Marco Silva paid tribute to his Everton side for “embracing the challenge” of jump-starting their campaign against West Ham United on Saturday.
Bernard and substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson scored thrilling goals either side of half-time to earn Everton a win their fluid and incisive football deserved.
Indeed, the margin of victory could have been greater, Everton having 19 shots and drawing a host of saves from West Ham goalkeeper Roberto.
Silva, who made five changes to his side for this game, had called on his team to adopt a “must-win mentality” against the Hammers in a bid to curb a run of four straight Premier League defeats.
His players responded to their manager’s demand and relocated the form which saw them claim seven points from their opening four games this season.
“We deserved the three points and should have scored more goals,” said Silva.
“But the way we played was very good, quality football from the first minute. We embraced the game and the challenge.
“The past few results were not good enough and we had to react.
“It has to be privilege for us to do what we love.
“I asked the players to express themselves on the pitch and they did that.
“I was really pleased with how we played football this afternoon.
“We did well as a collective and had some very good individual performances as well.”
Bernard was one of the five players Silva introduced to his starting XI and the Brazilian opened the scoring in exquisite fashion.
Receiving a pass from another recalled player in Theo Walcott, Bernard jinked and swivelled to escape defender Arthur Masuaku before firing beyond the overworked Roberto.
Sigurdsson came on for livewire Alex Iwobi with three minutes remaining and used his limited time on the field to stunning effect.
The midfielder had already forced Roberto into one sprawling stop when he gathered possession 25 yards out and uncorked an arcing strike which flew in underneath the crossbar.
Andre Gomes and Tom Davies joined forces to control midfield and Goodison debutant Djibril Sidibe enjoyed a fine first Premier League start at right-back.
Silva heaped praise on Davies and Gomes but also reserved kind words for Walcott, who was terrific on Everton’s right.
“The mobility in our offensive organisation was very good, our three players in attack [Walcott, Bernard and Richarlison], and Alex Iwobi understood where the space was and did everything we planned.
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HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON 2-0 WEST HAM
“Theo is still a really important player for me. He showed me during the week he was ready to play.
“We had a plan, we saw something in the opponent where Theo could be key for us, with Alex behind the striker.
“We created chances and scored a very good goal early... all the first half was really good.
“The result could have been more comfortable.
“When you are in a very good moment the ball goes in easier.
“But we were in control and trying to score more goals.
“We finished the game with a good moment [Sigurdsson's goal] which was good to see.
“Credit to our players for the way we played, the pace and intensity they put into the game.”
Silva had also asked Evertonians to generate a partisan atmosphere inside Goodison Park and he was granted his wish.
“I asked the crowd to support our players from the first minute because in these types of moments we have to show how Everton is strong as a football club and they did that," added Silva.
“They supported us and were really good for the whole match.”