Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said they have to plug their leaky defence after snapping a run of three straight defeats with a narrow 3-2 win at Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.
A double from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure’s first goal for the club put them 3-1 ahead at the break but they had to endure a nervy end to the contest as Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored in the second half after Fulham missed a penalty.
Everton last kept a clean sheet in the league on the opening day when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 and they have conceded 16 goals in eight games since.
They have the worst defensive record alongside local rivals and defending champions Liverpool, who have a game in hand and host Leicester City later on Sunday, among the top 10 clubs in the competition this season.
“We have to improve for sure,” Ancelotti told the BBC. “We were not so compact, we were not so close with the line. We have time to work this week on this.”
Ancelotti, who deployed a three-man defence featuring Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey, said he was pleased that the team could hold on to their advantage towards the end.
“… We lost energy and had tired players. I changed to put more fresh legs on the pitch, but we lost a bit of quality and thought to only defend the result,” the Italian said.
“At the end, it went well. It was the most important part of the game to be back to winning ways.”
Victory lifted Everton to sixth in the table. They host Leeds United in the league next Saturday.