Everton make light work of Burnley, keep European hopes alive

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  • Own goal, Coleman tap-in seal Everton’s victory
  • Toffees climb to 8th, keep European hopes alive
  • Burnley fail to go 13th, remain 15th

Everton completed an emphatic double over Burnley with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Goodison Park on Friday, bringing the two sides’ aggregate score to 7-1 on the season.

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The result and accompanying three points went a long way toward keeping the Toffees, who now trail Wolverhampton Wanderers by just a single point, in the race for seventh — to be able to call themselves the best of “the rest” of the Premier League. Wolves will draw level on game played, and could go four points ahead of Everton again, when they host 19th-place and already-relegated Fulham on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com). Finishing seventh will result in Europa League qualification for next season if Manchester City beat Watford, who are in the race for seventh themselves, in the FA Cup final.

Whether his side finishes seventh or 10th — all places which are still mathematically in play — Marco Silva‘s first season at Everton will realize a higher point total (53 with one game still to play) than last season prior to his arrival (49).

Burnley, on the other hand, are mathematically safe from relegation but could still wind up finishing in 17th, possibly as few as three points above 18th.

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Friday’s encounter was very typical of games involving Burnley, as Sean Dyche‘s men held just 38 percent of possession — their average of 43.4 percent on the season ranks third from the bottom in the PL — and they were made to pay for it early. Everton were on the front foot from the very beginning and took the lead in the 17th minute. Originally credited to Richarlison for his effort from 25 yards out, the goal was ultimately given as an own goal against Ben Mee for a severe deflection with the shot going well wide of goal.

It was 1-0 for just three minutes, thanks to Seamus Coleman‘s second goal of the season. Lucas Digne fired a shot from a spot very near to where Richarlison’s originated, though the Frenchman’s was on target and very much a problem for goalkeeper Tom Heaton. He made the save, but spilled the ball directly in front of goal, where Coleman was anxiously awaiting his free header.

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Everton will visit Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season, while Burnley will play host to Arsenal. The north London sides sit third and fifth, respectively, ahead of the weekend’s games.