This was a must win for Silva if he wants to begin the road to recovery with Everton fans after Tuesday night’s embarrassment. Luckily, Silva’s side did just that and spared any possible blushes.
The manager largely has Bernard to thank for that, as we saw a very, very special player today on what is only his first Premier League start. He did things with the ball that Everton haven’t seen since prime Mikel Arteta, and when he was later deployed through the middle in place of Tom Davies, he looked every bit as good, and that’s incredibly exciting.
In another bit of strange team selections by Silva, he decided to go with Richarlison up top instead of Cenk Tosun or Dominic Calvert-Lewin, which for me at least, was a headscratcher. It did however pay off as Richarlison bagged an early goal to set up an Everton-dominated 90 minutes.
However, the real moment of magic came from the boot of Gylfi Sigurdsson, who once again is proving that, right now, he is by far our best player. He started the season exceptionally and is only getting better as we go, as he netted his 4th goal in as many games.
Jordan Pickford - 5
Much like the rest of the season, Pickford’s defence let him down as a quick Leicester counter-attack in the first half brought them back into the game after a period of Everton domination, luckily for the back four, we recovered in the second 45.
Jonjoe Kenny - 5
Not Kenny’s best outing and unfortunately it looks like the chance he had to displace Coleman may well have passed him by.
Michael Keane - 7
Keane was the unfortunate soul who was told to man-mark Jamie Vardy and handled it as well as he could. The whole unit at the back should have done better for Leicester’s goal, but they recovered well and didn’t look like conceding in the second half.
Kurt Zouma - 8
Zouma is looking like he’s going to be the mainstay at the back once all are fit. He has fit in seamlessly into this side after his deadline arrival along with Lucas Digne and once again showed his worth today.
It will be a real shame if we don’t get the chance to bring him back permanently at the end of the season.
Lucas Digne - 7
Digne simply doesn’t make mistakes. He once again dealt with everything he had to down his side when Leicester were getting forward. He didn’t have as much of an impact going forward as in recent weeks, but he didn’t have to, especially with how well the front four did all afternoon.
Idrissa Gana Gueye - 5
Not Gana’s best game today, but he did get better as time passed. By the end, he was sweeping up the play well and had Bernard ahead of him to create the magic.
Tom Davies - 6
A better afternoon for Davies, but once again it is glaring how much more comfortable we look when he isn’t playing. After his withdrawal, Bernard was given the reigns of the midfield and he took control of the game.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 8
There isn’t much to say about Sigurdsson’s afternoon today beyond his simply perfect goal.
The turn on Maddison (Who Leicester papers called a ‘better player’ than Sigurdsson and exclaimed how lucky they were to have missed out on Gylfi) may well have ended the man’s career, and then the striker was 100% Gylfi Sigurdsson.
He has scored a collection of exceptional goals for Everton, but that may well be the best, especially given the circumstances.
Bernard - 9 (Man of the Match)
I was worried.
Last season, I was giddy to watch Davy Klaassen play because I thought he was a really exciting player (Still do, by the way) and my heart was broken when he was never given a chance to impress.
I’ve spent the early part of this season exclaiming how wonderful a signing Bernard was and how I truly believe he’s going to be very, very special for Everton.
I’m not going to be let down this time, as everyone today saw just how incredible he truly is. He ran the show all day and Leicester simply could not stop him. His passing range is the best at the club and his ability to carry the ball forward is what we’ve been missing since Barkley’s departure and then some.
He is what we’ve needed since the departure of Mikel Arteta.
Theo Walcott - 7
Walcott didn’t have a great day as far as end product goes, but he was asked to produce a more gritty display in his defensive efforts and hold up play and he did that perfectly.
Richarlison - 8
The chance paid off with Richarlison today as he spearheaded our attacking efforts extremely well. My main worry was his ability to hold the ball up and the more mundane tasks a lone striker has to do, but he dashed all of those fears within the first ten minutes.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Silva continues with him there for now.
Cenk Tosun – 6
He is always a danger due to his sheer physicality up top, and was something else for the Leicester defence to think about.
Morgan Schneiderlin – N/A
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – N/A