Everton beat Burnley 1-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday as the Toffees are now five games unbeaten.
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Kevin Mirallas finished off a superb flowing team move in the first half for the only goal of the game (the Belgian international celebrated with a strange “shut your mouth” celebration after getting plenty of stick from the home supporters following his decision to take a penalty kick away from Leighton Baines back in January against West Brom. Strangely, Baines gave up another PK effort early on against Burnley and Ross Barkley had his spot kick saved by the brilliant Tom Heaton before Mirallas’ opener.
Burnley struggled to create clear-cut chances and had Ashley Barnes sent off right on half time for two bookable offenses. With the win Everton is in 12th with 41 points, while Burnley drop to 20th and are rock bottom but are just two points from safety.
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It was all Everton early on at Goodison as the Toffees were awarded a penalty kick following a foul from David Jones on Aaron Lennon just inside the box. For the second time this season regular penalty taker Leighton Baines passed up the option to score from the spot and Barkley stepped up instead but saw his spot kick well saved by Tom Heaton. 0-0.
Baines then forced Heaton into a good stop after the Burnley goalkeeper initially failed to deal with a looping cross into the box, then moments later Lennon flashed an effort just wide as the Toffees pressed hard for an opener.
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Burnley then had a great chance to go ahead against the run of play as Jones was set free but blasted the ball over with only Tim Howard to beat. Moments later Everton made the Clarets pay for that costly miss as Arouna Kone played in James McCarthy and his pull back found Mirallas who slammed home the opening goal in the 29th minute. 1-0 to the Toffees.
As the first half wore on Burnley grew in confidence as Gareth Barry made a great last-ditch tackle on Ings in the box and they also had a penalty appeal waved away as John Stones looked to have handled in the box. Right on half time Burnley’s hopes of getting back into the game took a huge blow as Barnes received a second yellow card for a silly challenge on Seamus Coleman when the Everton full back was going nowhere down the right flank.
In the second half Everton brought on top scorer Romelu Lukaku and he was denied by Heaton, as Burnley’s goalkeeper put in a fine display to keep his side in the match. Lennon was denied by Heaton and then Gareth Barry was next to be stopped by Burnley’s English ‘keeper as Everton huffed and puffed but couldn’t double their lead.
Late on Burnley tried to get things going but they couldn’t find a way through as both Ings and Scott Arfield went close. Everton held on for their fourth win in five as Roberto Martinez’s men continue their climb up the table, but Burnley is now rock bottom.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy (Besic, 88′), Mirallas (Lukaku, 61′), Barkley, Lennon, Kone (Naismith, 80′)
Goal: Mirallas (29′)
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Mee, Duff, Arfield, Boyd (Wallace, 84′), Jones (Taylor, 84′), Barnes, Ings, Vokes (Jutkiewicz, 59′)
Red card: Barnes (45+2′)