Marco Silva says Gylfi Sigurdsson’s stirring second-half double against Fulham represented a “perfect example” of the character the manager wants from his Everton team.
Sigurdsson recovered from the blow of missing a 52nd-minute penalty in quick and decisive fashion. The midfielder swept a precision finish into the bottom corner from 18 yards four minutes after his spot-kick had thudded the bar.
And with one minute remaining Sigurdsson strode forward to caress the ball beyond Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli for his third Premier League strike this season.
Sigurdsson’s goals sandwiched a close-range header from Cenk Tosun as Everton completed a 3-0 victory, which Silva considered “a really important result”.
“It was a good score, a really important score because, for us, it was really important not to just get the three points but to win the game, if possible, with a clean sheet,” Silva told evertontv.
“It was really important for our confidence as a team and for our defensive organisation, as well.
“Our second-half was really our image as a team, what we want to do. Even if in some moments you do not perform like you want, you always have to go in that way – be aggressive, because in the first half we didn’t show the normal aggression we need to without the ball.
"Many times Fulham played without pressure but the second half was really different.”
Sigurdsson lifted his penalty against the woodwork after Dominic Calvert-Lewin was fouled by defender Denis Odoi in the box.
Four minutes later Odoi and Sigurdsson were in the thick of the action, once more. The Everton player was alert to a quick throw from Jonjoe Kenny and sent a measured return pass forward for the right-back.
Odoi could only partially clear Kenny’s delivery and Sigurdsson drilled in first time from the edge of the box. Tosun converted Walcott’s cross 11 minutes after coming on for Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson gave the scoreline a more emphatic look with a controlled finish from substitute Bernard’s layoff.
Silva was pleased with his team’s precision in front of goal and derived an equal measure of satisfaction from Everton recording their first clean sheet of the campaign.
“Without doubt [the clean sheet is as pleasing as scoring three goals],” said Silva. “It is really important as a coach, the players know as well how important it is, first to win, but also to get a clean sheet is really important.
“Gylfi is one perfect example [of the attitude I want from Everton].
"It is really important to show the type of character that Gylfi has shown. Not just his goals but he pressed and worked really hard after he missed the penalty.
"He won the throw-in. He created that moment, with the one-two with Kenny, and after... it was fantastic finish – he has that capacity. This afternoon, football was fair to him – because he worked really hard, like all the boys worked really hard."