Date: 8th February 2020 at 8:20am
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BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has ripped into Marco Silva for Everton’s “wishy-washy” performances under the Portuguese, as the former Liverpool defender lauded Carlo Ancelotti for getting the Blues playing with far more substance than before.

Ancelotti has overseen eight matches across all competitions since taking up his position at the Goodison Park helm in December, in which the Toffees have won four times and been beaten twice.

Coming from two-goals down away to Watford to clinch our most recent victory has certainly impressed Lawrenson, as he feels it showed that Ancelotti has the players working to a message that was never clear during Silva’s tenure.

Beating Watford at Vicarage Road also saw Ancelotti achieve something that Silva never could during his spell on Merseyside – come from behind to win a Premier League game.

The last time Everton achieved such was against Swansea City in December 2017, while our come back at Watford also saw the club secure our first 90th-minute winner since November 2017, first 90th-minute away winner since December 2015 and first match-winning goal with 10-men on the field since May 2011.

Lawrenson doubts that breaking records was the only thing the win achieved, though.

“Everton’s comeback from 2-0 down to beat Watford 3-2 last week was more than just a good result; it put everyone at the club in great spirits,” Lawrenson noted in his column for BBC Sport.

“It was the first time the Toffees had won a league game after going behind since December 2017, and it just adds to Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive start as manager.

“The Toffees look like a more refined team now too – they were a bit wishy-washy under their previous manager Marco Silva but there is a lot more substance to their performances now, and it appears they have a plan.

What will the result be vs Palace?

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“Palace worry me, though. They are just starting to sink and, although they were unbeaten around the turn of the year, a lot of those games ended up in draws.

“While Everton are looking up the table, Palace are peering over their shoulders. They still have a cushion at the moment, but they need a win soon.”

Lawrenson expects Ancelotti will make it win number five at the helm on Saturday when we host Crystal Palace, with the former Liverpool defender tipping the Toffees to win 2-0 at Goodison Park.

Palace are on a dire run of form away from home, having last won a game not held at Selhurst Park on November 30 when Roy Hodgson’s men overcame Burnley 2-0.

Since then, the Eagles have drawn 0-0 with Watford, 1-1 with Southampton, 1-1 with Norwich City, 2-2 with Manchester City and lost 1-0 at Newcastle United.

In other Everton news, the club face paying £30m to sign a rumoured target in the summer after seeing offers rejected in January.

 

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