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Everton 3-1 Middlesbrough: Toffees go second after rousing performance

Sunday 18th September , 2016 10:10 am
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Everton put in a rousing performance against Middlesbrough to win 3-1 and move second in the Premier League table.

Despite going one goal behind, the Toffees fought back with three strikes of their own before half-time, to pick up all three points and record their best start to a season since 1978-79.

Middlesbrough pressed well in the early stages, aided by the strong hold up play of Alvaro Negredo.

Stewart Downing was inches away from connecting with an in-swinging Gaston Ramirez set-piece, with the Uruguayan then forcing a save from Stekelenburg after winning the ball off Gareth Barry.

But those early stages passed without Boro getting on the scoresheet, and the hosts grew into the match, putting together some lovely moves which resulted in Victor Valdes making a number of saves.

The Spanish stopper parried a powerful long-range strike from Ross Barkley and held Kevin Mirallas’s curling attempt, doing enough to ensure Boro survived the pressure.

And for all that pressure, it was the visitors who took the lead – somewhat against the run of play.

A left-wing cross from Downing looked to be an easy catch for Stekelenburg, who did take the ball into his hands. However, Negredo had jumped for the header, and although he failed to touch the ball, he bumped into the keeper who dropped the ball into his own net.

It was a controversial strike, and while Everton may have been annoyed at the goal being allowed, they responded in perfect fashion – pulling level almost immediately.

A corner from the left-wing was not cleared by the Boro defence, and Gareth Barry was there to thrash the ball into the top of the net from six yards out to mark his 600th Premier League appearance.

The equaliser put the hosts back on top, and Barkley wasted a chance after a great run; curling the ball over the net despite teammates being in better positions.

Bolaise then headed just over the bar with a powerful effort, and just before half-time the pressure paid off – Seamus Coleman netting a superb solo strike to hand the hosts the lead.

And it became even better before the break, Bolasie’s cross fortuitously drifting into the net for the summer signing’s first ever goal for the Toffees.

Everton started the second half in the way they ended the first, Barkley forcing saves from Valdes in the opening 10 minutes.

Boro were offering nothing going forward, even when David Nugent was brought on to provide support for Negredo in the final third.

Enner Valencia, on for his Toffees’ debut, was a constant livewire after replacing the injured Lukaku; he was working the channels and holding the ball up extremely well.

The game entered a lull in the final 20 minutes, with no clear chances for either side.

Everton were more than happy to pass the ball around simply and retain possession, whilst Boro never possessed a cutting edge when attempting a rare attack.

The final minutes passed, and the whistle blew to signal the end of the game – and the continuation of the Toffees’ fantastic start to the season.

 

 

 

Source: Talksport

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