Everton scored twice in a game for the first time this season as they came from behind to beat Southampton in the Premier League at St Mary’s.
After a drab first 45 minutes, the match burst into life when Joe Aribo drilled Saints ahead with a fine left-footed finish early in the second half.
The Toffees had scored just five goals in their opening seven games but turned the game around with two strikes in three minutes.
Conor Coady swept them level from Amadou Onana’s excellent knockdown before Dwight McNeil flashed them ahead with a fierce shot that beat Gavin Bazunu at his near post.
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, on his return from a thigh injury, made a fine save to deny Adam Armstrong, while debutant Duje Caleta-Car volleyed over a great late chance to earn Saints a point.
Victory extended Everton’s unbeaten run to six games, with a second successive win lifting Frank Lampard’s side to 11th in the table, while Saints slip to 15th after a fourth defeat in five.
Toffees’ travel sickness easing
This was only Everton’s second win in their past 21 away games but Lampard soaked up the travelling support’s applause at the end in the knowledge their form on the road is showing signs of improving.
They had to withstand late Southampton pressure to add this win to hard-earned draws at Leeds and Brentford but they were good value for victory.
Demarai Gray was their stand-out first-half performer, flashing a 25-yard free-kick just over, sending in a cross that Coady just failed to stab home and then firing straight at Bazunu after a classy run.
It needed Aribo’s opener to light the fire under them, with two of Lampard’s marquee summer signings – on-loan Wolves and England defender Coady and £20m winger McNeil – opening their Toffees accounts.
Both goals owed to fine deliveries, Coady pouncing after Onana nodded down Gray’s free-kick and McNeil bringing down Alex Iwobi’s cross to crash past Bazunu.
But the defensive solidity Lampard has installed – only Manchester City have conceded fewer goals this season – was also on show through a string of vital blocks and tackles, with Pickford on hand when needed.
More to follow.
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