While David Moyes is adamant the Premier League has flogged his players, their performance on Saturday did nothing to back up his claims. Everton head to Sunderland for tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final replay on the back of a morale-boosting away victory.
This will be their fourth match in 11 days and, with a Wembley date with Liverpool as the prize, the in-form Scottish manager on Merseyside is evidently concerned his men may run out of gas on Wearside. However, Phil Jagielka, in particular, extends him hope. Indeed, never mind a dream trip south with his club, Moyes believes the defender should be on his way east with his country come June.
"Phil Jagielka was terrific," said Moyes after seeing his side win their first away game in six. "He showed why he is an England centre-half. Phil should go to the Euros because he can definitely do a bit of everything."
Leighton Baines, the left-back, will almost certainly be in that party and, with the curling free-kick which broke the deadlock against Swansea, he proved he can do rather more than repel. Ashley Cole may even be worried about his rival's form. "It was an exquisite effort by Leighton who, to my mind, just gets better and better," Moyes said.
Steven Pienaar looks another nearing his peak. The South African featured predominantly in Everton's storming second half, to which Brendan Rodgers tipped a hat. The Swansea manager was also very complimentary to his counterpart, whose pressing tactics broke the Welshmen out of their cultured stride.
"David is an outstanding manager," Rodgers said. "He had them very well organised. We are still operating in the art of the underdog – we are always trying to find ways to beat Goliath. For us sometimes that is about being different – on this occasion being different didn't work."
Swansea: VORM 6/10, RANGEL 5, CAULKER 6, WILLIAMS 5, TAYLOR 5, BRITTON 6, SIGURDSSON 6, ALLEN 6, ROUTLEDGE 5, GRAHAM 5, SINCLAIR 5
Everton: HOWARD 6, BAINES 7, JAGIELKA 8, DISTIN 7, HIBBERT 6, PIENAAR 8, GIBSON 6, OSMAN 7, NEVILLE 7, JELAVIC 6, CAHILL 6
Scorers: Everton Baines 59, Jelavic 76.
Substitutes: Swansea City Moore (Graham, 71), Lita (Routledge, 71), McEachran (Sinclair, 72). Everton Fellaini 7 (Cahill, 58), Stracqualursi (Jelavic, 81), Heitinga (Gibson, 84).
Booked: Swansea Allen. Everton Gibson, Pienaar.
Man of the match Pienaar. Match rating 6/10.
Possession: Swansea 54% Everton 46%.
Attempts on target: Swansea 3 Everton 8.
Referee N Swarbrick (Lancashire). Attendance 20,509.Reuse content