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

Ruthless Response Thrills Moyes

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

David Moyes was full of praise for his side’s emphatic response to going behind early against Southampton.

Gaston Ramirez stunned Goodison Park with a fifth-minute opener, but the Blues improved to blow their guests away with a dazzling passage of play.

Leon Osman kick-started the comeback before Nikica Jelavic scored a brace in what proved a rampant 20-minute spell for Everton.

With his side enjoying a 3-1 advantage, the second period passed in patchy fashion, but Moyes was more than happy the job had already been done.

He said: “We played ever so well at times in the first half. It took us 15 minutes or so to get going. I thought maybe there was a bit of a hangover from the result and the performance in midweek, but the players deserve great credit for going about their job and how well they played.

“It was nearly action every minute. It was great theatre for the 30 minutes or so before half-time. Really, we maybe could have scored more.

“We didn't need the half-time. We needed to keep playing. It's always a danger when you're winning by two goals because you're worried that if you concede one, then they are back in the game. We played a little bit like that in the second half.

“I was clapping at the amount of chances and opportunities we created. You could see how much the crowd were behind it as well - they really enjoyed it.”

Victory lifted Everton up to second place in the table ahead of Manchester United’s evening kick-off against Tottenham Hotspur.

It is a lofty position Moyes has every hope of now consolidating.

“I don't think Everton managers can really come in these days and say ‘let's avoid relegation',” he added. “That's always the first route for every club. The next part then is whether you can nick a European spot and, if you're very good, maybe you can make the dream spots.

“I want to be in there. I'd like us to be in the mix through the season. I don't think Manchester United or Manchester City will be worried that Everton are near the top of the league at this time of the year - they might be if it comes April and we're still near the top.”

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