that came their way.
In the end, it was a rather strange performance from Everton. Previously against lower table sides, the Blues have dominated but been wasteful. Today, Everton weren’t dominant, but were ruthless, and that quality was the ultimate difference.
If Silva can find a suitable balance between the two traits moving forward, Everton will be just fine. Today’s three points were crucially important, certainly, but so too are the six points on offer against Brighton and Leicester.
The formation and personnel were somewhat unusual, but the result made it not matter. Marco Silva pulled the right strings on Boxing Day, and his players responded in kind. Onto the Seagulls, then.