Bernard Excited By Everton Attacking Potential

Bernard is savouring the prospect of forming a devastating alliance with his fellow Everton attackers – after the Brazilian marked his full Premier League debut with a sparkling display against Leicester City.

He took all of seven minutes to have a telling say in the action at the King Power Stadium, Bernard wriggling past Foxes pair Ricardo Pereira and Daniel Amarety before standing up a cross for Richarlison to put Everton in front.

Pereira levelled the scores on the counter five minutes before the break but Gylfi Sigurdsson’s fantastic goal with 13 minutes remaining ensured Everton banked the three points.

Bernard dovetailed beautifully with forward colleagues Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Theo Walcott – despite this being the first time the quartet had played together.

The 26-year-old had already won favour with Evertonians following a string of skilful cameos from the bench and his name was one of those sung loudest by 3,000 jubilant away supporters in the East Midlands – something the player was quick to recognise following the match.

Bernard created four chances from open play, a figure matched by Sigurdsson and eclipsed by only two Premier League players in Friday and Saturday’s action. His seven attempted dribbles was the third highest in the top flight, only Anthony Knockaert of Brighton & Hove Albion completed more dribbles than Bernard’s five.

“I am definitely excited by what we can do together,” Bernard told evertontv.

“We made the most of the work we have been doing in training and showed what we can do. We hope we can keep going in this way and if we get more results like this one we can enjoy it even more – and see what we can do as a team.

“The manager has been practising with that forward line-up during training, Marco Silva likes to mix it round a lot in training sessions so we are comfortable on the pitch with different players and understand each other’s games.

“They are all very good players, which makes it easier to develop an understanding and it felt very good.

“Although we [Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Walcott] have not played together in a match, we have been working very hard as a unit.”

Bernard retained his place for the clash with Leicester off the back of an encouraging individual effort in the midweek Carabao Cup game with Southampton.

He needed only 60 seconds to make an impact in Everton’s victory over Fulham eight days ago. Introduced as a substitute, the 14-cap international promptly scuttled down the left before cutting back a pass for Sigurdsson to wrap up the win.

The versatile forward – Bernard shifted into the middle after Cenk Tosun replaced Tom Davies on 71 minutes as Everton turned the screw in search of a winner – moved to Goodison Park from Shakhtar Donetsk on August’s transfer deadline day.

His most recent action for the Ukrainian team came in a Champions League match with Roma in March – but the South American is quickly acclimatising to the demands of Premier League football.

He had 62 touches of the ball against Leicester – significantly seven of those were in his opponents’ penalty area – as Everton completed back-to-back league victories heading into the international break.

Bernard recovered possession 14 times – an effort matched in Premier League matches on Friday and Saturday only by Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves.

The lithe former Atletico Mineiro player emerged on top from eight duels – teammate Lucas Digne and Leicester’s Pereira the only players on the pitch who recorded higher figures – and won three free-kicks for his team.

And he was thrilled Everton’s travelling supporters greeted his extensive contribution in such vociferous fashion.

“It is great to be recognised and have good feedback about your work,” said Bernard.

“It encourages you to keep going and not be afraid – and to give everything to get a good result for the supporters.

“I am very happy, it was a great performance at a tough ground and hopefully we can keep going after winning at home last week as well.

“We want to continue achieving more positive results and climbing the table.”