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v Swansea City

Tuesday 23 September K.O. 19:45

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Goodison Park | 26th December 2013 15:00 | Attendance - 39193

Everton v Sunderland

Ten-man Everton saw their unbeaten home record ended by Sunderland as Ki Sung-Yeung's penalty condemned them to a first Goodison Park league defeat of 2013.

Roberto Martinez's men were just two games away from going an entire calendar year without defeat on home soil but saw that dream halted on a frustrating afternoon in L4.
 
Martinez opted to rest 20-year-old Ross Barkley, recalling Leon Osman as his one and only change from the victory at Swansea.

In doing so he allowed the midfielder to equal Everton's record for Premier League appearances, his total of 302 matching that of former teammate and now Blues Under-21 assistant manager David Unsworth.

Osman's afternoon was to be a short-lived one however, with the academy product making way to allow for the introduction of Joel Robles after Tim Howard's unfortunate dismissal.

Everton had actually started brightly, with Bryan Oviedo pulling a save from goalkeeper Vito Mannone before Gareth Barry headed over from a Kevin Mirallas corner.

But then came a Boxing Day blunder that stunned the home faithful. Receiving a short pass from Howard, Osman lost his footing on the edge of the box. Ki nipped in to take up the loose ball and, as the South Korean went to shimmy past Howard, the glovesman caught - albeit marginally - his trailing leg.

Referee Lee Probert reached straight for his top pocket and Howard was off for the first time in his eight-season Everton career.

Howard Sent OffHoward is dimissed after tripping Ki inside the box during the first half.

Robles, making what was a Premier League debut for the Blues, had the chance to make himself an instant hero but, having won the spot-kick, Ki stepped up to take it and fired in a low shot that was too accurate for the Spaniard to stop.

The 23-year-old, a summer arrival from Atletico Madrid, was then called into action again as he parried a shot from Sebastian Larsson before jumping gratefully on to the loose ball.

Down to 10, Everton temporarily lost another player from their ranks as Mirallas mysteriously sprinted off down the tunnel.

With the Belgian off the pitch, Barkley was readied to come on, only for his teammate to reappear and rejoin the action.

An unpredictable opening 45 minutes, then took another turn for the worse as Barry was punished for a foul on Jack Colback, picking up a fifth booking of the season and a one-match suspension that will rule him out of the visit of Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton.

Mannone PunchMannone punches clear as Everton launch attack after attack on the Sunderland goal.

Whatever the problem for Mirallas [it was later confirmed as a stomach bug], it forced Martinez to tinker at half-time and Barkley did get his introduction.  

And he was to get the 10-men ticking.

There was a let off for Everton first when a shot from giant defender Modibo Diakite looped up over the crossbar from six-yards out. But then the Everton charge began.

First Barkley drilled over a dangerous corner that marginally evaded Barry in the box.
 
From an Oviedo corner, Phil Jagielka then climbed above Larsson, only to see Mannone parry his header and smother another attempt from Romelu Lukaku on the rebound.

A back-post cross from the Belgian was then pinched away from the charging Oviedo before Lukaku himself saw a low shot saved.

Coleman BoriniColeman surges forward and is put under pressure by Borini.

The lively Barkley was desperate to make something happen and almost did when he shuffled away from Ki and let go with a ripper of a shot that travelled only inches wide to Mannone's left.

Coleman then danced his way into the box only to slip at the vital moment. And if proof were needed it was to be one of those days, a combination of Mannone and Fabio Borini provided it.

Diving to his right, Mannone produced a stunning save from an equally eye-catching effort from Oviedo before turning a seemingly goal-bound Barkley free-kick around the post.

When Nikica Jelavic, on for Steven Pienaar, threw himself at another Blues corner soon after, Borini somehow headed off the line.

In between, Robles was alert to thwart Steven Fletcher but there was little else for the substitute keeper to do.

Indeed, his most telling contribution may well have come at the other end as the Toffees took one last roll of the dice.

Yet, having raced up for a corner, the Spaniard coudn't quite meet an inswinging delivery and Sunderland cleared to ensure their first Goodison Park victory since 1996.

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