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Sports News

Beaming Ancelotti heaps praise on Calvert-Lewin and Rodriguez

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Dominic Calvert-Lewin has earned his place in the spotlight after becoming the first Everton player to score in the opening four games of a Premier League season, manager Carlo Ancelotti said after their home 4-2 win over Brighton on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - October 3, 2020 Everton's James Rodríguez is congratulated by manager Carlo Ancelotti as he is substituted Pool via REUTERS/Jan Kruger

The result kept the Toffees top of the league on a maximum 12 points while Calvert-Lewin took his season’s tally to nine goals in six games in all competitions.

James Rodriguez, who joined Everton during the close-season after a patchy six years at Real Madrid which included a two-year loan spell with Bayern Munich, also continued to impress after scoring twice and setting up another.

“This is the moment of Dominic Calvert-Lewin now,” Ancelotti told the BBC.

“There is not just one reason. He is confident, we are seeing him improving and he is scoring goals and that is the most important motivation for a striker.”

Speaking of Rodriguez seamlessly settling into a wide forward’s role on the right flank, the Italian said: “The players with quality have not a problem with that. The quality is there because football is not so complicated.

“The pitch is always the same, the opponents are always 11, the ball is the same, the goal doesn’t move. Football is simple. It is not complicated.”

Having scored 12 goals in their opening three league games, Everton are thriving from clinical finishing and Ancelotti pointed out the lethal fast breaks are also rooted in defensive ability under pressure.

“We managed the situation of the game well,” he said.

“We had composure defensively and had opportunities on the counter attack. The performance was complete and this was the reason we deserved to win.”

Everton face their toughest face of the season yet as they host champions and Merseyside rivals Liverpool on Oct. 17 after the international break and Ancelotti acknowledged that he was relishing the challenge.

“We are optimistic now for 15 days because there is a break but then we will have a fantastic test, the most difficult test against our neighbours.”

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; editing by Ian Chadband

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