Fabian Delph said Everton’s strong mentality was key to taking maximum points from a breathless Premier League clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
Richarlison’s brilliant header 10 minutes from time secured a hard-earned 3-2 victory for Marco Silva’s men at Goodison Park, who had twice been pegged back by the away side.
The Brazilian had put Everton ahead after just five minutes, steering home after Wolves keeper Rui Patricio’s attempted clearance cannoned off Moise Kean.
Wolves’ response was instant – Romain Saiss lashing past Jordan Pickford – but Alex Iwobi swiftly restored Everton’s advantage. The Nigeria international, who alongside Delph was making his maiden Goodison appearance for Everton, rose high to head into the top corner from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s inviting centre.
Wolves hit back against the run of play when Raul Jimenez nodded in 15 minutes from time, but Richarlison’s pinpoint header saw the Blues register a sixth successive home victory.
Midfielder Delph pointed to Everton’s meticulous preparation and successful execution of Marco Silva’s strategy as decisive factors in the victory.
“I felt like we planned very well going into this game,” he said.
“The mentality was right all week. We knew what we needed to do and we definitely delivered today.
“We want to play with the ball, but we need to be sensible.
“Everybody knows their positions. We want to play football but we have to be smart and I felt like we utilised that today.
“Everybody works very hard [in training] and, before the game, we said, 'We’ve got to stick together'. Everybody knew the gameplan and we’re delighted with how it went.”
Delph delivered an authoritative display on what was his Premier League debut for Everton.
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WATCH: Two-Minute Highlights Of Everton v Wolves
The 29-year-old was a livewire presence in the midfield engine room, regularly harrying the opposition, winning possession and delivering penetrative passes into the final third.
His composure in possession also impressed, highlighted by the fact he completed an impressive 85.5 per cent of his passes.
The midfielder praised his Everton teammates for helping him to quickly settle into life at Everton and outlined his hunger to play an important role for the Blues over the 2019/20 campaign.
“The lads have welcomed me with open arms,” he added. “They are a great group and I get on really well with all the boys.
“I’m just happy to be here. It’s a new challenge and I’m excited for it.
“It’s a different shade of blue (to City), but I’ve got the same drive, mentality and desire.
“I’m here to do a job and I’ll give nothing less that 100 per cent.”