In an even game, the difference was new signing Neal Maupay grabbing the winner from the one clear chance he had while the visitor’s Said Benrahma rattled the post soon after. Speaking after the game, manager Frank Lampard was pleased for the striker opening his Toffees account in his second game for the Blues.
“We brought him in for that reason. He’s a proven Premier League scorer. We played some games early season with false nines, trying to find solutions.
“There were times in games with that bit of clinical finishing, we would have got more points. How close he kept that first touch and how quickly he shot is why he scored.
“It’s a fantastic goal. A goalscorer’s goal. the first touch is clinical and it’s not easy to keep it tight and get your shot away. You rely on that feeling of a striker and we maybe draw that game if Neal isn’t there.
“You can see we’ve added a lot in the dressing room. We have to be hard to beat.”
The Toffees had been sitting on four points after a quartet of consecutive draws achieved in different manners, but the Blues’ performances so far had certainly been due for a victory.
“It’s a win that has been a little while coming. We probably have deserved it somewhere this season already but it hadn’t come. We have been hard to beat recently but we haven’t had that clinical edge in front of goal but today we had that.
“It feels like a win that is deserved because it was coming. We are working for it and the lads are owning it. The new players are settling in well. We are playing a different shape to what we were and today we showed little bits and we will get better. The big thing is the three points to give confidence going into the international break.
“It was amazing to stay up like we did last year but we knew we needed to be more stable defensively in this league. The players that are coming in and the ones that are coming in are doing well. We are far from the finished article but not conceding too many goals is something we should be proud of.”
The Goodison Park crowd have continued to play a key part in boosting the Blues at home.
“The reality is we’ve worked hard this season and deserved more. Our fans are amazing.
“To hold on, fight, dig in, we showed a lot of parts. We’ll get better. This team has to be a reflection of the fans. The passion of the fans, they demand things and they’d better see them. We have players who can deliver that, characters.
“Hopefully our football can get even better. Hopefully the fans are happy. Nobody is getting carried away. At the moment there’s a decent feeling round the place.”