Everton left it late to beat Cardiff City on Saturday at Goodison Park, as Seamus Coleman’s fortunate injury time strike sealed a dramatic 2-1 win for the Toffees.
The home side went ahead in the second half through Gerard Deulofeu’s deflect effort, but Cardiff equalized soon after through Juan Cala. Then came the dagger in Cardiff’s heart late on, as Coleman sliced an effort than fortuitously flew past the excellent David Marshall and sent Goodison Park into raptures.
With the win Everton keep their top four hopes alive, as they sit in sixth spot on 51 points. As for Cardiff, they are still 19th on 25 points as their relegation fears grow.
The Toffees started the brighter of the two sides, but Cardiff were dangerous on the break in the opening stages.
A few goalmouth scrambles ensued as the home side forced the issue early on, and their first big chance arrived after 24 minutes when Kevin Mirallas was found in the box but Cala blocked the Belgian’s shot superbly.
That sparked a flurry of chances as Cardiff were thwarted by Everton’s U.S. national team ‘keeper Tim Howard after going clean through, as Howard used his feet to stop the Cardiff’s strikers low shot.
Then Gerard Delofeu shuffled the ball on the edge of the box and arrowed an effort towards the bottom corner but David Marshall tipped it wide. Then in the 33rd minute Marshall saved superbly from Romelu Lukaku as the Belgian cut in from the right and hammered a shot on goal that Cardiff’s Scottish ‘keeper tipped acrobatically over.
The rest of the first half played out with Everton trying to force the issue, but Cardiff held on to go in level at half time.
After the break Cardiff started well and forced Howard into another save as Campbell again found space in the box but his drilled show was tipped wide by Howard at the near post. However soon after Everton were ahead as Deulofeu cut in from the left and saw his shot deflect off Ben Turner and past Marshall at his near post, to put the Toffees 1-0 up.
Just as you feared the floodgates would open for Cardiff, the Bluebirds hit back in the 68th minute when Cala bagged his first Bluebirds goal. The Spaniard attacked a cross from the left and after kneeing and heading the ball at the same time, the ball dribbled into the bottom corner and made it 1-1.
Wilfried Zaha came on to give Cardiff an extra boost late in the game, as Solkjaer’s side pushed hard for a winner but were indebted to Marshall who once again made a fine stop to keep Lukaku out. However Marshall’s heroics couldn’t grab Cardiff a point, as Coleman shanked an effort towards goal that flew in and handed Everton victory right at the death.
When you are at the bottom those are the kind of breaks which go against you.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Coleman, Deulofeu (McGeady, 62), Mirallas (Naismith, 62), Distin, McCarthy, Lukaku, Barry, Osman (Barkley, 82), Stones
Goals: Deulofeu (59), Coleman (90)
Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker, Medel, Campbell, Kim, Noone (Daehli, 62), Mutch (Whittingham, 57), Cala, Theophile-Catherine, Fabio (Zaha, 77), John
Goal: Cala (68)