Everton manager Marco Silva hailed their best performance of the season as Richarlison got back among the goals with two in a 3-1 victory over Brighton.
The Brazil international started the season as a winger but is now playing as a lone frontman and his double – either side of Seamus Coleman’s strike – took his tally to six, more than he managed in 38 Premier League matches last season.
Richarlison’s first came from a counter-attack at a Brighton corner with his second courtesy of Seagulls goalscorer Lewis Dunk’s errant pass across the defence which allowed the Everton forward to skip past Shane Duffy and round goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
“It was our best performance of the season,” said Silva.
“Richarlison performed well. It is important not just for him but our strikers when they can score.
“It was a very good moment for the first goal, the offensive transition. The second goal he has this capacity to press high and put pressure on the centre-backs. His quality was high.”
Richarlison scored twice in Everton´s 3-1 win over Brighton (Martin Rickett/PA)
Coleman, who missed 10 months with an horrific double fracture of his leg in March 2017, marked his first goal in 652 days with a celebration in front of the Gwladys Street which was a mixture of joy, anger and frustration following recent criticism of his performances.
“It was an important moment for him, important moment for us as a team,” added Silva.
Brighton had won their previous three matches 1-0 but manager Chris Hughton admits they let their opportunity slip away after getting back on level terms.
Asked if he felt they deserved something out of the game the Seagulls boss responded: “No.
“I thought we were up against a very good team today. We got ourselves back in the game at 1-1 and you are looking to change the momentum in the game.
“We needed to come out in the second half better than we did but we were up against a very good team who will push the top six and we made too many errors to come away with something.”