Benitez: Tactics - Not Shape - Key To Success

Rafa Benitez says a change in tactical approach - rather than the change in formation - was the key to Everton’s stunning comeback win over Burnley.

The Blues, who began the clash against the Clarets with three centre-backs, fell behind eight minutes after the half-time interval through Ben Mee's header.

Michael Keane levelled proceedings with a headed effort of his own against his former employers seven minutes later, which was immediately followed by Benitez’s first substitution of the evening that saw midfielder Andre Gomes replace defender Ben Godfrey

The goal and tweak in approach sparked the Toffees into life.

A breathtaking passage of play ensued, with just 379 seconds separating Andros Townsend’s sumptuous 25-yard strike and Demarai Gray’s coolly-taken effort to make it three consecutive Premier League games on the scoresheet for the summer recruit.

"I can only agree with you [it was a magnificent night at Goodison]!"  Benitez told evertontv after extending the Blues' unbeaten start to the season to five games in all competitions. "I thought it was a great game, a great reaction from the team. It was a physical game. The first half was quite complicated and we tried to control their strikers with the three centre-backs - it was not easy. They did not have clear chances but we were not controlling the game.

"Then, when we conceded, we managed to score a goal and changed our system - and then we started having more control of the ball, with better passes, clear chances and we could have scored a couple more goals.

"It is important for people to understand that one thing is the system - four at the back, five at the back, or whatever - and then the other thing is how you play with the tactics.

"In this case, to change the system wasn't the key - it was to change the tactics. 

"It was about trying to be sure that we could play the ball, pass the ball better, because in the first half we were giving the ball away. You have to give credit to them because they were pushing and pressing really well.

"These kind of games are very physical. When you put the ball behind the defenders and you go and you push them, it's not easy for anyone. If you cannot pass the ball three or four times, then you cannot go through. 

"The first half was a problem. The second half, with the movements of the players and a little bit more quality on the ball, we had more chances."

It is the second time in as many home games Everton have gone on to win having conceded the opening goal.

And, while admitting the circumstances weren't perfect, Benitez was buoyed by another display of resolve from his side.

"I think it's really important [to be able to win from losing positions]," he added. "You told me it had been a long time that the team had not been reacting [to conceding the first goal] and we have done that twice now in front of the fans. 

"That is what you are expecting from a team that cares. They show the commitment in every game - today was the same. 

"Even when we were losing the game, you see how they work, how hard they tried to change things and that's something the fans really appreciate."