There’s nothing like having nothing to play for to encourage a side to score. With fifth place secure and no need to fret over dropping points, Everton were free to play their trademark possession game, and while they didn’t exactly wrack up the goals, they were able to take three points comfortably.
Hull, meanwhile, looked as though they had their mind on next week’s FA Cup final for the majority of the match. They’ll end the season in 16th, yet they’ll still be playing in Europe come next year.
Everton took the lead before ten minutes were up and before the host had even had a shot. Steven Naismith’s through ball set free James McCarthy, who sent in a sharp shot. Allan McGregor got a hand to it, but could do nothing to stop it from landing in the back of the let.
As might be expected from this game, Everton continued to control the match, but couldn’t quite find the perfect finish. Hull had a decent attempt around the half hour mark, when Nikica Jelavić had his free kick blocked. Maynor Figueroa got on the end of the rebound, but Tim Howard had no trouble keeping out the shot.
The visitors put the game out of reach early in the second half. Romelu Lukaku, whom Everton are no doubt hoping they can persuade to stick around, got on the end of a pass from Leon Osman. The Belgian easily slipped past Paul McShane to knock in the Toffees’ second.
With about ten minutes left to play, Hull finally managed to remember they, too, were participants in the match, and began peppering the goal with shots. The flurry of strikes barely tested Howard, however, and Everton headed home with a clean sheet – and their highest point total ever in the Premier League.
Hull City: McGregor, Davies, Bruce, McShane (Rosenior 63), Figueroa, Quinn, Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Jelavic (Fryatt 54), Aluko (Koren 73)
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McGeady (Deulofeu 69), McCarthy, Barry, Osman (Pienaar 77), Naismith, Lukaku (Traore 90)
Goals: McCarthy 9; Lukaku 46