Carlo Ancelotti’s reign as Everton manager got off to the perfect start with a win and a clean sheet at home to Burnley on Boxing Day, and many Toffees fans commented on Bernard’s display against the Clarets.
The experienced Italian coach looked to have selected the Brazilian on the left wing in a 4-4-2 formation pre-match with Alex Iwobi ruled out through injury, although it quickly became apparent he was playing behind the front two instead.
Indeed, he did a fair bit of roaming across the attacking lines, finding pockets of space – perhaps an early signal of what he is going to be tasked with doing when starting under the 60-year-old.
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According to WhoScored, the 27-year-old made three key passes and completed three successful dribbles before he was replaced by Moise Kean in the 76th minute with the score still tied at 0-0.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk man showed his defensive contribution too by making one tackle and one interception against Sean Dyche’s men.
It’s fair to say that many were impressed with what they saw from the South American, with one labelling him as a “magician”, and another comparing him to former Toffee Steven Pienaar.
I have the feeling Bernard is going to be an extremely important player as a playmaker under ancelotti, kept finding bits of space today and looked to make things happen all game.
— EvertonViking (@EvertonViking) December 26, 2019
Been hideously underrated by a lot of our fans. On his day, he’s the most creative player in the team by a mile.
— Daniel Horne (洪時安)🎄 (@Dandan217) December 26, 2019
Bernard has had a fantastic game there unlucky to be brought off
— Chris (@Cookie_EFC) December 26, 2019
FT #EFC 1-0 #Burnley: Calvert-Lewin’s goal settles a cagey Boxing Day encounter and gives Ancelotti a perfect start as Blues boss. Sidibe & Bernard the standout performers but honourable mentions for Holgate, Mina & Sigurdsson #EVEBUR
— Everton FC news (@ClickEverton) December 26, 2019
Bernard was brilliant today, shown some good skill and vision long may it continue
— simon (@si1979_efc) December 26, 2019
Thought bernard was excellent https://t.co/iu9zY4Bgdn
— Scott Parker (@ScottParker_efc) December 26, 2019
Great win that. Not the best game, but another we’d likely have lost a month ago. Bernard’s best game for us, Sidibe and Coleman on the right were excellent, as was Holgate. 8 from 12.
— Rags (@r4gsy) December 26, 2019
#EFC mom Bernard for me. This system with wide WBs & DMs facing their own goal a lot needs a player to switch defence to attack quickly which he did. Sublime 1st touch always looking to create. 💙👏🏻
— EarthlingPaul (@MyOnlyEverton) December 26, 2019
Best Parts about the game:
-Bernard the magician
-DCL with the sexy flying header
-Yerry the brick wall
Worst Parts about the game:
-Lino saying Pickford was out of the box.
-Alex Scott on the commentary
-Walcott coming on to give away a Freekick
— Big Fella Yerry (@MainManMina) December 26, 2019
One individual chose to comment on how good Bernard looked when he was playing in central areas rather than out wide, saying he looked “absolutely lethal” there.
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Indeed, of those matches where his position has been recorded by Transfermarkt this term, all of the others were from the left wing.
— James (@James1878___) December 26, 2019
Not everyone agreed that the 27-year-old was good against Burnley though, with one describing him as “poor” – albeit after he picked up a knock.
Another suggested earlier in the game that this wasn’t a clash for Bernard to shine in, although he may well have proved that supporter wrong with how he played before he was taken off by Ancelotti.
He was poor today but tbf he was only poor until after he looked like he picked up only a small knock on his foot
— Royal Blue 🇮🇹 (@RoyalBlue1878_) December 26, 2019
Can already see a massive improvement here under @MrAncelotti, Some of the passing has been fantastic, Hes done well but this ain’t the right match for Bernard, Take him off for Kean and have him running of Calvert Lewin
— Geoff Dixon (@GeoffEfc1) December 26, 2019