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Burnley 1-3 Everton - Eto'o steals the show

Samuel Eto'o's moments of magic show he was worth the risk

Chris Brunskill

I think it is fair to say that there was a significant amount of skepticism from those outside Goodison Park when Samuel Eto'o joined the club in the summer.

Some questioned his age and whether he still had the legs to last in the Premier League. Other questioned the cost and whether the once highest paid player in the world was worth his still hefty wages. Others wondered whether he had the motivation to succeed at what is the twilight of his career.

Certainly Liverpool had such doubts, given they chose to sign Mario Balotelli for £16million ahead of the former Cameroon striker.

Evertonians meanwhile looked at his track record and concluded that age had not diminished his abilities enough for him to be considered a has-been. And while it is still to early to provide definitive conclusions, Eto'o's early displays certainly suggest he will reward Roberto Martinez and the fans for placing such faith in him.

There are certainly no problems with his fitness. The 33-year-old put a shift in at Lille on Thursday before his finest performance in a blue shirt just three days later at Turf Moor.

What Europa League hangover?

Eto'o set the tone for what was ultimately a comfortable afternoon for Everton with a fine opener after just four minutes, meeting Leighton Baines' dinked cross with a bullet header that thumped off the bar and into the net.

Eto'o was playing alongside the recalled Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku in a front three as Martinez looked to rotate his squad and claim a first post-Europa League win of the season.

It was all going to plan until a sloppy pass on 29 minutes from Lukaku went straight to former Everton striker Lukas Jutkiewicz, whose through ball allowed Danny Ings to round Tim Howard and slide the ball home.

It was a terrible error by Lukaku, but before we get on his back it is important to remember his age. At 21 he is still in the infancy of his career yet only Luis Suarez, Robin van Persie and Sergio Aguero have scored more goals in the Premier League since 2012.

His raw talent and potential alone means we should remain patient with him and he duly made amends for his error with Everton's second goal on 29 minutes.

His eventual scuffed finish at the second attempt was not spectacular, but it came at the end of a fine move that saw the Belgian combine well with Naismith to wind their way through the Burnley defence.

Now back in front Everton reasserted a semblance of control and Burnley were restricted to long range efforts, Scott Airfield going close on one occasion just before half time.

The second half continued the same pattern, with Everton neat and tidy in possession and successfully holding Burnley at arm's length.

Steven Pienaar and Ross Barkley were introduced to maintain Everton's grip on the  game, but there was always that nagging worry that at 2-1 Burnley were one piece of luck away from an equaliser.

Thankfully Eto'o's class made the points safe, the former Inter and Barcelona man spinning on the ball in the 85th minute and curling a delicious shot beyond Tom Heaton from 25 yards.

It was the moment of pure inspiration Martinez was hoping for when he brought Eto'o to Goodison in the summer and it finally broke Burnley's brave resistance.

Things could have been even better for Eto'o in stoppage time when he ran onto a poor backpass and rounded Heaton only to see his shot from a tight angle strike the inside of the post. Thankfully the points were already well and truly Everton's so such poor fortune did not matter.

The win caps a successful week for the Toffees that has seen them pick up a valuable away point in Europe sandwiched between six points in the Premier League.

They are back in the top ten for the first time this season and all of a sudden back in touch with those in the European places.

After a difficult start to the season it seems as if the team have finally rediscovered their mojo and are gathering some of the momentum that saw them play so well lastyear.

And if Eto'o can continue to provide moments of magic like he did on Sunday, then Everton's campaign should only get better.