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Carlo Ancelotti: 'We must remain focused amid strong start'

Carlo Ancelotti: 'We must remain focused amid strong start'
© Reuters
The Toffees have won seven games in a row in all competitions.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was at pains to not get carried away with their best start to a season since 1894-95 after a 4-2 victory over Brighton put them top of the Premier League again.

A seventh successive win in all competitions has pushed confidence sky-high at Goodison Park and that was reflected in the way they played against the Seagulls.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his ninth of the season, Yerry Mina registered his first Goodison goal and James Rodriguez chipped in with two and an assist as the Toffees went to the summit, for 24 hours at least.

James Rodriguez, left, starred for Everton
James Rodriguez, left, starred for Everton (Jan Kruger/PA)

"We are really pleased for the start, we did really well this period, winning games, showing good quality, the spirit is good," Ancelotti said.

"But it is only the start of the season. Now there is the international break and we can have rest. It was a busy time and we have to come back with the same spirit and attitude.

"In general the attacking football was good, we had opportunities and we were really clinical on set-pieces, really good on the counter-attack, we played a complete game.

"When we defended with the low block we were in a good position, we defended well and so I am pleased."

Despite Ancelotti's satisfaction with their defensive performance, questions continue to be asked of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after his error allowed Neal Maupay to briefly equalise.

But just a week after giving him a vote of confidence, insisting he was not looking to strengthen that area, the Italian was in no mood to talk about the 26-year-old, who has now made more errors (nine) leading to goals than any other player since the start of the 2018-19 season.

"He did a mistake but nothing happened, we have three points more and this is the most important part," Ancelotti added.

"This is not the right place to talk about Pickford, if I have to say something to him when he comes back (from international duty) I will talk to him."

Having registered just three shots on target, one of which was Yves Bissouma's added-time consolation volley, despite having the majority of possession, Brighton boss Graham Potter was frustrated with how they defended.

"We were disappointed with the goals we conceded and disappointed with the decision-making at the start of the second half," he said.

"We came in at 2-1 but we were unable to defend the set-piece just before that (for Mina's goal).

"I think we contributed to our own problems today and that is not a good thing to do when you are playing against a team with the quality Everton have."

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Everton's James Rodríguez celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on October 3, 2020
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