Everton supporters have been in high spirits in recent times after seeing their side record a third consecutive Premier League victory on Sunday.
Marco Silva’s men went into their clash with Crystal Palace off the back of beating Leicester City and Fulham in their previous two league games, and thus full of confidence ahead of the visit of Roy Hodgson’s lowly Eagles. And while it was hard work for the Toffees, they got the job done late on as goals from substitute’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun sealed a 2-0 success for the hosts, who benefited greatly from Jordan Pickford’s fine penalty save from Luka Milivojevic’s penalty in the early stages of the second period.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Evertonians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been full of praise for manager Silva and his three substitutes, what with Calvert-Lewin and Tosun getting the goals, and Ademola Lookman coming off the bench to provide the cross for the former to head home.
As such, all four men deserve huge credit for their involvement in the Everton win, but it was the efforts of Idrissa Gueye in the middle of the park which helped give the Toffees the platform from which to grab all three points late on in the encounter.
The 29-year-old has been a regular in Silva’s starting eleven this season in missing just one match as a result of injury, and it’s not difficult to see why after another impressive display at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The Senegal international had 81 touches of the ball over the course of the 90 minutes to underline his overall involvement in the middle of the park, with Lucas Digne (101) the only man to touch the ball more, while Gueye’s 92% pass success rate was particularly impressive given he isn’t always renowned for his ability on the ball.
In fact, that figure was higher than any of the other Everton starters on Sunday to underline the 29-year-old’s improving capabilities with the ball at his feet, but what was also impressive were his off the ball exploits – exploits that have never really been in doubt, but are absolutely vital for the Toffees in the middle of the park.
Gueye completed a team-high five tackles during the match to finish the encounter with a 100% success rate, while his tally of five interceptions demonstrated his excellent reading of the game to thwart Palace’s advances through the centre of the pitch – this all after earning a yellow card 29 minutes into the contest, and thus having to manage his game better in the last hour.
Yes, Everton weren’t quite at their best and needed Silva’s inspirational intervention to seal all three points, but they were helped into the position to win the game thanks to the efforts of £18 million-rated Gueye (as per Transfermarkt) in the middle of the park.
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