Premier League
EvertonEverton3SwanseaSwansea City2
By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Everton v Swansea

Everton strengthened their hopes of qualifying for Europe after a battling win over Swansea lifted them into fifth spot in the Premier League table.

Leighton Baines put the Toffees ahead from the penalty spot after Chico Flores brought down Ross Barkley.

Swansea equalised when Wilfried Bony pounced on Angel Rangel's cross before Romelu Lukaku restored Everton's lead after a centre by Kevin Mirallas.

Barkley's low header made it 3-1 before Ashley Williams's late consolation.

'Exciting' Everton please Martinez

It is four years since Goodison Park last hosted competitive European action.

But the Toffees move above Tottenham into a Europa League spot after a sixth straight home league win.

It was far from vintage Everton and it required two outstanding saves by goalkeeper Tim Howard to secure maximum points after two goals in five second-half minutes had put the hosts in command.

Swansea made the hosts work for victory, but the Welsh club's concerns near the bottom of the table continue.

Now without a win in five top-flight games, they remain just four points above the relegation zone and face Arsenal in London on Tuesday.

The Toffees were ahead in the 20th minute, Baines tucking home his side's first top-flight penalty at Goodison Park since January 2013.

Referee Michael Oliver did not hesitate in pointing to the spot after Flores marked his return to the Swans side with a clumsy challenge on Barkley just inside the area.

Everton v Swansea
Swansea manager Garry Monk served under Roberto Martinez as a player when the Spaniard was in charge of the Welsh club between February 2007 and June 2009.

Yet they struggled to to build on their encouraging start, and Swansea were back on level terms when Bony pounced on Rangel's delightful 33rd minute cross.

Suddenly, the visitors had the momentum. Pablo Hernandez went close with a heavily deflected free-kick shortly after but two quick goals early in the second half secured victory for Roberto Martinez's side.

Lukaku, who had rarely threatened, restored the lead with his 11th league goal of the season after a clever one-two with Mirallas in the 53rd minute.

And it looked all over for the visitors when Barkley's low header from four yards following a 58th-minute corner made it 3-1.

But credit to the battling Swans. Howard produced a sublime one-handed save to deny Bony a second goal, while the Everton goalkeeper also denied Hernandez from close range.

Yet Swansea's second goal, courtesy of a header by captain Williams, arrived too late to alter the outcome.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez:

"I am very pleased. We faced a really difficult test in Swansea and to get the all-important three points is a fantastic feeling.

"We deserved the two-goal lead but at that point we sat back a little bit too much, trying to use the counter-attack - but overall I was very pleased with the maturity we had.

"The Europa League is not our aim, our aim is to get as many points as we can. Champions League football will be around 71 points - that is our target."

Swansea manager Garry Monk:

Time running out for Swansea - Monk

"If I thought I wasn't doing the right things I am honest enough to know. I will hold my hands up.

"When you come to places like this - and pretty much any game - there is always a period when the opposition have pressure and you have to manage it properly, get through it unscathed and make the right choices.

"We didn't do it and it cost us dearly. If we hadn't given them such a lead we could have been able to come away with something."

Line-ups

Everton

  • 24Howard
  • 23Coleman
  • 3Baines
  • 18Barry
  • 26Stones
  • 15Distin
  • 11Mirallas
  • 16McCarthy
  • 17LukakuSubstituted forDeulofeuat 90+3'minutes
  • 20BarkleySubstituted forNaismithat 84'minutes
  • 7McGeadySubstituted forOsmanat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Robles
  • 10Deulofeu
  • 14Naismith
  • 21Osman
  • 29Garbutt
  • 32Alcaraz
  • 36Browning

Swansea

  • 1Vorm
  • 22Rangel
  • 33Davies
  • 7Britton
  • 4Flores Moreno
  • 6Williams
  • 12DyerSubstituted forShelveyat 63'minutes
  • 21Cañas Ruiz HerreraSubstituted forDe Guzmánat 69'minutes
  • 10BonySubstituted forPérez Cuestaat 70'minutes
  • 11Hernández
  • 15Routledge

Substitutes

  • 2Amat
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Shelvey
  • 9Pérez Cuesta
  • 14Lamah
  • 20De Guzmán
  • 25Tremmel
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
36,260

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home9
Away21
Shots on Target
Home6
Away7
Corners
Home5
Away12
Fouls
Home9
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 3, Swansea City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 3, Swansea City 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Gerard Deulofeu replaces Romelu Lukaku.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Everton 3, Swansea City 2. Ashley Williams (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Pablo Hernández with a cross following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Leighton Baines.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michu (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Michu (Swansea City).

  8. Post update

    Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Leon Osman replaces Aiden McGeady.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Steven Naismith replaces Ross Barkley.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michu (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Angel Rangel with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Pablo Hernández (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  13. Post update

    Chico (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Kevin Mirallas (Everton).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Williams (Swansea City).

  16. Post update

    Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Sylvain Distin.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Michu (Swansea City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  19. Post update

    Leon Britton (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Seamus Coleman (Everton).