Everton moved up to fifth place in the Barclays Premier League as a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park left opponents Swansea City winless in eight matches.
Leighton Baines, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley were on target to secure a 11th home league win for Roberto Martinez's men this season, moving them above Tottenham Hostpur, who host Southampton on Sunday.
Baines opened the scoring with a penalty, maintaining his 100 per cent record from the spot in the Barclays Premier League, only for Wilfried Bony to pull Swansea level before half-time. Lukaku and Barkley found the net early in the second half to take the match away from the visitors and leave Swansea head coach Garry Monk still searching for his second win since succeeding Michael Laudrup. Ashley Williams pulled a goal back in stoppage time, but it was not enough for Swansea, who will be looking nervously over their shoulders towards the relegation zone.
The hosts began well and could have opened the scoring as early as the seventh minute. Seamus Coleman played a neat one-two with Lukaku and rolled a cross to Barkley, but the midfielder skewed his effort wide of goal. Baines made sure Everton did not have to wait long to move ahead as he emphatically converted a penalty following Chico Flores' foul on Barkley after 19 minutes. John Stones released Barkley with a cross-field pass out of defence, and the 20-year-old headed straight for goal before being clipped by the Spanish defender just inside the area.
Swansea drew level on 32 minutes after Wayne Routledge showed vision to find Angel Rangel on the right of the penalty area. Rangel fired a low cross into the six-yard box and Bony was there to tap home. Pablo Hernandez went close to giving Swansea the lead two minutes before half-time, with a free-kick that took a deflection to wrongfoot Tim Howard but the ball rolled narrowly wide.
After Sylvain Distin had missed a chance to put Everton back in front early in the second half, the hosts soon restored their lead as Lukaku fired home on 53 minutes. The Belgium forward found compatriot Kevin Mirallas, who played an inviting cross into the six-yard box for Lukaku to pounce at the near post.
Barkley made it 3-1 five minutes later following some poor defending from Swansea. Mirallas was again the architect as his corner enabled the unmarked Barkley to convert a simple header.
Bony had a chance to narrow Swansea's deficit just after the hour, but the Ivory Coast forward saw his header palmed away by Howard, before Coleman completed the clearance. Howard was again on hand to deny Hernandez in the closing stages, but there was nothing he could do to stop Williams' injury-time header from a right-wing corner.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “In the first 45 we were too open. We changed that mentality after the break, won the ball in good positions and used possession well. In the second half, Tim Howard was really bright on a couple of occasions and he didn’t deserve to concede twice.
“You’re not going to be able to win fantastically well in every game but you always need to find the margins to win matches. I’m very pleased for many reasons, particularly because of the performances from some of our younger players.
“I wish Swansea well and the best of the luck but today was a big game for both sides and we needed those three points. Without being at our best, we got an important win – our eighth home win in a row.”
Swansea head coach Gary Monk: "If I thought I wasn't doing the right things then I'd hold my hands up. If you asked the players who see how hard I work, I think they'd say I'm doing the right things. I'll be judged on my results but until I'm told differently I'll continue to work as hard as possible."
"When you come to places like this, there's always a period where the opposition has some pressure, and you have to manage that properly.
“You have to get through those periods unscathed, you have to dig in, make the right decisions and we didn't do that in a five-minute period in the second half and it cost us. And it gave us too much of a mountain to climb. After that we had a few chances and if we hadn't given them such a lead we would have been able to come away with something."
|25 Mar 2014||v Newcastle (A)|
|30 Mar 2014||v Fulham (A)|
|06 Apr 2014||v Arsenal (H)|
|12 Apr 2014||v Sunderland (A)|
|16 Apr 2014||v Crystal Palace (H)|
|20 Apr 2014||v Man Utd (H)|