Next Match:

Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

February

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Only three days after the FA Cup stalemate with Chelsea, Everton were on the road to London to face Arsenal at the Emirates.

A resilient start from the Toffees saw Louis Saha hit home after 23 minutes and give Everton a deserved lead.

The goal didn't come without controversy though, as referee Lee Probert allowed the Frenchman's strike to stand, despite a strong call for offside from the Gunners' faithful.

But in the second half, an equaliser from Andrey Arshavin with 20 minutes to spare was closely followed by a Laurent Koscielny winner to send the Blues back to Merseyside empty handed.

Arguably the most thrilling encounter on Goodison soil during the entire campaign was next up for the Blues - Saha continuing his outstanding form by smashing in four in an incredible eight-goal thriller against newly-promoted Blackpool.

Leighton Baines

It finished 5-3 as the Frenchman stole the headlines netting not only his first quadruple, but his first ever top flight hat-trick - and it could have been more had he not been harshly ruled offside for a first-half strike.

Desperate to move out of the bottom half of the Premier League table and in high spirits following the Blackpool success, Everton travelled to Bolton. The hopes of a rise up the table were soon dashed though as Wanderers hit goals either side of the break to condemn David Moyes' men to a 2-0 defeat. The wait for a return to the top 10 continued.

The month ended with a return to FA Cup action for their replay against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. A dramatic penalty shootout saw the Toffees triumph 4-3 after an unbelievable end to the game which saw Leighton Baines equalise with a outstanding free-kick with only two minutes of extra-time left to play.

It had been 0-0 after 90 minutes but Frank Lampard struck in the first period of added time, but Baines levelled it and then missed a penalty. But the shootout swung in Everton's direction with Phil Neville sending his side through with a text-book penalty.

Everton rounded-up February with a visit from Sunderland, and the afternoon pleasingly provided a textbook victory which the Blues are often so capable of. Evidently still brimming with confidence after their triumph over Chelsea, a brace from Jermaine Beckford saw the Toffees finally climb into the top half of the table.

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