Everton manager Rafa Benitez hailed new signings Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray as they both scored in a 3-1 victory against Burnley on Monday to maintain his side’s impressive start to the new campaign.
The hosts, without the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin, were struggling and trailing 1-0 to Ben Mee’s goal before three goals in six minutes turned the match on its head.
Winger Townsend, signed on as a free transfer from Crystal Palace, produced a pin-point cross to set up Michael Keane’s headed equalizer, and the former Crystal Palace winger then struck a sensational left-foot shot to put Everton ahead.
Gray completed the turnaround when he slotted home after latching on to a pass by Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Everton have scored 10 goals in four games and are level on 10 points with leaders Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
“When we scored our goal, we had more confidence, played 4-3-3, created more chances and could have scored more goals,” Benitez said. “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,” he said. “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.”
Former Leicester City winger Gray has scored in each of his past three appearances since joining from Bayer 04 Leverkusen and his price tag of ￡1.7 million (US$2.36 million) looks to be a bargain.
While it was a satisfying night in the end for Everton, Burnley’s poor start continues and they have only one point from their opening games, sitting in 18th place.
“A poor reaction to us scoring — we let them creep into the game and then a mad six minutes follow. You have to make things happen,” manager Sean Dyche said.
“I think it is a really good away performance until they score,” he said. “My big feeling is we are way wiser than those six minutes. That is something we have to learn from.”
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