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

Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living