Premier League 2018-19: Clinical Gylfi Sigurdsson gives fans some hope as Everton thunder past Cardiff City
In a trying time where manager Marco Silva has seen his job called into question, Everton took care of business in a match they were expected to dominate. In a rare win as the favorite, the Toffees defeated Cardiff City 3-0 Tuesday night as Gylfi Sigurdsson scored two brilliant goals.
Coming off three consecutive losses and with little going right for his team, Sigurdsson provided Everton fans just a slight glimpse of the sun on a gloomy February evening.
No, the Toffees will likely not qualify for European play this season, but the fans can hope. At least for a couple days.
The Icelandic beast scored twice, once in the first half as he turned in a Seamus Coleman low cross, and once in the second half as he rocketed a rebound shot past a sprawling Neil Etheridge.
Young striker Dominic Clavert-Lewin scored a very pretty - albeit meaningless - 90th-minute goal to cap off a start to finish masterpiece for the visiting side. Everton boss Marcos Silva felt a weight lifted off his shoulders with this win, coming as it did after a tough run of matches.
"It was an important three points," he said post-match. "After the second goal, I saw our players playing with more freedom, with more confidence and in that moment you could see the kind of football we can play."
With just 10 matches to play, Everton sit in ninth place with 36 points, four behind Wolverhampton Wolves and Watford who are tied for 7th at 40 points.
Sigurdsson was the hero today, but who will be the guy in these kinds of matches when a couple of goals are needed to secure an easy win? The one thing that has plagued Silva's tenure is a lack of consistency amongst the entire squad.
Jordan Pickford has been solid throughout the year - he was great in the World Cup as we all saw - but has he been elite? Far from it. He has allowed 39 goals in 28 Premier League starts this year.
His seven clean sheets are noteworthy, but we expect more from him.
This Everton team can be and likely should be in the top five of England's top league almost every year. Today's win can be a stepping stone if the players can find some consistency and ride the momentum.