English Premiership

Barkley shines, Everton climb

2014-03-22 20:09
Ross Barkley (AP Photo)

Liverpool - Everton bolstered their bid for European qualification on Saturday with a 3-2 win at home to Swansea City that took them into fifth place in the Premier League.

After visiting forward Wilfried Bony cancelled out Leighton Baines's 20th-minute penalty, quick-fire goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley gave Everton victory, with Ashley Williams claiming a late consolation.

Everton moved a point above Tottenham Hotspur, on whom they have a game in hand, and to within eight points of fourth-place Arsenal, while Swansea remain 15th.

Everton coach Roberto Martinez made two changes to his starting line-up following last weekend's last-gasp 2-1 win over Cardiff City, with Barkley and Aiden McGeady replacing Leon Osman and Gerard Deulofeu.

Swansea showed three changes from their 2-1 loss at West Bromwich Albion, meanwhile, with Chico Flores, Pablo Hernandez and Nathan Dyer the players drafted into the starting XI by manager Garry Monk.

Barkley is looking to nail down a place in the England squad for the World Cup and he made an early impression by winning the penalty from which Baines put Everton ahead.

The 20-year-old midfielder drew a foul from Flores with a neat stepover and Baines beat Michel Vorm from the spot with a low shot.

Swansea levelled just 13 minutes later with a sweeping move that their former coach Martinez might have appreciated had it not been scored against his current side.

Wayne Routledge found right-back Angel Rangel rampaging down the right flank and he crossed for Bony to score from close range.

Swansea threatened to take the upper hand, with Hernandez seeing a deflected free-kick trickle narrowly wide just before half-time, but it was the hosts who struck next.

With eight minutes on the clock in the second half, Lukaku rolled his man on the edge of the box and sprayed the ball wide to Kevin Mirallas before haring into the area to dispatch his Belgium team-mate's centre.

Five minutes later Everton doubled their advantage, with Barkley exploiting inattentive marking at a corner to head a cross from Mirallas past Vorm at the back post.

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard then produced a brilliant one-handed save to thwart Bony, but Swansea did claim a second goal in stoppage time when Williams met a corner with a powerful header.


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