For match photos, scroll to PHOTOSTREAM above left; for match stats, click on the stats tab. Manager reaction to follow
Gerard Deulofeu inspired Everton to a comprehensive 4-0 win over Stoke City at Goodison Park.
The Barcelona loanee, who was handed his first Barclays Premier League start after a bright display as a substitute against Liverpool last week, was the shining light in a vibrant attacking display that lifts Roberto Martinez's side up to fourth in the table.
Everton dominated from start to finish and Deulofeu opened the scoring just before the break by finishing off a superb team move, before second-half goals from Seamus Coleman, Bryan Oviedo and Romelu Lukaku ensured they made it 16 home top-flight games without defeat.
Martinez made three changes from the thrilling 3-3 draw against Liverpool last week, with Leon Osman, Oviedo and Deulofeu coming in for Kevin Mirallas, the injured Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley. Mark Hughes, meanwhile, made two alterations from Stoke's 2-0 win over Sunderland, as Marc Muniesa and Oussama Assaidi replaced Robert Huth and Marko Arnautovic.
Everton started the game on the front foot, with the impressive Deulofeu proving a thorn in Stoke's side. The 19-year-old had the first effort on goal when he forced Asmir Begovic into a smart save from his 20-yard free-kick after just three minutes.
Begovic was once again called into action in the 26th minute as he made a superb reflex save from Osman's deflected shot following another sustained period of Everton pressure. Martinez's men continued to control proceedings and finally broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when Deulofeu finished off a brilliant move from close range.
The Spaniard played slick one-twos with Steven Pienaar and then Gareth Barry in the Stoke box before rifling past the helpless Begovic from six yards.
The hosts picked up where they left off after the interval and had to wait just minutes to extend their lead through Coleman. Deulofeu was once again the architect, as his elusive run down the left led to Gareth Barry mis-controlling the winger's cross, only for the ball to fall fortuitously to Coleman, who scuffed his left-footed shot past Begovic.
Oviedo made it 3-0 shortly before the hour, as he received a short corner from Deulofeu before cutting inside onto his right foot and scoring his first Barclays Premier League goal into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Tim Howard was forced into his first save of the game from Peter Crouch soon after, but Lukaku had the final say when he rounded off another incisive move by slotting home Oviedo's cross from six yards 11 minutes from time.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “You are always a little bit wary of playing back-to-back home games. It is difficult to maintain that intensity when you come after a derby as it was the previous Saturday. It can be a dangerous position to get easily frustrated to allow the organisation of Stoke to be a strong point in the game, but we overcame that.
"We controlled the game well, we stopped Stoke from being a real threat and slowly we grew into the game and we created more and more opportunities and overall a very pleasing performance.
"In football it is fair to say there are no easy games, you are always going to play against teams that are well set-up. Stoke have been very tough to beat, they are difficult to play against.
"We respected Stoke a lot, but what pleased me was the players that came into the team were full of excitement and full of desire to perform well and that is really, really pleasing when that happens."
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: “It was disappointing, obviously to concede the goals that we did and at the times that we did, that killed us to be honest. We conceded some very poor goals, especially the one right before the break. Had we gone in at half-time level then it could have been a totally different game.
“We then come out after the break and concede another straight away which pretty much takes the game away from us, and that is disappointing. In the end Everton were just too good for us today, and had great ability and pace which earned them the victory. We have to pick ourselves up very quickly.
“We didn’t do our jobs well enough in key areas of the pitch, and in key areas of the game – and in the end that has cost us dearly. I have learned a few things today, and I will look back at the match before Cardiff and then assess which eleven I think will be good enough to go out there and win the game, which is now our priority.”
|01 Jan 2014||v Stoke (A)|
|09 Feb 2014||v Spurs (A)|
|08 Dec 2013||v Arsenal (A)|
|29 Dec 2013||v Southampton (H)|
|30 Mar 2014||v Fulham (A)|
|01 Mar 2014||v West Ham (H)|