Everton's impressive start to the season continued against Southampton with a 3-1 victory at Goodison Park.
David Moyes' team equalled their best points haul of 13 from six Barclays Premier League matches from the 2004-05 season to cement their place just three points behind leaders Chelsea. Nikica Jelavic scored twice to take his tally to 10 in his last 11 league matches after Leon Osman had cancelled out Gaston Ramirez's early opener.
Ramirez had given Southampton the lead from Adam Lallana's corner, nodding in the simplest of headers. It was the Uruguay international's first goal in English football following his club-record summer transfer from Bologna and the first time Everton have conceded in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game this season.
But Everton turned the game on its head in a 14-minute period. Kevin Mirallas swung over a right-wing cross and although Jelavic threw himself at it he succeeded only in diverting it back to Osman, who smashed the loose ball into the roof of the net from close range.
The goalscorer returned the favour when his pass sent Jelavic running through the inside-left channel and he fired past Paulo Gazzaniga in the Southampton goal.
The Southampton goalkeeper then clawed out the Croatia striker's header destined for the top corner but was powerless to prevent him nodding in Seamus Coleman's cross to the far post.
Everton should have had the game wrapped up before the break; their confidence was highlighted by Mirallas' attempted overhead kick before Marouane Fellaini hit the crossbar with a header.
The Belgium international almost clinched the result early in the second half with a long-range effort tipped just wide by Gazzaniga before Osman and Mirallas also tried their luck from the edge of the box.
However, without the fourth goal to kill off Southampton Everton were always a hostage to fortune and Ramirez's clip past Howard but past the far post from a narrow angle was a warning of that. But luck seemed to be on the hosts' side as Leighton Baines almost caught Gazzaniga unawares with a hanging cross-shot which the goalkeeper had to backpedal to tip over.
|06 Oct 2012||v Wigan (A)|
|21 Oct 2012||v QPR (A)|
|28 Oct 2012||v Liverpool (H)|
|03 Nov 2012||v Fulham (A)|
|10 Nov 2012||v Sunderland (H)|
|17 Nov 2012||v Reading (A)|