Carlo Ancelotti admitted it was a “new experience” to see Djibril Sidibe nearly come on as a substitute while missing a sock after the Italian watched his team beat Crystal Palace 3-1 to move up to seventh in the Premier League.
Goals from Bernard, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Goodison Park helped the Toffees continue their excellent form under Ancelotti since he replaced Marco Silva, as Everton moved to within a point of the Europa League places.
The afternoon was marred by an injury to Theo Walcott, however, who was withdrawn during the first half shortly after setting up Bernard’s opener.
He was replaced by Sidibe, who caused much amusement around Goodison Park when he had to return to the dressing room to collect a second sock before the substitution could take place.
“It’s a new experience for me,” Ancelotti laughed as he spoke to BT Sport, before turning to the more serious issue of Walcott’s injury.
“There’s no player in the squad that can replace the skills and ability of Walcott. Sidibe did well but he has more defensive qualities than Walcott. We hope the injury’s not serious but we have to see tomorrow.
“The best thing today is the result. The performance was not so good. It was a difficult game. A lot of interruption in the game. We weren’t able to keep our intensity.
“The best moment for us [was when] Richarlison did a fantastic counter-attack. We won for this reason. It was good to get a win before the break. Now it’s important for us to break and prepare for the next games.”
The combination play between Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin has been a theme of Everton’s revival under Ancelotti, and the manager was quick to play up the impact that his forward pair has had in hauling the team clear of the relegation zone and towards the European places.
“It’s working well. These two are fantastic at counter-attacking and we used those situations really well. Our counter-attacking was absolutely outstanding.
“Europe is the target. Since I’ve arrived, the team has done a fantastic job. I really appreciate what they’ve done, everyone in the club. I think it’s a possibility to think about the Europa League.”