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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Goodison Park | 29th December 2013 13:30 | Attendance - 39092

Everton v Southampton

Everton showed typical guts and determination to secure all three points against Southampton and sign off 2013 with a win.

The victory meant the club equalled their best-ever record for fewest defeats in a calendar year - and, more significantly, they will enter 2014 in the Premier Leauge's top four.

The Blues took an early lead through Seamus Coleman's fifth of the season but were pegged back by Gaston Ramirez's second half thunderbolt.

But they instantly regrouped to regain the advantage when Romelu Lukaku smashed home.

Team Celebrate Coleman's Goal

Roberto Martinez had made five changes to his starting XI, although three were enforced through injury and suspension.

And he retained Leon Osman in the starting XI as the academy product became Everton's record Premier League appearance maker.

But it was arguably the Blues' most consistent performer this season who rocketed Everton ahead inside nine minutes

Coleman had already set up Ross Barkley for an early chance before bamboozling James Ward-Prowse and sending an unstoppable strike into the top corner.

But rather than set the tone for a succession of attacking openings, after the goal both sides struggled to find incision in the final third.

Lukaku's centre for Bryan Oviedo was cut out with the Costa Rican unmarked in front of goal before the Saints livened up at the end of the opening stanza.

In the 40th minute, the busy Adam Lallana somehow danced his way into a shooting position on the edge of the box and lashed wide.

Then Ward-Prowse drilled an effort wide moments after arriving at the back post.

Mark Clattenburg's appointment as referee hadn't escaped the attention of the Everton fans but he kept a lid on things when Lallana decided to face off against Sylvain Distin off the ball.

Nearly 10 minutes of the second half had gone when Barkley sidefooted Oviedo's cross wide from the edge of the six yard box after Lukaku had led an excellent counter attack.

Ross Barkley

It was the sort of chance - at 1-0 - that can decide the destination of the points.

Jay Rodriguez had already seen his effort from 18 yards deflected wide before sub Ramirez lashed in a long-range left-footed effort that had stand-in keeper Joel Robles clutching at thin air.

But this team doesn't back down from a fight. Immediately, sub Steven Pienaar released McCarthy and the midfielder's pass was smashed gleefully and unerringly home by Lukaku.

The Belgian was now in the mood and jinked past three players before curling just over with 10 minutes left.

Then his snapshot was expertly diverted around the post by Kelvin Davies as the Blues sought a killer third.

Southampton piled men forward but couldn't force a second equaliser.




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