For nearly 80 minutes, it appeared as if Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton debut would match the dreary Goodison Park weather. The Blues predictably dominated Burnley in possession and in the shot totals, for most all of it not to matter. Gylfi Sigurdsson had an incredible game delivering free kicks, only to see header after header skied over or shot wide.
The day began with an interesting tactical choice from the new manager. Djibril Sidibe was moved into the midfield, with Seamus Coleman starting behind him. Everton operated out of a 3-5-2, with both Mason Holgate and Coleman given license to foray forward when required. The decision kept the Clarets pinned back, but the majority of proceedings were empty possession.
The French fullback bombing forward from a more advanced position would eventually pay off. Sidibe has shown his quality again and again this season, and an inch-perfect cross for Dominic Calvert-Lewin extended the trend. DCL leapt, dove, and pinged his header off the post and in. Goodison finally erupted, and better late than never.
It is, of course, too soon to say how all of this will go. The fixtures will now come thick and fast, with Newcastle away next, followed by a terrifying trip to Manchester City. What can surely be said, however, is that Carlo Ancelotti roaming the touchline brought a new and different sense of gravity to the blue side of the Mersey. There was an air of authority. There were exasperated faces shot towards the referee. Most of all, there were three points.