Carlo Ancelotti joked he would be “dead” if he had joined in the celebrations following Everton’s dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Watford.
Theo Walcott hit a last-minute winner as the 10-man Toffees came from two goals down to move them back into the top half of the table.
Yerry Mina had scored twice in first-half stoppage time to draw Everton level, and despite Fabian Delph seeing red, Walcott delivered a last-gasp winner.
But Ancelotti resisted the temptation to join his substitutes and coaching staff in sprinting down the touchline to celebrate Walcott’s goal.
This was the first time since December 2017 that Everton won a Premier League game after conceding the first goal – a run of 35 matches – but when asked if he thought about making his way down the touchline, the 60-year-old smiled and said: “No. I was not able to run. If I run, I am dead. I will stay calm.
“In the first half, we were 2-0 down and lost a lot of duels and second balls. In the second half we were in control of the game and I felt we would’ve won if it was 11 against 11. We have to sometimes manage the decisions of the referees which I felt in this situation was wrong.
“It was an important result moreover because of what happened in the game. In the second half we were better but with 10 men, it was more difficult and we had to defend and seek opportunities on the counter-attack. In that situation, all three players did really well.
“It was a difficult game because Watford are a strong team, but this can help us have more confidence for the future. This is a really competitive league, so we don’t have to think too much beyond the next game against Crystal Palace. We planned to play in a certain style today but Watford were very aggressive in the first half.
“If you’re not ready to compete, then you can lose the game 2-0. But we were more in the game in that aspect after that and then we showed our technical and tactical quality.”
Everton are now nine points clear of the relegation zone in ninth place. Only eight points separate themselves and Chelsea in fourth, but Ancelotti is not getting carried away.
“Realistically, no one knows [where Everton could finish] but we have to try for the top and aim to reach the Europa League next year. If we’re able to keep concentrated and fight, then I think we have the possibility of making it.”