Gylfi Sigurdsson says Everton’s “fantastic” performance in the 4-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday shows the heights the Blues are capable of reaching.
The Icelander, who netted his 13th Premier League goal of the season as the Toffees recorded their biggest win against the Red Devils in 35 years, says the team must strive to sustain their impressive levels in their final three matches of the campaign.
Roared on by a rapturous Goodison Park crowd, Marco Silva’s team utterly dominated against top-four contenders United.
Everton rained in 15 shots at goal, of which eight were on target. In contrast, the visitors mustered only one goalbound effort during the 90 minutes – Jordan Pickford safely gathering from Anthony Martial’s 85th-minute attempt.
The Toffees' superiority was further underlined by the fact they won 10 corners, compared to the away side’s two.
Club-record signing Sigurdsson was at the hub of much of the Blues’ scintillating attacking play.
As well as finding the net with a typically exemplary strike from 25 yards out, his defence-splitting pass played in substitute Theo Walcott who rounded off the day’s scoring with a cool finish midway through the second half. Sigurdsson has now contributed five top-flight assists this term.
The victory over United lifts Everton up to seventh in the Premier League table.
Sigurdsson is confident the Blues can finish the campaign in this position if they continue playing with the same verve, intensity and ambition in their remaining games.
Next up for Silva’s side is a trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Saturday, before Burnley visit L4 on Friday 3 May. Everton finish the season by taking on Tottenham Hotspur at the north London club’s new stadium the following weekend.
“The target now is to try to finish off the season strongly,” said Sigurdsson, who joined the Blues from Swansea City in 2017.
“We’ve got a few tough games left and if we perform like we did against United, that [seventh] is where we can finish.
“Overall, it was a very good day. Four goals, a clean sheet and three points as well. It was a very entertaining game.
“I think we started the game really well. It was nice to get two goals in the first half, keep a clean sheet and play some good football. It was fantastic.
“For my goal, I just wanted to hit it as hard as I could, keep it low and it was hard for the keeper to get down to save it. I’m happy with the assist as well.
“I’m happy with my return this season [13 Premier League goals]. I could have had a few more - but I think you always want more.”
The victory was Everton's third on the spin at Goodison, with each of these successes achieved against top-six opposition - Arsenal and Chelsea had previously been despatched at the Grand Old Lady. Over the course of these three matches, Everton have scored seven goals and conceded none.
The Toffees controlled Sunday's contest from start to finish, and Sigurdsson was eager to highlight the role of Morgan Schneiderlin, who was making his first start since the Merseyside derby on 3 March.
Alongside the tireless Idrissa Gana Gueye in the midfield engine room, the Frenchman consistently harried United players and helped the Blues recover possession.
The 29-year-old's quality on the ball was also evident, with his 89.6 per cent passing accuracy the highest of any player on the pitch who completed the 90 minutes.
“Morgan came in against Liverpool and was outstanding - and he was fantastic again,” said Sigurdsson.
“It shows how professional he is.
“It’s good to be able to bring someone in who can perform the way he did.”
The Icelandic playmaker also paid tribute to striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose strength, link-up play and intelligent movement again impressed as he started his eighth successive Premier League match.
The England Under-21 international was instrumental in Everton’s opening goal, rising brilliantly to head Lucas Digne’s long throw onto Richarlison, who acrobatically rifled a volley past David De Gea.
Sigurdsson praised Calvert-Lewin’s expansive range of attributes as well as his hunger to improve.
"Dom is fantastic," he said. “He has got an incredible leap – he can jump as high as anyone.
“He is very fit, very strong and quick as well, so it is hard for the defenders to deal with him.
"His physical ability is fantastic for such a young player.
"He has been playing really well in the past couple of months and he is always learning.”