West Ham United lost 2-0 at Everton on Saturday afternoon.
Everton boss Marco Silva has told the Daily Mail that he formed a plan to target Declan Rice in his side’s win over West Ham United.
Silva was under huge pressure heading into Saturday’s game, and knew that he needed a win over the Hammers to give himself some more job security.
Everton produced a strong display, and took the lead through Bernard, as he ran onto Theo Walcott’s pass, beat two challenges then prodded past Roberto Jimenez for the opener.
West Ham were flat and failed to really impress, and their fate was sealed late on as Gylfi Sigurdsson hammered a long-range strike into the net.
Everton took all three points in a much-needed 2-0 win, and Silva explained his side’s gameplan following the final whistle at Goodison Park.
Silva admitted that Everton had a plan to target Declan Rice in the West Ham midfield, feeling they could exploit space around the much-lauded England international.
Rice is a lot of things, but quick isn’t one of them, and having three speedy players – Bernard, Alex Iwobi and Walcott – working around him helped create space.
Silva admitted that was the idea all along, with Bernard and Walcott sitting narrow, and he hailed Walcott’s performance as a key in executing the plan.
“Theo is a really important player for me and for us,” said Silva. “He showed me during the week he was ready to play and I gave him a chance because he deserved it.”
“We had a plan to find space either side of Declan Rice and Theo was key. It was a tough moment for him when he got that injury against City in the first minute. His was an individual performance of the highest level along with others,” he added.