Everton ground out a 2-1 win at Southampton earlier today, with manager Marco Silva relieved, but adamant that the Blues were robbed of the accolade of getting their first Premier League away win of the season a fortnight ago.
For the 3,294 Blues who braved the elements to get to St. Mary’s and the other long-suffering fans watching nervously at home and in pubs worldwide, it was long overdue.
“We should’ve taken the points 15 days ago - it wasn’t our fault we lost against Brighton. But we are really happy we won the game. We were the best team on the pitch.
“But it is reality and for sure we are happy we won the game. We are really happy because we deserved all three points. Congratulations to our players and fans as well. They deserved it.”
The fact that the Premier League have admitted in private to the club that VAR got it wrong with the penalty decision that was awarded to Brighton & Hove Albion, upon which they built their 3-2 comeback win only pours salt in the Blues’ wounds.
Silva had made three changes to his starting lineup, but the biggest surprise was youngster and summer purchase striker Moise Kean being left out of the squad. Pressed for an answer after the game, the manager insisted it was just a tactical decision and that the player had responded well to it.
“(A) decision, just a decision. (His reaction was) really good. For sure, he will react stronger the next training sessions when he will be with us.
“Moise is working really hard. He is a young boy with a very good quality as well, doing his best to adapt as fast as we can to a different football as well.
“He has all of my support and my staff and his team-mates to keep growing. For sure he will do that and in some weeks and some months you will see Moise in a better level for sure.”
Following the sparing manner in which Silva used another precocious youngster Ademola Lookman last season, fans have been concerned on how Kean will react to this as it appears he’s not being given a chance to show what he can do at striker, but is he also getting outworked in training which is leading to this?
There was some controversy earlier in the week when Silva appeared to insinuate that Richarlison had been going to ground too easily and needed to be stronger.
“He is a top, top player - still young - but he is a top, top player. I said other things as well.
“The last two away games we had penalties on Richarlison. We are working with him to be more brave.”
Finally, the three points will have relieved some pressure on the Portuguese manager.
“Maybe if you talked more about the football and less about the pressure it would be different.
“For me football is a privilege. Being manager of Everton is a privilege.”