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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

Modest Tim Howard played down his starring role in Everton’s 3-0 win at Swansea.

The keeper pulled off a number of superb saves at crucial times as the Blues recorded an emphatic victory in South Wales.

The visitors’ attacking verve made them more than worthy winners, but Howard certainly played his part.

The pick of the saves thwarted Ki Sung-Yueng with the American plunging low to his right and diverting the South Korean’s low drive up and over the bar with a prodigiously strong swipe of his arm.

Howard told evertontv: “I saw it late, it was in a comfortable area but I saw it late. He hit it well, with good pace; I managed to get it up and off the floor and over the bar and it made it look nicer than it might have done. Like I always say if you work hard you get some luck now and then.

“There were a few scares,” he added. “Goalkeepers are there to make the saves. When you don’t you hang your head but we rode our luck and I made a few saves and 3-0 makes it look a lot better than it might have been.”

Victor Anichebe, Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini scored the goals that secured the points.

And for Howard, they were goals that capped the execution of a watertight tactical plan.

“They pass you off the park, spread you out and make it really tough for you,” he added. “But we did a job today, we had a gameplan and it worked for us.

“We wanted to stop them from playing. Most teams, you put them under pressure and they lump it. They are happy to take the ball under pressure in difficult areas of the field so everyone has to be switched on and every player know what is happening in their area of the field.

“When we had the ball we went forward, we didn’t just possess it for the sake of it. It allowed us to open them up and create some chances. We wanted to be a little bit more clinical but the boys finished their chances well and we went away 3-0 winners.”

The victory took the Blues up to second in the table, and Howard added: “We have Leeds in the cup and a cup run is important to us. We don’t want to look too far ahead but after that we have two league games before the mid-October international break and we want to make sure we are right in the reckoning so we can push on towards Christmas.”

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