Gylfi Sigurdsson says Everton’s feel-good factor and “will to win” were instrumental in the Blues getting their home campaign off to a flying start.
Sigurdsson turned in a man of the match performance as first-half goals from Theo Walcott and Richarlison ensured a 2-1 victory over Southampton in Marco Silva’s first competitive fixture at Goodison Park.
Having been sacrificed in a tactical reshuffle following Phil Jagielka’s 40th-minute sending off at Wolverhampton Wanderers on the opening weekend, Sigurdsson looked determined to get his season started in earnest, demonstrating his quality on the ball throughout and constantly driving his side towards the opposition goal.
As well as finding his intended target with 19 of his 25 passes, the Iceland World Cup star also registered six key passes against the Saints.
And with Everton unbeaten from their first two outings of the 2018-19 campaign, Sigurdsson says the confidence is in place to extend that run at Bournemouth next weekend.
Asked about the importance of making a winning start at home, the 28-year-old told evertonfc.com
: “It was nice, especially to build on last weekend’s performance.
“It’s good to have four points and we’ve got a tough game next weekend to make it seven.
“The fans are always good and they were right behind the team, and I thought the energy today, the hard work and just the will to win got us through in the end.
“There is [a feel-good factor]. We’re unbeaten this season and hopefully it will continue.
“It’s a new manager, a new season, so things are different and hopefully we’ll do well.”
Sigurdsson's map of successful passes illustrates his willingness to drive the Blues forward. The Icelander also made six key passes against the Saints.
Everton’s opener came when Walcott applied a deft finishing touch to an expertly-crafted free-kick routine involving Leighton Baines and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Richarlison then headed in his third in two games from Walcott’s cross, before Danny Ings struck Southampton’s reply with a poacher’s finish nine minutes after the break.
Sigurdsson almost teed up Walcott for an Everton third, while the England winger also saw a goal ruled out for offside.
And while the reduced advantage forced the Blues to remain on their mettle until the very final kick, the Icelander concurred with his manager’s assessment that the best side won
“I thought it was a really good start and to be 2-0 up at half-time was terrific," he said.
“It was probably a sloppy goal to concede, which made it hard for us towards the end. But we dug in and kept it at 2-1.
“It [the first goal] was really good. It was a fantastic goal and it’s nice to put the work in on the training ground and then see it come off.
“And it proved a vital goal, too.”