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Barclays Premier League

Goodison Park (ATT 39,092) 29th December 2013 - Kick off 13:30

Everton Everton vs Southampton Southampton

Everton 2

S Coleman (9)
R Lukaku (74)

ft

Southampton 1

G Ramirez (71)

Premier League: Romelu Lukaku nets winner as Everton beat Southampton 2-1

Last Updated: 29/12/13 8:55pm

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Romelu Lukaku: The striker bagged the winner against Southampton

Romelu Lukaku: The striker bagged the winner against Southampton

Romelu Lukaku netted the winner as Everton edged past Southampton with a 2-1 win following a thrilling encounter at Goodison Park.

Seamus Coleman got the visitors off to the perfect start when he found the net after just nine minutes with a ferocious finish.

Best of the Match:

  • Man of the Match: Ross Barkley just edges James McCarthy after another eye-catching midfield display. The 20-year-old was effervescent throughout, covering all corners of the pitch and applied himself well in the physical battle that emerged with Jack Cork. This boy will surely go to Brazil.
  • Goal of the Match: All three goals were impressive enough, although Romelu Lukaku's winner was probably the pick of the bunch. A delightful ball from McCarthy played the striker in and he made no mistake, sweeping it into the top corner to end his barren spell.
  • Save of the Match: With Everton looking to put the game beyond Southampton's reach, Kelvin Davis got down excellently to his right to palm behind Lukaku's late effort, ensuring that his side remained in with a shout in the final few minutes.
  • Talking point: Despite making five changes, Roberto Martinez guided his side to an impressive win to draw level - temporarily at least - on points with third-placed Chelsea. Can the Toffees maintain what appears to be a genuine push for Champions League football? Today certainly indicated that they are more than capable.

The full-back picked up Leon Osman's pass out wide on the right before cutting inside of James Ward-Prowse and unleashing an emphatic strike into the top corner.

Southampton had looked bright in spells without creating too many clear-cut opportunities, although their best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to Adam Lallana who somehow managed to adjust himself to wriggle free of Sylvain Distin and Osman before firing wide.

Second-half substitute Gaston Ramirez levelled proceedings on the 70-minute mark with a strike from some distance after skipping away from James McCarthy, although Joel Robles perhaps should have dealt with it better.

However, just three minutes later, Lukaku ended his run of five games without a goal as he swept McCarthy's reverse pass past the helpless Kelvin Davis to secure the three points.

The victory means Roberto Martinez's side moved - for a few hours at least - up a place to fourth in the table, while Southampton remain ninth.

Martinez made five changes to his starting line-up from the surprise Sunderland loss, with some of them enforced.

But Everton certainly looked no weaker than usual in the early stages as Coleman's third goal in four games fired them into the lead.

The Republic of Ireland international collected the ball from Osman, advanced down the right flank and then cut into the box, beating Ward-Prowse in the process, before unleashing an emphatic effort beyond Davis and into the net.

In the 18th minute, Steven Naismith chased a long ball over the top and, as Davis caught it, went to ground in the area having felt contact from Dejan Lovren, but no penalty was given.

Some nice build-up play from Southampton then saw Lallana's clever flick tee up Rickie Lambert, who brought a save out of Robles, but the assistant referee's flag was raised - incorrectly, replays suggested.

Luke Shaw sent a tame effort across the face of Robles' goal moments later, and both sides struggled to create anything truly incisive for the rest of the first half, with Lukaku failing to make the most of one particularly decent-looking opportunity to send a cross in.

Romelu Lukaku hit the winner as Everton edged past Southampton with a 2-1 win in a thrilling encounter at Goodison Park

Having juggled the ball away from Distin and Osman on the edge of the area, Lallana dragged a shot wide, Ward-Prowse looped another off-target and at the other end, Naismith looked to get his head to a delightful Leighton Baines free-kick delivery but Southampton cleared.

In the opening seconds of the second half Shaw made a run down the left and played a good ball into the danger zone, where a touch from the sliding McCarthy ensured Lallana could not finish.

Bryan Oviedo - booked moments earlier for a sliding challenge on Calum Chambers - then laid the ball to Ross Barkley, who side-footed wide right in front of goal.

Southampton looked to apply pressure once more and, after a Jay Rodriguez shot deflected behind off McCarthy, Robles spilled a cross before smothering the ball with Lambert lurking.

And there was another suspect moment for Robles soon after as Ramirez collected the ball from Lallana and sent a dipping effort goalwards that seemed to fly right through the Spanish goalkeeper on its way in.

Robles will have surely been relieved to have seen Everton's advantage restored three minutes later.

Having received the ball from substitute Steven Pienaar as the Toffees swept forward, McCarthy neatly set up Lukaku, who smashed it home past Davis.

Lukaku sent an attempt over soon after and, with Southampton desperately looking to salvage something, Shaw then did likewise.

In the last few minutes, Lukaku might have added another for Everton, but saw his shot saved by Davis.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 Crystal Palace 34 40
12 West Ham United 34 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 33 26

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