Everton 1-0 Watford
Bernard’s early strike proved crucial as Everton edged to an unconvincing 1-0 victory against Watford at Goodison Park.
The 26-year-old Brazilian netted the all-important goal after only 10 minutes when he latched on to a pinpoint pass from Lucas Digne before beating Ben Foster with a right-footed effort.
It took a while for the Hornets to regroup but when they did create an opening they almost equalised in the 24th minute only for Jordan Pickford to tip Craig Dawson’s header onto the woodwork.
Everton thought they should have been awarded a penalty soon after but their appeals were waved away by referee Lee Mason after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had gone down under Dawson’s challenge.
Former Everton star Gerard Deulofeu looked dangerous at times for Watford but the visitors were poor in the first period, although Pickford did have to make a 38th-minute save to keep out Etienne Capoue’s low drive.
Ex-Hornets striker Richarlison headed wide from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick when he should have scored and at the other end Capoue was only just unable to force the ball home at the back post in the closing stages of the first half.
Watford started strongly after the restart and enjoyed plenty of possession which eventually resulted in Pickford appearing to save Troy Deeney’s close-range effort with his face.
When play swung to the other end Brazilian striker Richarlison headed just over the bar but Watford were the better team after the interval and Roberto Pereyra was unable to guide his close-range header on target.
Everton were fortunate to hang on to the three points as Abdoulaye Doucoure lashed a great late opportunity wide after the ball had dropped to him off Michael Keane but Marco Silva will at least be pleased that his side have started the season with two clean sheets.