Everton eased the pressure on manager Marco Silva by winning 3-0 at Cardiff in the Premier League on Tuesday, with Gylfi Sigurdsson scoring twice.
Three straight losses had left Silva feeling the heat from an increasingly skeptical Everton fan base, and the Portuguese coach was in desperate need of a victory ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby with Liverpool.
Sigurdsson started the game with boos ringing in his ears from the home crowd, given his three-year spell at Cardiff’s fierce rival Swansea, but ended it with his name being sung loudly by the away fans.
He scored in the 41st and 66th minutes, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin added a third goal in stoppage time when the striker raced on to a through-ball from the excellent Idrissa Gueye.
Cardiff stayed just one point above the relegation zone and its failure to manage one on-target attempt will add to the team’s growing relegation fears, especially as six of its final 10 games are away from home. Chelsea, Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs remain on the schedule for Cardiff, which was thrashed 5-1 by Watford on Friday.