Victor Anichebe marked his return to the first team with a goal as Everton won away for the first time since September at West Ham.
Not since the 3-0 win at Swansea City had David Moyes’ men picked up maximum points on the road but a come-from-behind victory over the Hammers handed Blues fans an early Christmas present.
Having netted in that match against the Swans, Anichebe was back on the scoresheet on his return to the first team, having recovered from a hamstring injury.
His deft header sparked a Toffees fight-back after Carlton Cole had earlier put the East Londoners ahead, before Steven Pienaar completed the turnaround with a bundled finish past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
It was the perfect return for the Nigerian hit-man who was delighted to be back in the thick of the action.
“I was really pleased with the goal but even more so to stay on for the whole game,” he told evertontv. “I was doing well before I got the hamstring injury, but these things happen and hopefully now I can stay as fit as possible. Hopefully I can help the team out and we can keep progressing.”
Anichebe was quick to praise the hard work of the medical team at Everton for their hard work in helping him through his recent injury. “The goal meant a lot to me,” he added. “The physios, the staff, the team, everyone has helped be go through being injured again.
“I’ve never really had a hamstring injury before but they have shown me support and I was just happy to be back and to help the team. Sometimes I do celebrate and sometimes I don’t but inside I am always extremely happy. It’s always a blessing to score, even just to step onto the pitch.”
Now back, Anichebe hopes he has done enough to keep his place in the starting line-up, particularly with a number of absentees over the Christmas period.
“At Everton you are always going to get chances,” he insisted. “You always know that the manager is always going to need his players.
“At the moment Felli and Kevin are out, but we have got other players who can come in and help the team, like we showed yesterday. Hopefully we can keep progressing through this Christmas period and keep the momentum going.”