The T-shirt which Steven Pienaar revealed after thumping home Everton's second goal revealed the words "God is Great" and even his manager had reasons to share the sentiment.
David Moyes was seven minutes away from seeing Everton's winless run at Goodison extended to nine games, when substitute James Vaughan, the striker recalled from a loan spell at Derby County because he had a cartilage tear to go with the successive knee problems which have hindered his development, broke the deadlock after just two minutes on the pitch. Pienaar followed up in injury time, and for once Moyes was not ruing his side's profligacy after a game which they dominated but had looked increasingly unlikely to win.
Moyes looked implacable when Vaughan was on hand to meet Marouane Fellaini's low cross left-footed after Yakubu had missed it, but he shared the delight of the 21-year-old who has had one practice match and not even played for the reserves since undergoing surgery to the cartilage injury, which Everton are nursing him through. "He's had two years of injury and it's been very difficult," Moyes said. "He's got back, dropped out again, not felt right and missed a big part of his development."
Burnley's Owen Coyle insisted that Yakubu was offside on the goal-line after missing Fellaini's cross, unsighting Brian Jensen when Vaughan's shot went in. "Yakubu's a big lad and Brian [Jensen] has just stuck out a leg through instinct and missed it," he said.
His case was marginal. Coyle was less perturbed, though, by referee Howard Webb's dismissal of Stephen Jordan for tugging Pienaar back by the shirt, following a first-half booking for a challenge on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. It was the first dismissal of a player in the fixture in the 100th meeting between the sides – though Jordan had been sent off here playing for Manchester City in 2006 – but it made no ostensible difference to Everton's search for a breakthrough.
Everton had looked the better side from the start, with Yakubu looking like the player he was before his Achilles tendon injury ruled him out for most of last season. He might have had a penalty, after firing a shot which struck Michael Duff's arm, and a goal, but Jensen touched his right-footed shot onto the base of the post. Everton's radar was defective, though, and when David Nugent's second-half shot thumped Tim Howard's right-hand post via the faintest deflection from Tim Cahill it seemed that the game might just slip away from them.
But up stepped Vaughan, whose last goal in open play for Everton was at AZ Alkmaar in the Uefa Cup in December 2007, and then Pienaar, who dispatched Yakubu's ball into the top left-hand corner. Coyle insists Burnley will be all right but with just one point from 10 away games, they are the ones needing divine help now.
Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Neill, Heitinga, Baines; Bilyaletdinov (Vaughan, 82), Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar; Cahill (Neville, 62); Yakubu. Substitutes not used: Nash, Coleman, Duffy, Agard, Baxter.
Burnley (4-4-2): Jensen; Mears, Duff, Bikey, Jordan; Elliott (Blake, 85) Alexander, McDonald, Eagles; Nugent (Kalvenes, 64), Fletcher (Thompson, 81). Substitutes not used: Penny, Gudjonsson, Edgar, Guerrero.
Referee: H Webb (S Yorkshire).
Booked: Burnley Jordan, Bikey, Mears, Duff, Elliott; Everton Pienaar.
Sent off: Jordan (63).
Man of the Match: Yakubu.
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