Carlo Ancelotti is certain Everton’s win over Liverpool on Saturday will infuse his team with additional confidence in their ongoing battle for European football.
Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson scored either side of half-time to secure a victory which moves Everton within three points of fourth-place Chelsea.
Everton’s success is their eighth from 12 Premier League away matches this season.
Jordan Pickford won the admiration of his manager for an “intelligent and confident” performance after producing three terrific stops to ensure Everton banked a first league clean sheet of 2021.
Ancelotti’s side remain seventh in the Premier League standings and have a nine-day break before welcoming Southampton to Goodison Park on 1 March.
“I am really pleased and happy for the Club and the supporters,” said Ancelotti.
“I couldn’t imagine if they [Evertonians] were here… I hope, for sure, they are going to celebrate tonight.
“It was a good performance, with a lot of effort. The spirit was good. We defended really well and were clinical in attack.
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COLEMAN: THAT'S FOR ALL EVERTONIANS
“We are fighting for Europe and now we are in a good position.
“This kind of performance can improve the belief of the team.
"The performance of Pickford and the defenders was really good and we were lethal in front.
"This is the Jordan Pickford everyone knows - he was intelligent and confident. He was secure in goal."
Everton went ahead after only three minutes at Anfield, Richarlison striding onto James Rodriguez’s pass to efficiently strike beyond Alisson Becker.
And Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was beaten again when Sigurdsson converted from the penalty spot with seven minutes remaining after Trent Alexander-Arnold upended Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the box.
Pickford denied Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold with athletic saves before half-time and after the break denied Mohamed Salah at close quarters.
Ancelotti employed a flexible formation, Seamus Coleman playing on the right of midfield but dropping to form a five-man defence when Everton didn’t have the ball.
James started behind central-striker Richarlison.
The former Real Madrid manager’s tactics worked a dream – and his next target is to alight on a system which brings Everton greater joy at Goodison Park.
“We played with two strikers – with Coleman to fix a little bit the position of [attacking Liverpool left-back] Andrew Robertson, three midfielders and four at the back to control, [Sadio] Mane, Salah and [Roberto] Firmino.
“We wanted to avoid the pressure from Liverpool because we know they press a lot.
“But, sometimes, we had the possibility to play and had a good combination.
“Richarlison is back, he is scoring and playing with a lot of consistency.
“James is always the same, he doesn’t have the physicality of others but he has top quality.
“We did really well away so far this season but at home we had a lot of problems.
“We have to find more consistency at home and are working on this.”
Everton’s players were visibly and audibly thrilled at the final whistle but nobody celebrated with more gusto than Assistant Manager Duncan Ferguson.
"I think the happiest man in our squad was Duncan,” added Ancelotti.
“I think this victory shows we can compete. We have a strong spirit and our belief is improving. We have done really well away and now we need to do better at home."