Goals from Idrissa Gueye and Romelu Lukaku helped Everton to a 2-0 victory over Sunderland on David Moyes’ latest return to Goodison Park.
In a scrappy game characterised by numerous unforced errors from both sides, the hosts’ superior quality eventually shone through against the relegation battlers.
Here’s how the Blues rated for today’s performance.
Joel Robles- 6
Rarely tested as Everton dominated for long spells, but solid enough when called into action. Looking increasingly confident under the high-ball and now undisputed No.1 between the sticks.
Seamus Coleman- 7
The main attacking outlet for Koeman’s side during the opening period, Coleman supplied the cross from which Gueye opened the scoring and bombed forward to good effect at regular intervals. Technical deficiencies remain, but this was another decent showing from the Irishman.
Ashley Williams- 7
Coped well with the threat of Defoe on the whole and delivered a much improved performance on the ball. Better when he keeps it simple in possession, instead of aimlessly firing long balls forward to Lukaku.
Ramiro Funes Mori- 7
Made several important recovery tackles as he filled in for the attack-minded Baines, but otherwise pretty comfortable. Far less of the heart in mouth moments that have come to define his game, too.
Leighton Baines- 6
Got forward well on his 300th start for the club, yet often let himself down with his final ball. Did, however, blunt the tricky Januzaj in defence and should be happy enough with his afternoon’s work.
Morgan Schneiderlin- 8
Superb in his shielding role in front of the back four, the Frenchman has a legitimate claim for Man of the Match after also dictating the play for Koeman’s men. His match stats of four tackles, four interceptions and two clearances make healthy reading for a player who has settled into his new role at Goodison Park with aplomb.
Idrissa Gueye- 8 (Man of the Match)
Struggled on his return to the side against Middlesbrough, but this was the Gana of pre-AFCON fame. Thrived in a more advanced role and deservedly got his first goal for the club with a sweet strike into the top corner just before half-time. Partnership with Schneiderlin has the potential to be a real strong point for the Blues.
Tom Davies- 6
On the fringes of the action for too long, in my opinion- this was not one of his best showings in a blue shirt- yet made a couple of telling interventions when it mattered. Brilliant cross-field pass to put Coleman away down the right for the opening goal and unlucky not to score with a rasping shot shortly after. Oozes class and more will surely follow.
Ross Barkley- 6
Delivery from set-pieces leaves an awful lot to be desired, but Barkley played his part and showed some nice touches as the match wore on. Now achieving the types of bottom lines we’d expect from a Premier League player of his stature.
Ademola Lookman- 5
A few careless losses of possession from the January signing, who still looks to be lacking physically at this level. Taken off on the hour for Mirallas- and few could argue with that decision. Still a top young talent, though.
At times seemed too focused on his battle with O’Shea and Kone, but did step up in the second-half with a wonderful solo effort that now makes him Everton’s joint-top scorer in the Premier League era. Unstoppable when placed in such promising positions.
Kevin Mirallas- 7
Brighter than Lookman upon his arrival into the fray. Dragged what could have been the clincher well wide of Pickford’s net and sent Lukaku through with a late pass for the Blues’ second. Could- and perhaps should- start at White Hart Lane.
Enner Valencia- 6
Combined nicely with Lukaku on occasion, yet short of the quality needed to make a real impact from the bench.
James McCarthy- N/A