Gylfi Sigurdsson offered Carlo Ancelotti plenty of positives in Everton’s 2-0 win over Leicester City on Wednesday night, despite failing to win any of his duels.
Ancelotti awarded the Iceland international his sixth start of the Premier League season after a match-winning display at home to Chelsea at the weekend, believing Sigurdsson could build on his efforts from the Goodison Park affair.
Everton edged a 1-0 win at home to Frank Lampard’s Blues thanks to a Sigurdsson penalty but offered an all-round positive performance, and brought his improving form to the King Power Stadium where victory over the Foxes promoted the Toffees to fifth in the table and a point above the Stamford Bridge natives.
Ancelotti was full of praise for Sigurdsson’s game at home to Chelsea when speaking ahead of visiting Leicester for the midweek clash, yet still thought there was room left on the table for refined improvements.
“I agree he did really well, supported the team offensively and defensively,” the Italian said, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo.
“He hasn’t started a lot of games, but he has played a lot of parts of games. I am satisfied.
“He can improve his level. But in this moment, he is ok.”
The space left on the table for Sigurdsson to improve was significantly reduced at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night, where the £16.2million-rated maestro offered plenty of positives while the headlines went elsewhere.
He may not have won any of his five ground duels and turned over possession 16 times, yet Sigurdsson brought his touch of creativity to the pitch with a team-high three key passes – only Leicester’s James Maddison ended the match with more (4), per SofaScore.
Sigurdsson covered nearly every blade of grass in the East Midlands, too, with his 49 touches spread across all four corners of the field and in both boxes, offering the dual-threat Ancelotti was pleased with against Chelsea in committed fashion.
The 78-cap international did not just stand around, either, with a shot on Kasper Schmeichel’s goal at one end and a clearance at the other. He further made two interceptions, two attempted dribbles, never committed a foul and delivered eight crosses, of which three found teammates.
Everton had a clear set-piece threat with Sigurdsson on the pitch, with the 31-year-old delivering all six of his side’s corner kicks and seeing one result in Mason Holgate prodding the ball home for his first goal of the season to double the Toffees’ advantage.
Ancelotti would struggle to find a reason to bench Sigurdsson after two back-to-back top-draw displays when Everton host Mikel Arteta’s struggling Arsenal on Saturday.
AND in other news, Everton enter a four-way battle to sign a gritty 21-goal marksman in January.