DCL: 'Scoring In Front Of Packed Gwladys Street Was A Dream'

Dominic Calvert-Lewin says he played out his dream of scoring in front of the Gwladys Street as a sold-out Goodison Park crowd returned for the 3-1 opening-day victory over Southampton.

The Blues' number 9 rounded off an impressive second-half performance with a trademark header from close range to ensure the reign of manager Rafa Benitez got off to a winning start.

It came after goals from Richarlison and Abdoulaye Doucoure turned the game on its head following Adam Armstrong's first-half strike.

Calvert-Lewin netted 21 in all competitions for the Toffees last term, with 16 of those coming in the Premier League.

But, he says, the 81st-minute goal against the Saints tops any of those from last term.

"It's what you want on the first day of a new season – a goal and a win. I couldn't ask for anything more," said Calvert-Lewin.

"We got off to a sticky start but I think at half-time we stayed cool, stayed calm and knew what we had to do. Then we executed the plan in the second half.

"The goal is what I dream about the night before the game. I think about it and I imagine how good it'd be to get a goal in front of the Gwladys Street. 

"It was special. Very special. Having the fans back, I felt like I was making my debut again. 

"That atmosphere, that emotion is what you play football for. Scoring goals – last season I scored a few with no fans there – that one today was my favourite by a mile.

"Now I'm looking for more consistency. Consistency scoring goals is what I'm looking to do. I'm judged over 38 games and, personally, I want to be hitting the back of the net throughout the course of the season."

After an opening period that saw Everton fall behind, Calvert-Lewin believes the response was a measure of the tactical nous of new Blues boss Benitez.

"[Benitez] spoke about a lot of tactical stuff, in terms of what we needed to improve and where we were getting exploited," said Calvert-Lewin. "I think he hit the nail on the head. 

"Most of all, it was coming out with a bit more determination and that requires nothing more than getting yourself going. 

"We came out and we knew what we had to do, we had the fans here. We knew it'd be difficult if we went behind – and we did.

"We overcame that – and that shows we've come a long way as a group, but there's still more to come."

Calvert-Lewin also reserved praise for Richarlison, who was switched to a more central role in the second half after being deployed on the left flank from the start.

"He's asleep in the changing rooms now, with a nice pillow and a sleeping bag!" joked Calvert-Lewin, after the Brazilian took part in the Copa America and Olympics for his nation this summer. "I thought he was fantastic today. 

"His goal was well deserved and his play off the ball, his selflessness was the key for us today. 

"I thoroughly enjoyed playing with him again in front of the Goodison faithful."