Everton continued their remarkable climb back up the Premier League table after their 10-point deduction with a well-earned 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday, their fourth consecutive victory and clean sheet and fifth win in six games.
Amadou Onana and Michael Keane scored for the Merseyside club — who were docked points last month for breaching profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) relating to losses — giving them 16 points and 16th place in the standings, seven points clear of the drop zone.
Manager Sean Dyche told his Everton team, who would be sitting eighth if not for the deduction, to look at the setback as a challenge and they have risen to the occasion.
“I think it’s definitely unified everyone at the club — the players, the fans, the staff, everyone there,” defender James Tarkowski told Sky Sports.
“Before the points deduction, we were playing well and winning games and so we’ve just continued that good work from that point, and we just keep building and keep picking up wins.”
The 1.92-metre Onana headed home from the back post in the 19th minute, leaping high to send the ball past keeper James Trafford off a pinpoint cross from Dwight McNeill.
“This is very, very important,” Onana told the BBC. “The mentality of the team has changed and four wins in a row, very special. I am happy to be part of this team and hope it keeps going. We don’t fear anybody.”
Keane doubled the Toffees’ lead six minutes later after Trafford saved his first attempt and he pounced on the rebound with a shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.
Burnley, who have lost eight of their nine Premier League home games this season, are one spot above bottom side Sheffield United on goal difference.
“Bitterly disappointed,” Burnley defender Dara O’Shea said. “We go into each game wanting to win and with the current situation we need the points. Being at home today we saw it as an opportunity. We conceded two poor set pieces.
“Disappointed but we have to look to next weekend now.”