- Arouna Kone hat-trick downs the Black Cats
- Gerard Deulofeu picks up a goal and two assists
- Everton moves to 8th in the Premier League table
The home fans at Goodison Park savored a leftover Halloween treat as Everton fought off a Sunderland comeback and exploded in the second half for a 5-2 win behind a hat-trick from Arouna Kone and brilliant attacking play from Gerard Deulofeu.
Sunderland fought back from an early 2-0 deficit to equalize just after halftime, but it was all Everton from that point as the Toffees carved up the Black Cats at the back time after time.
Both sides began with a cutting edge and Sunderland picked up the first chance inside three minutes as Patrick van Anholt struck the woodwork after Steven Fletcher got the best of Seamus Coleman and played the Dutchman in.
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Everton regained control of possession, with Romelu Lukaku looking dangerous as he played Gareth Barry in past the 10 minute mark, but Sunderland was vicious on the break. A 15th minute shot from Jermain Defoe was stopped well by Howard, and the rebound fell to Adam Johnson, who also clattered the same left post.
Sunderland may have felt aggrieved, but Everton capitalized on their first real chance. Sunderland’s attacking intent left them exposed at the back, and a perfect looping ball from Kone sprung Deulofeu who charged one-on-one with Costel Pantillimon, beating him with a touch to his left and a low shot for a 1-0 lead.
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After the game exploded open for a few minutes following the goal, Everton got back on top of possession and cashed in again past the half-hour mark. Kone received a ball from Lukaku, stepped past DeAndre Yedlin and struck a cracking strike from a tough angle high into the net.
Sunderland would get one back moments before halftime as Defoe snatched a ball one-on-two with a pair of Everton defenders and beat them both with a superb hit to the far corner.
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Following the break, both teams played more conservatively until Sunderland found themselves level. Defoe received the ball down the left near the corner flag, and he sent in a pinpoint cross that met the head of Steven Fletcher who pocketed the equalizer over
The game exploded following the goal. Deulofeu was booked for an embarrassing dive in the box, but would make amends as his 56th minute cross for Lukaku was met instead by the foot of Sebastian Coates, who nodded it into his own net for a 3-2 Everton lead. That was not all from the Spaniard, as he sprung Lukaku free on goal four minutes later for Everton’s fourth, and the Toffees were well back on top.
Goodison Park was treated to two more as Sam Allardyce‘s side crumbled under the pressure. A Sunderland giveaway started a break, which saw James McCarthy feed Kone who again pounced from a tight angle for the fifth. The Ivorian got his hat-trick in the 76th minute as a brilliant flick from Lukaku plucked out Kone’s head, and he easily re-directed past Pantillimon.
The win for Everton – their first in league play since September 28 – pushes the Toffees up to eighth in the Premier League table, while Sunderland remains mired in the relegation zone, still three points from safety.