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Ancelotti: It’s been a very good week for Everton

Manager’s comments as Toffees hold off Saints for first league home win of 2021

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-SOUTHAMPTON Photo by PETER BYRNE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Everton did just enough to edge ahead of Southampton and then stay there as they finally ended their home hoodoo of 2021 and picked up a much-needed three points. And while the Blues remain in seventh place level with Liverpool on points, they do have a game in hand on every team ahead of them and will look to keep moving up when they are back in action on Thursday at West Bromwich Albion.

Back to today though, Carlo Ancelotti was pleased to pick up the win that caps off a very good week for the Blues that started with an Anfield Derby win, the city approving the construction plans for the new stadium, Lucas Digne signing an extension and now the victory today at Goodison Park.

“It’s been a very good week, a very good performance. I really appreciate the teamwork, we were focused defensively and did really well.

“We had a good combination in front. The performance was good and we deserved to win.”

Richarlison’s winner was much like the one he scored against Liverpool last time around.

“Similar. We won a second ball and then Richarlison did a good movement at the back, the position of our striker was a little bit different. Dominic Calvert-Lewin played centre right and did in my opinion really well.

“Richarlison is a fantastic talent, we have the luck that we have two fantastic strikers with different characteristics and they are really effective in front.”

Saints had a number of chances late on, did he feel they had let the visitors back into the game?

“When you are one-nil up the last minutes are always the same, the opponent team puts a lot of power in and we had to control. There were some set-pieces, but they had practically one opportunity and they shot wide.

“Pickford was good in the goal, really secure. I am really pleased, honestly.”

Europe has always been the goal, and the Blues startlingly bad form at Goodison Park (only 12th best in the league after today’s win), how far up the table is Ancelotti aiming?

“To fight for European places we needed to improve the home run that was not good, this performance and victory can help us have a better run at home.

“It will be a dream to be in the top four at the end of the season. It is not an utopia because we are quite close, if we win Thursday, we can be in the top four.

“But the season is long. We have to stay on our goal which is to play Europe next season.”