Marco Silva has admitted the halftime break was crucial to victory after seeing a marked improvement on performance in the second half against Fulham on Saturday.

Everton were tepid and lacking in quality in an entertaining first half stalemate but eventually hit three goals for a routine victory.

Both sides struggled to get going in a stop, start first half that was marred by persistent fouls and sloppy play. Everton only managed to hit the target once in this period and it was, in fact, Fulham who created the best chances and looked the more likely to take the lead.

Everton were gifted an avenue into the game when Denis Odoi shoved Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the area and conceded an early penalty. Up stepped Gylfi Sigurdsson who is usually very assured from the spot but the Icelandic international crashed his shot against the crossbar.


It was looking to be a frustrating afternoon for Silva until Sigurdsson made amends for his miss with a curling shot from the edge of the box. Cenk Tosun was introduced just 10 minutes into the second half and had a significant impact on the game, adding Everton’s second.

Fulham were reduced to 10 men through injury late on and the hosts took full advantage as Sigurdsson notched up his second to wrap up three points for his team. Silva was full of praise for the playmaker for showing a lot of character and taking his chances well after missing the penalty.

"Sigurdsson showed fantastic character and personality after he missed the penalty and deserved the goals because he works hard. Today, football was fair with him because he works hard,” he told BBC Sport.

Silva also stressed the significance of the halftime break and what he told his players that he believes changed the game in the second half.

"It's important to be clear what we did in the second half was really different. We have to be more aggressive than our opponents but sometimes we have to be more calm. We changed our team a little bit higher and our pressure was better in the second half.”

Silva also stressed that the second half performance, in particular, was much closer to what he expects from his side going forward after a disappointing start to this Premier League campaign.

"Of course it's important to get three points but the clean sheet is really important as well - We have to think always about winning.


“The last two results were really disappointing for us and we had to react and that's what we did. The first half wasn't the best but the game is 90 minutes," he added.