News24

Everton double up at Swansea

2012-03-24 19:25

Swansea - Everton emerged worthy 2-0 winners at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on Saturday with goals in the second half from Leighton Baines and Nikica Jelavic.

Swansea's three straight wins going into this encounter had pushed them up to eighth place and in sight of a Europa League place, a stunning situation for a team many had marked down as odds-on to go straight back to the Championship after one season in the top flight.

But their winning run was ended by an impressive display from Everton ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay against Sunderland.

The win, Everton's first on the road in six attempts, lifted the Merseysiders up to ninth, one point ahead of Swansea in 10th.

Everton made three changes from the midweek loss to Arsenal, with Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville and Darron Gibson, fit again after a knee problem, called up in place of Johnny Heitinga, Marouane Fellaini and Roysten Drenthe respectively.

Swansea welcomed back Ashley Williams, the captain who missed last week's win over Fulham with a virus.

Everton manager David Moyes' strategy of setting out to frustrate the buoyant home side worked a treat in the first half as the teams went into the break all square, chances few and far between.

Seven minutes after the restart Everton had a chance to take the lead when Swansea keeper Michel Vorm pulled out the stops to deny Gibson's 25-metre left-footed shot.

Jelavic then saw his six-yard effort go wide.

Under intense pressure Swansea went behind as Everton gained reward for their attacking dominance when on 59 minutes Baines floated in an 18 metre freekick over the hosts' wall and out of Vorm's reach and into the top corner of the net.

The set piece arose after an ill-judged challenge by Williams on Baines.

Seconds later Steven Pienaar's attempt at a quick follow up curled right of Vorm's goal as Everton attempted to kill off the game.

They duly did that with 14 minutes left when Croatian striker Jelavic deftly controlled Maroune Fellaini's cut back from the touchline to side foot home into the bottom left corner of the net from the edge of the box.

AFP