Carlo Ancelotti described James Rodriguez as a “fantastic player” after he scored his first goal for Everton.
The Toffees claimed a 5-2 win over West Brom in an eventful match on Saturday, keeping up their 100% start to the season.
They had to come from behind to do so, but the second half became easier – especially with West Brom down to 10 men.
Rodriguez scored the goal that put Everton 2-1 up on the stroke of half-time, and Ancelotti revealed after the game how happy he was with the Colombian’s application – and the team’s resilience as a whole.
“The game was not so easy,” he told BBC Sport. “We had difficulties in the first half. West Brom were better than us.
“We had a good reaction. With the advantage of one more player we were more in control.
“At some points we have to be focused more and do better.
“The players have come back with more ambition and motivation. The new signings have helped us be more motivated. Good momentum for us.
“I’m really pleased for James Rodriguez. A new country, a new league – it was not so easy. But he made it easy because he has a lot of quality. A fantastic player.”
Ancelotti outlines Calvert-Lewin development
While Rodriguez played a key part, it was Dominic Calvert-Lewin who stole the show in front of goal with a hat-trick.
And Ancelotti hailed the striker’s progress, explaining how he has helped him improve.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin has developed really well,” he said. “He’s working really well, more confidence.
“A striker has to score with one touch. I told him if you use more than one touch it’s difficult to score. He understood really well.
“He has speed, he jumps really high, he has power. Where he has improved more is in the box – he’s more focused.
“We are working well. We don’t want to look too much forward. All we can do is be focused on Wednesday’s game in the Carabao Cup.”