Everton struggled through the opening frame today at home to Fulham, but no matter - apparently 90 minutes worth of effort and goals can be fit into just 45. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s superb brace sandwiched a first goal of the season for Cenk Tosun, and the Blues comfortably took all three points from the Cottagers.
- This was a match that Everton needed to win, and it was frustrating to see them start slow, particularly at home. Marco Silva utilized the same lineup as away to Arsenal, which in a way made sense - those 11 players played well and didn’t get the breaks. The first 45 today, though, was lackadaisical and poor.
- Marco Silva can give me a lecture any time, because the Blues came out in the second half with their hair on fire. Dominic Calvert-Lewin won a penalty, which Gylfi Sigurdsson missed, but it was a harbinger of things to come. Sigurdsson would fairly quickly redeem himself with a beautiful low shot into the bottom corner from distance, and we were off and running.
- For all of his athleticism and effort, DCL was fairly ineffective today and eventually replaced by Cenk Tosun. This bears mentioning given that the Turkish striker finally got off the mark for Everton’s second goal. Jonjoe Kenny beautifully played Theo Walcott around the corner of Fulham’s defense, and Theo provided an exquisite, lofted cross, and all that was left for Cenk to do was nod it into the back of the net.
- Let me be clear: Everton did extremely well to right the ship in the second half, and the clean sheet was particularly encouraging. It wasn’t quite all puppies and rainbows, unfortunately. The midfield two of Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies never really exerted their authority, and that has been a consistent problem for the club this season. Richarlison was fairly quiet, too, and may have picked up a knock after receiving some studs straight to the legs.
- In all, though, it’s difficult to find many complaints from a lovely afternoon at Goodison. Everton are better than Fulham, and they showed it.
- Andre Anguissa is still looking for Bernard. He has no idea what day it is. While he was searching, Gylfi scored again.
And so, it’s on to Southampton in the cup on Tuesday. That - yet again - is a winnable match for Everton, and if things go well, we could see a nice little run here. Bring on the Saints.