Match-winner reveals Ancelotti’s half-time tactical tweak which helped Everton to beat Canaries
- Credit: PA
Carlo Ancelotti’s half-time tweak to Everton’s tactical approach was the key to getting the edge over Norwich City, match-winner Michael Keane has revealed.
The former Real Madrid and AC Milan boss took youngster Tom Davies off at the break and brought on former Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson with the score still at 0-0 at Carrow Road.
While that was only a subtle change within a 4-4-2 formation, the Toffees had been trying to build attacks with short passes from England number one Jordan Pickford but were being pressed hard by the Canaries, so largely stayed away from that style in the second half.
“We changed formation at half-time, the way we were playing out from the back,” said Keane. “It enabled one of our midfielders to get more space and time on the ball.
“I think that helped massively and for the first 15 or 20 minutes of the second half, we were attacking constantly. That worked well.”
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The England defender headed in a Lucas Digne corner in the 55th minute, taking advantage of City’s static set-up in their usual zonal marking system, to power in a header despite there being eight Norwich defenders against five Everton attackers - celebrating with his thumb in his move after the birth of his daughter the day before.
It built on a very creditable 0-0 home derby draw with champions-in-waiting Liverpool on Sunday evening, moving Ancelotti’s team up to 10th ahead of Thursday night’s action.
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“Absolutely delighted, the lads have worked ever so hard since we’ve been back,” Keane continued, speaking to Everton’s official website. “We put in a great shift the other day against Liverpool and to play three days later away from home, this far away, is a tough ask on the legs.
“In the first half, we weren’t great, weren’t at our best but we started the second half really well and in the end I think we got what we deserved.”
Now the Toffees are targeting Europe, having lost 2-0 to Norwich at Goodison Park in December, prior to former manager Marco Silva being dismissed.
Asked if Europa League qualification is a realistic target, former Burnley defender Keane added: “Yeah definitely. We’re four points off seventh now so It’s definitely within our grasp.
“We’ve got seven games to play, so we’ve got a lot of points to play for. Anything can happen.
“We’ve just got to take it game by game keep improving, keep getting wins and see where it takes us.”