Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson says Marco Silva picked the perfect game plan to beat Burnley.
The Blues switched to a central back three formation for the trip to Turf Moor, with Yerry Mina and Bernard coming into the side in place of Tom Davies and Richarlison.
Silva’s tactical adaptability bore fruit inside two minutes as Mina climbed highest in the Burnley box to nod Bernard’s lofted cross past Joe Hart, setting Everton on their way to a thumping 5-1 success on Boxing Day.
Lucas Digne netted a free-kick to double the lead 10 minutes later and Sigurdsson himself made it 3-0 from the penalty spot, before second-half goals from Digne and Richarlison made it the Blues' best league away win since September 1985.
Iceland international Sigurdsson had missed his previous penalty against Watford but when Ben Mee handled in the box, he stepped up confidently to fire past Hart.
“The gaffer spoke to me and said he still believed in me,” he said. “That was back after the Watford game, and he told me that I was going to take the next penalty that we got. I just kept working on it in training and thankfully this one went in.
“It is great to have his faith in me. It is, of course, disappointing to miss penalties, but it comes with the job. Some you will score and some you won’t.
“You just have to keep working on them and if the manager wants you to step up and take them then it’s up to you to take on that responsibility for the team and score. Thankfully I managed to do that against Burnley.”
While the Toffees’ efficient attacking display caught the eye, Sigurdsson – deployed alongside fellow offensively-minded midfielder Andre Gomes in the Blues’ engine room – saluted the efforts of his teammates as they repelled the aerial bombardment delivered by the Clarets.
Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma and Mina, the Blues’ back three, contributed to 21 clearances between them as they worked tirelessly to stave off Burnley’s attempts to salvage anything from the game.
“Obviously it was a different game with a lot of long balls and trying to pick up the second balls after our defenders were dealing with them,” he added. “I thought the formation suited us perfectly given the way Burnley play.
“We had our wing backs pushing on, which helped. I enjoyed the game - it would be hard not to after a result like that. We are happy with it.
“Credit to the boys, we started the game really well and it was perfect to score after only a couple of minutes. It made it a bit easier for us.
“From the Tottenham game, we tried to learn from it and take that into this fixture against a very tough team to play against, especially when they are at home. It was the perfect day to help forget about what happened against Spurs.”