Everton 3 Southampton 1: Pressure mounts on Adkins as Toffees wrap it up early
16:11 GMT, 29 September 2012
Everton's impressive start to the season continued – as did striker Nikica Jelavic's goalscoring run – against a Southampton side whose top-flight inexperience was exposed at Goodison Park.
David Moyes' team equalled their best points haul of 13 from six Barclays Premier League matches from the 2004-05 season to cement their place just three points behind leaders Chelsea.
Jelavic scored twice to take his tally to 10 in his last 11 league matches after Leon Osman had cancelled out Gaston Ramirez's early opener.
With a rebel Jel: Nikica Jelavic (right) just wanted more after netting the leveller
EVERTON: Howard, Coleman, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines, Mirallas (Oviedo 79), Neville, Osman (Distin 90), Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic (Anichebe 75).
Subs Not Used: Mucha, Distin, Gueye, Vallios, Duffy
Goals: Osman, 25, Jelavic 32, 38
SOUTHAMPTON: Gazzaniga, Richardson, Fonte,Yoshida, Clyne (Mayuka 81), G Ramirez, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, J Rodriguez (Reeves 81).
Subs Not Used: K. Davis, Hooiveld, Guly, Chaplow, Puncheon.
Goals: Ramirez 6
Referee: Lee Probert
Premier League results, fixtures and table
The feeling on Merseyside, which is
becoming increasingly apparent further afield, is that Moyes has
assembled the best squad of his 10-year tenure.
Their statistics this season seem to
give some credence to that suggestion as Everton, the perennial slow
starters, managed just two wins from their first seven league matches
last year and did not win a league match until October the campaign
After such an impressive start the
players were having to deal with the prospect of handling rising
expectations but they were not so adept at dealing with Southampton's
From Adam Lallana's corner Ramirez was given the freedom of the penalty area to nod in the simplest of headers.
It was the Uruguay international's
first goal in English football following his club-record 12million
summer transfer from Bologna and the first time Everton have conceded in
the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game this season.
fast start: Southampton's Uruguayan midfielder Gaston Ramirez celebrates after his opener
Knockout blow: Everton's Nikica Jelavic (left) and Southampton's Frazer Richardson battle for the ball
Southampton were to regret Jay
Rodriguez's inability to hit the target – let alone test Tim Howard –
when he outpaced the Toffees defence soon after.
Everton turned the game on its head in a 14-minute period which exposed all the flaws characteristic of a newly-promoted team.
Kevin Mirallas swung over a
right-wing cross and although Jelavic threw himself at it he succeeded
only in diverting it back to Osman who smashed the loose ball into the
roof of the net from close range.
Jump to it: Maya Yoshida (centre right) and Everton's Marouane Fellaini (centre) vie for posession
The goalscorer returned the favour
when his through-ball sent Jelavic running through the inside-left
channel but Paulo Gazzaniga's woeful positioning made it all-too-easy
for the Croatia international to fire a shot across him.
Southampton's goalkeeper redeemed
himself slightly by brilliantly clawing out the striker's header
destined for the top corner but was powerless to prevent him nodding in
Seamus Coleman's cross to the far post.
We're flying: Leon Osman notched Everton's third goal which effectively ended the game before the break
The visitors have the leakiest
defence in the top flight and it was easy to see why as they were so
open in the second quarter of the game they appeared to be in disarray.
Everton should have had the game
wrapped up before the break; their confidence was highlighted by
Mirallas' attempted overhead kick before Marouane Fellaini hit the
crossbar with a header.
The Belgium international almost
clinched the result early in the second half with a long-range effort
tipped just wide by Gazzaniga before Osman and Mirallas also tried their
luck from the edge of the box as their toothless opponents offered
little in the way of resistance.
Three 'n' easy: Osman nets the killer third for Everton
Crunch: Kevin Mirallas feels the full force of Nathan Clyne's challenge
However, without the fourth goal to
kill off Southampton Everton were always a hostage to fortune and
Ramirez's clip past Howard but past the far post from a narrow angle was
a warning of that.
But luck seemed to be on the hosts'
side as Leighton Baines almost caught Gazzaniga unawares with a hanging
cross-shot which the goalkeeper had to backpedal to tip over.
For Southampton manager Nigel Adkins, a Birkenhead-born Liverpool fan, it proved to be an unhappy return to the region.
As far as Everton are concerned their
progress could not be more serene and with trips to struggling Wigan
and QPR up next there is every prospect of it continuing.
No strings: Nikica Jelavic (centre) netted a brace to keep Everton in sight of Chelsea at the top of the table