Carlo Ancelotti held particular praise for Dominic Calvert-Lewin after Everton secured a 'vital' victory over West Ham United on Sunday.

The Blues kept their hopes of potential European qualification alive with a dogged 1-0 win at the London Stadium thanks to a first-half goal from their striker, latching onto a wonderful through-ball by Ben Godfrey.

The three points keeps Everton in eighth place in the Premier League table but moves them just three points behind West Ham, with a game in hand.

And Ancelotti was delighted with his side's defensive display, while also highlighting some specific instructions to Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison following the game.

The manager told his post-match press conference: "Yeah it was a vital victory because, if we don't win here, we are out of the fight for Europe. It was necessary to have a result here.

"There was pressure on the game but I think we managed it well. We played at the top defensively and we were really dangerous in the counter-attack.

"In this sense, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison did fantastic work. Defensively, and also I asked them to attack and play vertically, to attack at the back, and they did a lot of the time."

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Calvert-Lewin's goal came in the 24th minute of the game and saw the England international execute a perfectly-timed run before slotting the ball home.

Ancelotti believes that his 16th goal of the season was the mark of a "top striker".

"I think that the goal he scored today is the goal of a top striker," the boss added.

"It's a goal when the striker prepares the movement and moves at the right time with a lot of speed, and then cuts in front of the goalkeeper.

"This was a fantastic goal in this sense. He didn't score a lot of goals like this, because more of the goals he scored were from crosses or one touch in the box.

"This is the goal of a top striker."

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Everton will now move on to face Aston Villa away from home on Thursday evening for their game in hand.

It will be another important match for the Blues in their race for potential European qualification, and Ancelotti believes his squad will know that.

"They knew, and they know it will also be vital on Thursday against Aston Villa," the Italian remarked.

"We have to be ready and prepare to feel the game. I think it's important to feel the game, feel how important it was. I think they understood.

"Then the attitude, the spirit, the concentration, the motivation was really high today."