Marco Silva says Everton showed their vast potential in scoring two second-half goals to topple Chelsea and give a vocal Goodison Park crowd “what they deserved”.
Richarlison stooped to head his 12th Premier League goal of the season and put Everton ahead four minutes after half-time.
And Gylfi Sigurdsson wrapped up the three points when he converted on the rebound after having his 72nd-minute penalty saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Everton had chances to add to their tally – most notably when Kepa denied substitute Theo Walcott – after a first-half when Chelsea made most of the running.
“In the second half we showed ourselves and were able to challenge and compete and win,” said Everton manager Silva.
“We gave our fans what they deserved, they were behind us even in a tough first half.
“This game was really important for us to achieve three points to give our players the confidence we needed and to give the fans three points after our last game.
“I told our players at half-time, they had to do everything different to win the game.
“We had our plan and strategy to achieve the victory.
“But we have to always do what we did in the second half, show that aggression with and without the ball and the desire to win the game; playing forward when we have the ball and creating problems for our opponents.”
Everton pinned Chelsea back immediately after the break, Bernard inches from connecting with a Dominic Calvert-Lewin delivery and Andre Gomes drawing an athletic stop from Kepa with a curling 20-yard effort.
Silva’s side forged ahead when Richarlison was on hand to turn home after Kepa had kept out Calvert-Lewin’s initial header.
Chelsea responded with a Gonzalo Higuain strike turned away by the excellent Jordan Pickford but Maurizio Sarri’s team was finding little joy against an obdurate Everton side.
Indeed, in contrast to the opening 45 minutes, it was Everton looking most likely as an attacking proposition.
And after Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso tripped Richarlison, Sigurdsson drew level with the Brazilian on a dozen league goals for the season when he coolly rolled home after Kepa repelled his effort from 12 yards.
Everton’s first victory since 2017 over any of the Premier League’s current top six teams moves them within four points of seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“It is up to us to work together and do the right things for it be more normal to beat these strong sides,” said Silva.
“It is not an easy thing to achieve but I am 100 per cent sure we can do it more, even this season, because we have opportunities to do that.
“It is really important for me but more important for our players. They have to believe in their quality.”
Everton have claimed seven points from their past four matches, the Blues’ only defeat in that period coming last week at Newcastle United.
Silva was pleased to claw back the three points he felt his team surrendered in the north east. And the boss is keen, now, for his side to follow Sunday’s victory with success at West Ham United following the forthcoming international break.
“We had to show we could give a strong answer and take back the points we gave away last week, to put them in our pocket this afternoon and give our fans what they deserved – the three or four thousand who were at Newcastle last week, also," added Silva.
“The fans were the key again today and it is really important for them to have this good feeling.
“Our motivation always has to be at the very top level working at a club like Everton.
“This match is done and my job is to prepare the players well for the next game at West Ham.”