Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice as Everton ended a sail of three successive Premier League defeats with victory at relegation-threatened Cardiff.
Used Swansea midfielder Sigurdsson stroked residence the first after timing his sail into the field completely to fulfill Seamus Coleman’s cutback from the correct.
The Icelandic playmaker thumped in his and Everton’s 2d after a handsome sail from change Bernard, a uncommon 2d of quality in a scrappy stumble on.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin added a third gradual on with a desirable attain from Idrissa Gueye’s scramble, guaranteeing a victory which moves Everton as much as ninth within the table before Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Goodison Park.
For Cardiff, a 2d residence defeat in four days leaves them one space and one point above the backside three.
Everton snap out of their walk
Everton had now now not played since 9 February and could well maybe honest properly admire welcomed the respite in their schedule, having lost five of their old six matches in all competitions.
It took time for Everton to grow into the game in south Wales nevertheless, as they step by step started to control possession and territory, they looked a facet taking half in themselves into produce.
The hole diagram was a living proof: Morgan Schneiderlin threading a ball through to the onrushing correct-motivate Seamus Coleman, whose cutback was finished neatly and in one contact by Sigurdsson.
Everton looked to be untroubled at this point, without exactly dominating the match.
They had some melancholy moments in defence, equivalent to the surging runs into the wide channels from Cardiff striker Kenneth Zohore which had visiting centre-backs Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka scrambling.
But after navigating Cardiff’s purposeful commence to the 2d half of, Everton took the game far flung from their opponents.
Bernard, on for a subdued and pissed off Richarlison, jinked his formula to the byeline and noticed his highly effective low unsuitable palmed away by Neil Etheridge – nevertheless easiest so far as Sigurdsson, who nonchalantly swung his left foot throughout the ball to commence it powerfully into the get.
And Cardiff’s meek capitulation was entire when their defence parted to permit Calvert-Lewin the choice to confidently curl within the guests’ third.
Cardiff’s survival hopes do away with one other hit
Cardiff were aiming to salvage larger from Friday’s 5-1 thrashing at residence by Watford, a outrageous awakening after the Welsh facet had claimed motivate-to-motivate top-flight victories for the first time since 1962.
They started in more urgent vogue on this occasion and, inner two minutes, Zohore played a unsafe low unsuitable across the Everton six-yard field which was properly cleared by Lucas Digne.
No matter that early promise, Cardiff aloof looked weak in defence and overrun in midfield.
In that particular person fragment of the discipline they overlooked Victor Camarasa, the midfielder on loan from True Betis whose sleek absence with a calf ruin had been a sore topic for Neil Warnock.
The Cardiff supervisor was incensed Camarasa had been attempting for the advice of his possess scientific workers – or “Tom, Dick and Harry from in one other nation” as Warnock described them – as every other of the Bluebirds’ physios, who imagine he’s fit to play.
The Spaniard is Cardiff’s most finished player in possession, significantly adept at turning defensive transitions into counter-assaults.
But without him, at any time when the hosts did arrange to salvage the ball motivate, they didn’t withhold it for lengthy.
Other than Zohore and Bobby Decordova-Reid’s occasional bursts forward, Cardiff barely skittish their opponents.
Their attacking shortcomings were a problem all season nevertheless, maybe most alarmingly, so admire their defensive frailties.
Cardiff admire now conceded 31 targets at residence within the Premier League at some stage in this campaign, more than any different facet.
And with eight of these coming in two matches against Everton and Watford over the path of four days, this has been a spoiled week for the Bluebirds’ hopes of warding off relegation.
Man of the match – Gylfi Sigurdsson
‘I need folks within the trenches’ – what they acknowledged
Cardiff supervisor Neil Warnock suggested Match of the Day: “It was elementary marking that payment us and we obtained punished twice. One of the vital boys are announcing Bobby Reid was fouled before the first diagram, nevertheless I couldn’t check us scoring tonight and now we have to salvage on with it.
“We are able to doubtlessly be within the backside three after we scramble to Wolves on Saturday and folks will likely be writing us off. I know my team for the Wolves sport and I need folks that could be within the trenches because I was let down by one or two tonight. I’m now now not going to throw the towel in and I’m going to be sure that we’re ready for Saturday.”
Everton supervisor Marco Silva: “We are cosy with the steal. We played with more freedom after the diagram and it is probably going you’ll maybe well maybe check the form of football we can play. We were in divulge of the match.”
On their 17 days between matches: “We had time to prepare which was crucial and we could well work on what we wanted to. The largest thing for us is successful facets to boost our self assurance and now now we have to leisure and salvage larger.
“We admire a colossal test on Sunday and I understand how crucial it is miles for the followers and our opponents. We understand how we lost the first sport at Anfield and we can discontinuance victory at our possess ground.”
Cardiff suffer midweek blues – the stats
- Cardiff admire obtained honest one of their final six residence league games (D1 L4), after successful four of the five before that (L1).
- Everton admire finished the league double over Cardiff for the first time since 1928-29.
- Cardiff admire never obtained a midweek Premier League sport (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), drawing three and shedding seven. They’ve scored honest two targets in these 10 games and admire conceded now now not lower than twice in every defeat.
- Cardiff are the most nice looking facet to fail to suppose a single shot heading within the correct route in a pair of residence Premier League sport this season, doing so against Everton and against Huddersfield in January.
- Everton scored with their first two photography heading within the correct route and with three of their four photography heading within the correct route total within the game.
- Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson has been eager in more Premier League targets in games played in Wales than any different player (35 – 14 targets, 21 assists in 68 appearances).
- Sigurdsson is now the Premier League’s outright top-scoring Icelandic player with 57 targets, eclipsing Eidur Gudjohnsen’s haul of 55.
- Sigurdsson has scored 15 Premier League targets for Everton since the commence of the 2017-18 season, five more than any different player.
Cardiff discuss over with Wolves on Saturday, 2 March (15:00 GMT), whereas Everton host Liverpool within the Merseyside derby on Sunday, 3 March (16:15).