Sunday 22 December 2013
Ross Barkley propelled Everton into the top four of the Barclays Premier League on Sunday by scoring a late winner to seal a 2-1 victory at Swansea City, while earlier in the day Emmanuel Adebayor was the hero of the hour as Tottenham Hotspur also managed an away victory at Southampton.
Barkley proved Everton's match-winner as he stepped up with just six minutes remaining to crash a free-kick past Gerhard Tremmel and in off the underside of the crossbar to earn Everton an impressive away win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
After a goalless opening period, Seamus Coleman produced a sensational strike to put the visitors ahead in the 66th minute, but Michael Laudrup's charges drew level against the run of play four minutes later as a close-range Dwight Tiendalli effort deflected in off Bryan Oviedo, who was credited with the own goal.
Barkley's stunning effort – his third goal of the season – ensured former Swansea manager Roberto Martinez enjoyed a winning return to his old club as Everton made it 10 matches unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League, and moved up to fourth place, one point ahead of Chelsea, who meet Arsenal on Monday, and just two points behind leaders Liverpool. Swansea’s defeat leaves them 11th.
Adebayor's double gave caretaker head coach Tim Sherwood a victory in his first Barclays Premier League match in charge. The 29-year-old had fallen out of favour under former head coach Andre Villas-Boas, but marked his first league start of the season with goals in each half at St Mary's Stadium.
Southampton had made a bright start and took the lead through Adam Lallana's low drive on 13 minutes, but the sides went into half-time level thanks to Adebayor's side-footed volley. Three goals in 10 second-half minutes followed, Rickie Lambert cancelling out Jos Hooiveld's own goal before Adebayor had the final say.
The Togolese forward produced a left-footed finish from inside the area to register his fourth goal in five Barclays Premier League outings and bolster Sherwood's chances of being appointed on a permanent basis.
Tottenham Hotspur, who suffered a League Cup defeat to West Ham United under Sherwood on Wednesday, now sit six points behind leaders Liverpool in seventh place, while Southampton remain ninth.