Premier League
Everton2Southampton1

Everton 2-1 Southampton

Everton moved into the top four of the Premier League as Romelu Lukaku's first goal in six games sealed victory over Southampton.

Seamus Coleman gave Everton the lead with a fine strike into the top corner.

Saints substitute Gaston Ramirez levelled with a shot from range that Toffees keeper Joel Robles misjudged.

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Martinez praises 'perfect' Everton

But just three minutes later Everton were back in front, with Lukaku converting James McCarthy's incisive 74th minute pass to seal victory.

The result means the Merseyside outfit leapfrog neighbours Liverpool - who lost to Chelsea in Sunday's later kick-off.

Everton are five points behind leaders Arsenal while Southampton remain ninth after a disappointing end to 2013.

Mauricio Pochettino's side had been third heading in November's fixtures but just two wins in 10 league games has seen them slide down the table.

Everton, who were missing Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka and Gareth Barry, led at the break courtesy of Coleman's wonderful strike - his fourth goal of the season.

The Republic of Ireland defender collected the ball wide on the right and easily cut inside James Ward-Prowse before advancing into the area and firing a stunning shot across keeper Kelvin Davis and into the top right hand corner of the goal.

It was the only highlight of an otherwise turgid first half, although Ross Barkley had earlier side-footed Coleman's cross straight at Davis.

At the other end Adam Lallana had Southampton's best chance of the half but dragged a left-foot volley wide after showing neat footwork to create the opportunity.

Everton felt they should have had a penalty when Dejan Lovren shrugged Steven Naismith off the ball, while Rickie Lambert fired a tame half volley straight at Robles from 20 yards.

After the break Southampton captain Lallana was prevented from converting Luke Shaw's pass by a last-ditch tackle from McCarthy.

Bryan Oviedo found space on the left but his cross was side-footed wide by Barkley from close range while at the other end Jay Rodriguez went close for Saints as his shot from the edge of the area was deflected wide.

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Saints progress pleases Pochettino

Ramirez's introduction galvanised Southampton and within four minutes of him coming on they were level. The Uruguay international picked the ball up midway inside Everton's half before advancing and unleashing a fierce, swerving shot that went through the arms of Robles.

The goal stunned Goodison Park but the home fans were soon celebrating their side regaining the lead with Lukaku finishing off a good break involving Steven Pienaar and McCarthy.

Lukaku hammered home first time from 12 yards and went close soon after with a strike from the edge of the area that fizzed over Davis' crossbar.

Davis was then forced into a smart low save from Lukaku's shot from the penalty spot as Everton ended 2013 with just one defeat at home, and atoned for their Boxing Day defeat by Sunderland in the process.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez:

"It was a completely different test to the one we had on Boxing Day. Southampton are a very god side and we knew that and we had to be perfect in our performance and the two goals were of outstanding quality.

"To see the way we got the winning goal was very satisfying and the nature of the victory was also pleasing considering the players we had out.

"We defended well and had real concentration which we needed against Southampton

"There was nothing Joel Robles could do (about the goal). The swerve in that ball from Gaston Ramirez he made it impossible for him.

"I couldn't be happier. We need the squad to be stretched and we looked like a solid unit."

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino:

"I thought it was a great game, both teams played positive football, it's a shame we did not get a positive result but that is football.

"We did have great chances it's shame we did not take the lead and a shame we leave with nothing.

"We are aware Everton are a side who play attacking football so from that point of view I enjoyed it, but I also suffered it as we did not get anything from the game.

"We are happy with how the team is progressing. We fully believe in the academy players and that is the project at Southampton. We just need to give them time to adapt."

For a gallery of images from Saturday's Premier League games please go to the BBC Sport Facebook page

Line-ups

Everton

  • 1Robles
  • 23Coleman
  • 3Baines
  • 21OsmanSubstituted forMirallasat 72'minutes
  • 32Alcaraz
  • 15Distin
  • 14Naismith
  • 16McCarthyBooked at 77mins
  • 17Lukaku
  • 20Barkley
  • 8OviedoBooked at 51minsSubstituted forPienaarat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Hibbert
  • 5Heitinga
  • 7Jelavic
  • 11Mirallas
  • 22Pienaar
  • 26Stones
  • 42Springthorpe

Southampton

  • 1Davis
  • 22ChambersSubstituted forClyneat 88'minutes
  • 23Shaw
  • 18CorkBooked at 62minsSubstituted forRamírezat 66'minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 6Fonte
  • 5Lovren
  • 9Rodriguez
  • 16Ward-ProwseSubstituted forGallagherat 84'minutes
  • 7LambertBooked at 65mins
  • 8Davis
  • 20LallanaBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 2Clyne
  • 3Yoshida
  • 10Ramírez
  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 26Hooiveld
  • 38Reed
  • 40Gallagher
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
39,092

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home9
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 2, Southampton 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 2, Southampton 1.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Steven Naismith (Everton) because of an injury.
Dejan Lovren (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ross Barkley (Everton).
Luke Shaw (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).
Attempt missed. Leighton Baines (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Kelvin Davis.
Attempt saved. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kevin Mirallas.
Attempt missed. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Booking

Adam Lallana (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Nathaniel Clyne replaces Calum Chambers.
Foul by Sam Gallagher (Southampton).
Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Jose Fonte (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Everton).
Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Southampton).
Steven Pienaar (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Sam Gallagher replaces James Ward-Prowse.
Attempt missed. Luke Shaw (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.
Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gastón Ramírez.
Foul by Jay Rodriguez (Southampton).
Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Kevin Mirallas.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Antolin Alcaraz.
Attempt blocked. Jose Fonte (Southampton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Davis.
Attempt blocked. Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Steven Pienaar (Everton).

Booking

James McCarthy (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).
Offside, Everton. Romelu Lukaku tries a through ball, but Tony Hibbert is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 2, Southampton 1. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by James McCarthy.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Kevin Mirallas replaces Leon Osman.

Booking

Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 1, Southampton 1. Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Lallana.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by James McCarthy.
Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Luke Shaw (Southampton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Gastón Ramírez replaces Jack Cork.

Booking

Rickie Lambert (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Rickie Lambert (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Leon Osman (Everton).
Attempt blocked. Seamus Coleman (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

Booking

Jack Cork (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Jack Cork (Southampton).
Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).
Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Steven Pienaar replaces Bryan Oviedo.
Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).
James McCarthy (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by James McCarthy.
Attempt missed. Ross Barkley (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Bryan Oviedo with a cross.
Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).
Seamus Coleman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Bryan Oviedo (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Calum Chambers (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal1913331942
2Man City1913243341
3Chelsea1912431640
4Everton1910721337
5Liverpool1911352136
6Man Utd1910451034
7Tottenham191045-234
8Newcastle191036533
9Southampton19766627
10Hull19658-123
11Swansea19568-121
12Stoke19568-1121
13Aston Villa19559-720
14Norwich195410-1619
15West Brom19397-518
16Cardiff19469-1518
17Crystal Palace195113-1616
18Fulham195113-2216
19West Ham193610-1015
20Sunderland193511-1714
View full Premier League table

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