MOTD pundit lauds Everton ace who was 'pivotal' for Ancelotti vs Leeds

Sam Preston February 4, 2021
MOTD pundit lauds Everton ace who was ‘pivotal’ for Ancelotti vs Leeds
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Gylfi Sigurdsson set Everton on their way to victory against Leeds at Elland Road last night.

The Icelandic midfielder ghosted into the box after just nine minutes to put the Toffees ahead.

James Rodriguez was an unused substitute last night and that meant Sigurdsson was fielded in the number ten role.

He relished the creative freedom and Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy was full of praise for the Toffees playmaker.

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“He was the match-winner in the end because of his goal and assist (Ben Godfrey set up Calvert-Lewin’s goal from Sigurdsson’s corner),” said Murphy.

“I think it was a great reaction from Everton and Sigurdsson played in a different role with James (Rodriguez) not being there, as a ten.

“He’s good in there because he’s technically gifted. He’s not the quickest but he knows when to come short and when to get in the box. He knows the position well and he drifts in to give them the lead.

“His link-up’s always been good. Everton needed that in there, and he’s always been really efficient on set plays. He was pivotal to their win and his confidence is coming back.”

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There have been times when Sigurdsson has lacked punch for Everton but he is enjoying a strong season.

He did the business in a high-tempo game and also helped Everton keep Kalvin Phillips quiet in the heart of midfield.

Phillips ran the show against Everton in the previous meeting between the clubs at Goodison Park, helping the Whites to a 1-0 win.

He didn’t have as much influence last night and it was Sigurdsson who made the decisive contributions to the match.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.