Friday 20 September 2019

‘A very good player with a lot of quality’ – Silva hails match-winner Sigurdsson

Sigurdsson scored the only goal at Goodison Park in the 59th minute.

Gylfi Sigurdsson applauds the fans after his match-winning display (Peter Byrne/PA).
Gylfi Sigurdsson applauds the fans after his match-winning display (Peter Byrne/PA).

By Eleanor Crooks, Press Association Sport

Marco Silva praised Gylfi Sigurdsson after the playmaker’s goal earned Everton victory over Cardiff and a place in the Premier League’s top six.

Silva’s side are developing real momentum and Saturday’s 1-0 win was their fourth in a row at Goodison Park.

This was certainly not the prettiest of performances, and credit must go to Cardiff for their tenacity in sticking with Everton to the finish, but there was no doubt the hosts were the better team and they should have had more to show for it than Sigurdsson’s 59th-minute tap-in.

The Icelander had a simple task after Neil Etheridge pushed Theo Walcott’s shot into the middle of the area, but Sigurdsson’s quality shone through and he is Silva’s key creative presence.

“He’s performing well like we are playing,” said the Toffees boss. “The fantastic work the two behind him are doing as well, (Idrissa) Gana (Gueye) and Andre (Gomes), is helping him.

“He’s understanding more now what I want, the moves he has to do, what are the positions and the space on the pitch he has to receive the ball.

“He’s a very good player with a lot of quality, he can arrive well in the box like I like a player playing in that position (to do). He’s a fantastic professional who works every day and after it’s easy to understand how he can work as well on the pitch during the matches.”

Etheridge was by far the busier keeper – although Jordan Pickford produced a fine save to deny Victor Camarasa – and Ademola Lookman, Richarlison and Cenk Tosun all might have added to Sigurdsson’s effort.

Silva was more than content with the three points, though, saying: “I’m really happy because we won the match. We deserved to win.

“The game was nothing different than we expected. It was a different week for us, we had some players just working with us Thursday and Friday because of the international break.

“We created chances to kill the game, we didn’t do it, and after the game is always open until the end. They are strong in set-pieces, long throws, but we were mature in those moments. We started slowly, it was different the second half and we started to create more chances.”

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock was more than happy with the endeavour of his players, but bemoaned a lack of offensive quality.

He said: “At half-time I thought if we could play a bit better I said to the lads I thought we could get three (points), because I thought we could have done better in the final third. I thought we made them look quite average today. But that’s where you need that little bit more quality to create more.

“The goal was disappointing. I thought little things didn’t go for us today. I thought Kadeem Harris was fouled just before the goal, then Harry Arter kicked the ball off their lad for the throw-in and the ref somehow gives them a throw-in. Little things like that when you come away from home are very difficult to take.

“But I can’t fault the effort and I thought the fans epitomised that. It’s just a fantastic feeling at the minute, we’re all trying our hardest to stay in the best league in the world.”

PA Media

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