Everton picked up a crucial 1-0 victory over Leeds United this afternoon at Goodison Park, and Sean Dyche will surely be thrilled with his team’s resilience against their relegation rivals.

The Toffees can breathe as they have finally climbed out of the relegation zone into 16th place following their three-pointer over the visitors this afternoon, leapfrogging them in the table, and they are now one point clear of the bottom three ahead of West Ham United‘s clash away to Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow.

Despite having equal possession (50%), the home side had more shots on target (6 v 0), more big chances (2 v 1) and completed more passes (290 v 266) in a well-fought win from which they can take plenty of pride.

The first half was relatively uneventful for both teams, with Everton dominating possession but unable to break the stalemate prior to the interval.

In the second half, the Toffees turned it up a notch against a lacklustre Leeds, and their efforts finally paid off when Seamus Coleman found the net in the 64th minute, and ultimately that was enough to win all three points when the final whistle was blown.

Indeed, Coleman will be the name on the lips of Evertonians tonight as they toast the turnaround that Dyche has inspired in just three league outings in charge, Idrissa Gueye’s work rate should not be ignored, as his performance against Leeds proved again why he is absolutely crucial in the middle of the park.

How did Gueye play against Leeds?

The Everton midfielder, who reunited with his former club last summer, has been a strong presence at Goodison Park throughout the season despite their troubles, and he displayed again his dominance in the heart of the team against Leeds today.

During his 90 minutes on the pitch, the 33-year-old – who was dubbed “frightening” by Micah Richards and “is up there with the best” according to Conor Coady – won a whopping 11 duels, completed three dribbles and completed 31 passes, along with making one clearance, three tackles and two interceptions.

Dyche is not in a position to rest on his laurels, as with 15 fixtures remaining and just one point clear of the relegation zone, Everton’s fate will remain in the balance for another while yet.

However, the recently-appointed manager will surely be looking ahead to the upcoming game at Goodison Park against Aston Villa with optimism and hoping that his squad can use the confidence shown today to further widen the gap to the relegation zone next weekend.

More performances like this one from Gueye should go a long way towards continuing their revival under the 51-year-old. If Everton avoid the drop by a point or two at Leeds’ expense, he may ultimately have saved the Toffees’ season with this heroic display.


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