Everton 3 Swansea 2 match report: Garry Monk caught out by Everton’s winning habit
Baines, Lukaku and Barkley give Toffees victory while Bony and Williams strikes end up as mere consolations
Saturday 22 March 2014
This was a likely outcome. In 19 previous encounters, Swansea had not beaten Everton, a team whose victory here means they are in the midst of their best winning run on home soil in 28 years.
Since losing to Sunderland at Goodison Park in December, Everton have now recorded eight wins in succession. Since beating Cardiff City in Garry Monk’s first game as interim manager at the start of February, Swansea have not won at all.
Here, the visitors might have taken at least a point, concluding both halves in the ascendancy. Yet Everton had done just enough. There was never a real sense that they would surrender a result which takes them to within eight points of a Champions League place with a game in hand on fourth-placed Arsenal.
Monk remains convinced he can keep Swansea in the Premier League. “If I thought I wasn’t doing the right things, I am honest enough to know and I will hold my hands up,” he said.
For their latest setback, Monk cited a five-minute spell after half-time when Everton controlled proceedings and Swansea conceded twice. “You have to manage it properly, get through it unscathed and make the right choices,” he added. “We didn’t and it cost us dearly.”
Indeed it did. Roberto Martinez accepted his side were not at their best, sitting deep and inviting Swansea to attack. “But at this stage of the season, it’s about winning football games,” he said.
Everton’s opener came after Ross Barkley was tripped by Chico Flores, allowing Leighton Baines to display his usual conviction from the penalty spot. Swansea equalised through Wilfried Bony before the break when Aiden McGeady failed to follow Angel Rangel’s marauding charge.
It provoked Everton to begin the second half with enhanced intensity. Romelu Lukaku’s sliding finish gave his side the lead before Barkley bounced in a third from a corner.
Despite other clear goalscoring opportunities for Swansea, their efforts were only marked by Ashley Williams’ injury time header.
It leaves them facing fellow strugglers Norwich City next weekend, a tie that Monk described as “pivotal”.
Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Barkley (Naismith, 84), McGeady (Osman, 84); Lukaku (Deulofeu, 90).
Swansea City (4-2-3-1): Vorm; Rangel, Flores, Williams, Davies; Canas (De Guzman, 69), Britton; Dyer (Shelvey, 62), Hernandez, Routledge; Bony (Michu, 69).
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Man of the match: Barkley (Everton)
Match rating: 6/10
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