Benitez praises ‘keen to learn’ Everton attacking duo


Rafael Benitez was pleased that his Everton side got past a “very physical” challenge against Sean Dyche’s Burnley on Monday night.

The Toffees have made a bright start to this season. Heading into Monday night’s game, they had picked up seven points from a possible nine in the Premier League.

Everton were made to work for the victory at Goodison Park as they went behind against Burnley.


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Ben Mee got the goal shortly after half time as he headed home Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s free-kick.

This opener alerted the hosts as they equalised a few minutes later. Andros Townsend’s pinpoint cross was met by Michael Keane and the defender did well as his header found the bottom corner.

It was Townsend at the forefront again when Everton took the lead soon after. The winger cut inside and unleashed a stunning left-footed strike that nestled in the top corner past Nick Pope.

The result was put beyond doubt a minute later. Abdoulaye Doucoure set Demarai Gray in on goal with a sublime pinpoint pass. The in-form attacker was calm as he found the net to make it 3-1.

That was how it finished and this result maintains Everton’s unbeaten start to the new season. 

Benitez told BBC Sport after the win that Townsend and Gray are both “keen to learn”:

“It was a good game, very physical. It was not easy but overall we were ok,” Benitez said.

“When we scored our goal, we had more confidence, played 4-3-3, created more chances and could have scored more goals.

“Really pleased with the connection between the team and the fans. We are looking to build a fortress here.

“Both Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend have quality and are good pros. They are keen to learn, even Andros at his age. The main thing in this team, everyone said we needed wingers. Today Richarlison did a great job also and the two wingers helped the striker do better.

“Dominic Calvert-Lewin broke his toe, was playing with pain, now he has a problem with his quads and we have to see.”

On James Rodriguez: “It doesn’t change too much, we are talking about strikers and wingers. Nobody can argue about the quality of James but he is behind the others.”



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