Allardyce kicks off Everton reign with victory over Huddersfield

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the winner on Sam Allardyce’s debut at Everton

Sam Allardyce made a winning start at Everton as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored second-half goals to defeat Huddersfield.

Allardyce, appointed as manager on an 18-month contract on Thursday, oversaw a performance that was strong on effort, even if short on quality at times.

Sigurdsson had a poor game overall, but finished neatly less than two minutes into the second half after Calvert-Lewin’s lovely angled back-flick played him in.

England youth forward Calvert-Lewin, Everton’s outstanding player, added a deserved goal when he ran on to Wayne Rooney’s pass and scored via a deflection off Mathias Jorgensen.

Laurent Depoitre nearly scrambled in a first-half goal for Huddersfield following a corner from Tom Ince, who fired into the side-netting after half-time.

But David Wagner’s side remain without a goal away from home since the opening day of the season, and have lost four league games in a row for the first time since 2000.

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Big Sam goes back to basics

Nearly a month before his appointment, Allardyce appeared as a pundit on television in Qatar to suggest that Everton needed to get back to basics to pull away from trouble.

He also emphasised, at the time, the need to keep clean sheets and become difficult to beat – and was as good as his word in his first game in charge.

Allardyce’s side looked more solid at the back than they have for much of the campaign, although they were facing opponents with only nine league goals to their name all season.

They took a while to get going, and did not even manage a touch inside Huddersfield’s penalty area until 25 minutes in, when Cuco Martina’s first-time shot was pushed away by Jonas Lossl.

Throughout the game, though, Everton were prepared to get stuck in. Rooney left Scott Malone feeling sore with a bang on the head after a first-half aerial challenge, and that typified the home side’s determination.

It was also notable that their heads did not drop when things went against them. Sigurdsson delivered three dreadful set-pieces in the first 45 minutes, yet he shrugged that off to score the opening goal.

Everton’s new coaching set-up could be an entertaining spectacle on the touchline – Allardyce wore a large earpiece so he could speak to first-team coach Craig Shakespeare in the stand, while assistant Sammy Lee was a bundle of energy in the technical area, whether shouting instructions or making points to the fourth official.

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