Sam Allardyce’s Everton reign started in victorious fashion, as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin earned a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The former England manager was officially appointed as Ronald Koeman’s permanent successor on Thursday and, although Everton failed to produce a performance to match Wednesday’s 4-0 hammering of West Ham United, they at least managed to secure back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.
The first 45 minutes of Allardyce’s tenure were rather forgettable, with both sides lacking imagination in attack, contributing to a tepid half of football.
But things were quick to liven up after the break, with Sigurdsson putting Everton ahead with an excellent goal in the 47th minute.
Both sides appeared more willing to push men forward in the second period, resulting in a significant increase in entertainment, but Everton continued to look the better in attack.
And they ultimately wrapped up all three points 17 minutes from the end through the lively Calvert-Lewin, giving Allardyce a solid start to life on Merseyside.
Neither side was able to exert much control over proceedings early on, with the first 20 minutes scrappy and severely devoid of quality.
Everton managed to up the tempo eventually, however, and a quick passing move brought about their first chance in the 26th minute, as Cuco Martina saw a lovely curling 25-yard effort pushed away by Jonas Lossl in the Huddersfield goal.
But that opportunity failed to inspire a prolonged period of Everton pressure.
If anything, it encouraged an improvement from Huddersfield, who suddenly started to enjoy some command.
And they almost took the lead five minutes before the break, but Laurent Depoitre could not prod the ball past Jordan Pickford in a goalmouth scramble.
Everton instantly looked better after the break and swiftly took the lead in style.
Aaron Lennon cut in from the right and passed to Calvert-Lewin on the edge of the area, with the young forward producing a glorious flick that split the Huddersfield defence to find Sigurdsson, who applied the finish.
Huddersfield responded well and stepped things up a notch.
Tom Ince went close a few moments later, running at Jonjoe Kenny before sending a left-footed drive into the side-netting.
But Huddersfield had to rely on Lossl just after the hour, as Calvert-Lewin saw a goal-bound 20-yard effort crucially pushed away.
He was not to be denied in the 73rd minute, though his goal had more than a hint of luck to it.
Wayne Rooney played him into the penalty area and Calvert-Lewin saw his left-footed effort deflect off Mathias Jorgensen and over the helpless Lossl.
That goal proved to be a real sucker-punch for the visitors, and Everton had little difficulty seeing things out thereafter, moving on to 18 points as a result of victory.