Cardiff 0 Everton 3: Toffees get job done

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 26: Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton celebrates after scoring his team's third goal with Idrissa Gueye during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Everton FC at Cardiff City Stadium on February 26, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 26: Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton celebrates after scoring his team's third goal with Idrissa Gueye during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Everton FC at Cardiff City Stadium on February 26, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) /
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Well we said this was a must win game and Everton duly obliged delivering all three points that the team, fans and manager desperately needed.

This was not a vintage performance from Everton even though they beat Cardiff City three nil. But that wasn’t the most important thing, getting the three points was.

Gylfi Sigurdsson who has been quiet of late, contributed two of the goals. This will have been especially satisfying for a former Swansea player, as anyone who knows the bitter rivalry between them and their fellow South Wales club, Cardiff, will understand.

As I suggested they might in my match preview, it looked as though the Blues had benefitted from their long Premier League layoff. They were definitely the sharper and more creative of the two teams.

It was not a match full of outstanding moments but the Toffees did eventually manage to take their chances and were certainly the better side overall, deserving of the points.

Probably the best moment of the game was Everton’s first goal. Seamus Coleman, who actually had a decent game coming into the side at right-back, took a fine pass from Morgan Schneiderlin and pulled it back for Sigurdsson who coolly slotted home.

In fact there were several faces in the Blues side that fans haven’t seen for a while, Schneiderlin among them.

Also returning to the first team was Phil Jagielka who partnered Michael Keane in central defence. They didn’t look the most confident pair at times but Cardiff rarely offered much attacking threat to unsettle them.

One frustrating thing to note from the game is the continuing inability of Richarlison to find his verve and purpose of earlier in the campaign. He had another game to forget and his slump in form is increasingly reminiscent of what happened last season at Watford.

He was eventually hauled off and replaced by fellow Brazilian Bernard, who then contributed to the second goal after a fine jinking run, eventually finding Sigurdsson who fired into the net.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin late on administering the coup-de-grace with a well taken third, it was job done for the Toffees who wrapped up a satisfying win in Wales.

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There is still much to work on. Everton were not always very fluid in possession and again missed some good early chances, especially Theo Walcott.

And the Blues were not put under any real sustained pressure either at the back by a poor Cardiff side who look relegation certainties on this form.

Still it feels like it was critical for the team’s morale and self-confidence to come away with a win from this match after so many demoralising defeats.

Now we move onto the weekend and a massive Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Can Everton throw a huge spanner in Liverpool’s title hopes with a win..?? Lets hope so. COYB!