Everton returned to winning ways last weekend after winning 1-0 against Chelsea at Goodison Park in the Premier League.
A first-half penalty from Gylfi Sigurdsson earned all three points for the Toffees.
The home side rode a bit of luck as well, with Chelsea hitting the woodwork twice.
Jordan Pickford, the Everton goalkeeper, has revealed what Carlo Ancelotti’s message was for the team prior to the game on Saturday.
He says the Italian boss urged everyone to summon the “spirit and fight” which inspired last season’s stirring victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park.
It was indeed a spirited performance from the home side as they ended Chelsea’s 17-game unbeaten run on the night, where 2000 home fans returned to Goodison.
In the previous home meeting between the two sides, Everton edged Chelsea out 3-1 when the then newly appointed caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson led them to victory.
Ancelotti wanted his team to play with such intensity, and the pep-talk did help.
If anything, the match brought the best out of Pickford, who hasn’t always been consistent this season. He produced two outstanding saves in the space of two minutes to prevent Chelsea from levelling the scoreline.
“That’s the mentality and the spirit you need to win games,” said Pickford to the club’s official website.
“The gaffer talked about the last time we played Chelsea here when Duncan was in charge – he wanted to see that spirit and fight.
“Chelsea are a very good side but it was a great win.”
A tough run of fixtures
After an impressive start to the season, Everton had lost their rhythm going into the Chelsea game. They have lacked consistency, only highlights the fact that Ancelotti still has a lot of work to do.
However, the Italian will hope that the victory against the Blues can spark a revival in momentum as they face a tough run of fixtures ahead of the busy festive schedule.
Everton face the likes of Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, in succession, and Ancelotti will demand a similar sort of aggression, focus and intensity while facing them.
The Toffees also face Wolves, Aston Villa and West Ham in January. This would arguably be their most difficult phase of the season, and it remains to be seen whether they can successfully handle the challenge.