Premier League - Everton struggle to victory against wretched Sunderland

Premier League, Stadium of Light - Sunderland 0 Everton 1 (Brown o.g. 75)

Premier League - Everton struggle to victory against wretched Sunderland

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Sunderland's Ki Sung-Yeung challenges Sylvain Distin of Everton (Reuters)

Everton continued their hunt for Champions League qualification with a dour 1-0 win at Sunderland.

In the first half, Everton went close when Gerard Deulofeu struck a shot straight at Vito Mannone inside, and Romelu Lukaku had his effort deflected wide off Wes Brown’s heel. Steven Naismith then smashed a shot over from 14 yards.

Sunderland went closest when Fabio Borini intercepted a Leighton Baines pass; his effort was cleared off the line by John Stones.

In the second half, Baines cleared Phil Bardsley’s effort off the line, and Ki Sung-yeung headed wide. At the other end, Deulofeu sent a shot just wide. Naismith missed an open goal when Mannone headed the ball straight into the air. Moments later Ross Barkley’s back-post volley was tipped away.

Everton won the match when Deulofeu beat Marcos Alonso on the right, and had his cross chested in at the near post by Wes Brown. Sunderland almost hit back when Ki had a low shot saved by Howard, but they could not find an equaliser. Nor did anyone expect them to.


14’ - NAISMITH MISS - Naismith does well to turn Brown inside the box, and uses the chance to shot well wide of goal.

31’ - STONES CLEARANCE - Stones clears the ball off the line. Baines is pressured into a wretched pass back by Johnson. It runs to Borini, who takes it round the 'keeper and tries to squeeze it in at the near post, but Stones blocks it.

34’ - LUKAKU CHANCE - Collecting Baines’ early pass from the left, Lukaku takes one touch and his left-footed shot is deflected wide.

59’ - KI HEADER - Johnson’s cross from the right is tipped towards Ki, but he heads just wide at the back post.

60’ - DEULOFEU CHANCE - Skipping past Marcos Alonso, Deulofeu slides a shot just wide of the post.

62’ - NAISMITH MISS - Mannone rushes out to head away a Howard clearance, but it’s straight into the air. It comes to Naismith but he volleys wide of goal.

64’ - BARKLEY SHOT - Mannone tips away a shot that was probably going wide, after Ross Barkley met Lukaku’s cross to the back post.

75’ - WES BROWN OWN GOAL - Gerard Deulofeu again beats Alonso on the right wing, sends in a cross on the byline, and Brown chests the ball in at the near post.

79’ - KI CHANCE - Inside the box, he sidefoots a shot towards the corner, but it's not wide enough and Howard saves.


Everton have now won their highest points total in the Premier League, beating the 65 they earned in 2007-8.

Sunderland are one of only three sides to have won fewer points at home that they have away this season in the Premier League (12 at home, 13 away).

Everton scored for the seventh match in a row.

This is the first lost for Sunderland against Everton in five Premier League matches.



Now that Everton are almost assured of European football next season, and may achieve qualification for the Champions League, how will they reinforce over the summer? With Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu all on loan from their respective clubs, Everton will need to invest significantly in order to maintain a challenge on more fronts than they have done this season.


Gerard Deulofeu (Everton): That should really read 'Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona)' and the player today demonstrated why he is owned by the Catalans. His pace and close control was Everton's greatest threat throughout the match and it was no surprise he created the winner. His style of play might not fit Barcelona, and Everton should obviously try to keep him if possible.


Saunderland: Mannone 6, Bardsley 6, Alonso 5, O'Shea 6, Brown 6, Cattermole 6, Ki 5, Colback 5, Johnson 5, Wickham 5, Borini 6. Subs: Larsson 6.

Everton: Howard 7, Coleman 6, Baines 6, Stones 7, Distin 6, McCarthy 6, Barry 6, Deulofeu 7, Naismith 6, Osman 6, Lukaku 6. Subs: McGeady 6, Barkley 6.


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