Sunday 19 January 2020

Carlo's tweaks work the trick

Everton 1 Burnley 0

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Carlo Ancelotti's image appeared across much of the Gwladys Street End, staring out from a supersized banner featuring Everton's motto, Nil satis nisi optimum - 'Nothing but the best'.

That description may fit their Merseyside rivals better at the moment, but Ancelotti's debut win offered the first indication that he has the potential to transform Everton. He had a solitary training session to make his mark, but his inventive thinking led to the best moment, Dominic Calvert-Lewin's winner.

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An ambitious appointment brought a hint of a Midas touch to a mundane game, making it an occasion he savoured. "Today was really special," said the new Everton boss. "The reception was fantastic. It is a big club with a big tradition and we want to go to the top."

Ancelotti's most surprising selection was also his best. He picked two right-backs, using Djibril Sidibe in a more advanced role ahead of Seamus Coleman and it turned out well, when Calvert-Lewin met the Frenchman's terrific cross with a diving header that went in via Nick Pope's far post.

"We had one training session about the strategy of the game," Ancelotti explained. "For the first time it was good. We tried to build up with Coleman a little bit back and Sidibe more forward. Offensively, he stayed wide. It went well, because he put in the cross for Calvert-Lewin to score."

The receptiveness of Everton's players to Ancelotti's ideas bodes well.

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Molly Darlington/Action Images via Reuters
Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Molly Darlington/Action Images via Reuters

"He's a world-class manager and we need to soak it up like a sponge because these managers don't come around very often," said Coleman, who cut a busy figure on his recall.

Burnley's Ashley Westwood in action with Everton's Fabian Delph. Photo: David Klein/Reuters
Burnley's Ashley Westwood in action with Everton's Fabian Delph. Photo: David Klein/Reuters
Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson (left) and Burnley's Jack Cork battle for the ball. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson (left) and Burnley's Jack Cork battle for the ball. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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