Beckford puts Moyes in rarefied company

Everton 2 Sunderland 0: Everton manager reaches new milestone thanks to striker's first-half double

David Moyes joined the company of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Harry Redknapp by passing the milestone of 500 Premier League points won, but with every season you wonder how much longer he can content himself merely to be mentioned in the same breath as those heavyweights of his profession.

His record at Everton is one of which he can rightly be proud, given their financial disadvantages, but while he is still, at 47, relatively young there must surely come a time when a good reputation and three manager of the year awards is not enough. Given that Everton were three points above the relegation places at three o'clock yesterday, should he achieve the ambition he regards as still possible this season – that of qualifying for Europe for the fifth time – he might win another.

This at least was a step in the right direction. Everton have tended to follow good performances with bad ones in a frustrating season but this time they built on the unexpected FA Cup victory over Chelsea with a solidly routine victory, capped by two Jermaine Beckford goals.

They meet Reading in the Cup on Tuesday evening, face Newcastle in the League next Saturday, then have three home matches in a row, all winnable. Their movement up the table could be rapid. "We have not had too many back-to-back wins this season but today was a good start and we have a chance on Tuesday to keep it going," Moyes said.

Only a month ago Sunderland looked much more likely contenders for a Europa League place, revealing the potential that must have helped win Steve Bruce the long-term contract extension he signed this week. Yet since the beginning of February that assessment has had to be revised on account of the revelation of defensive vulnerability, which took Bruce by surprise when his side shipped four goals at home to Chelsea but has persisted in a run of four straight defeats.

Bruce had questions to ask over both yesterday's goals after Everton effectively wrapped up the points in the first 39 minutes. The first came after only eight, when Leon Osman was allowed all too easily to thread a pass through that presented Beckford, in the inside left channel, with a clear sight of Simon Mignolet's goal. His finish was not exactly clinical and needed the foot of defender Titus Bramble to find its intended target but, needing one to reach 100 career League goals, the former Leeds striker celebrated anyway.

Beckford could claim the second with no argument. This time there was individual rather than collective responsibility after right-back Anton Ferdinand allowed himself to be outwitted, even out-muscled by Mikel Arteta along the Everton left. The Spaniard then showed John Mensah a clean pair of heels before crossing from the byline. Beckford was ready to receive the pass and while his touch again left something to be desired it was strong enough to send the ball wide of Mignolet and leave Sunderland with a steeply uphill task.

Until the second goal, Bruce's side had not looked too shabby, going forward at least. In the sixth minute, Kieran Richardson probably should have scored the game's first goal, but dragged his shot wide after Asamoah Gyan sent him clear on Sunderland's first meaningful attack. At 1-0, moreover, it took a brilliant save by Tim Howard, fingertipping Stéphane Sessègnon's powerful, rising drive on to his crossbar, to keep the scores level. But thereafter, Sunderland offered very little. "In the first half, we were as poor as we have been all season," Bruce said. "It's a good job I signed my contract yesterday!

"We made a fist of it in the second half but in truth we were second best. I believe we have not won here in 16 years and it never looked like that was going to change. They were poor goals to concede and if you defend like that in the Premier League you are going to get beat."

Attendance: 37,776

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Man of the match: Coleman

Match rating: 6/10

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn