Ivorian forward Arouna Kone had his future riding on the game today as he started for Everton against Sunderland. The player was signed from Wigan Athletic by manager Roberto Martinez, but was off to an awful start with the Blues at times. Plagued by injuries at times during his first two seasons, he has been in invigorating form this year.
Kone's budding partnership with Romelu Lukaku has been looking healthier than ever with both players in good stride, and today marked the blossoming of that. Lukaku was unfortunate not to get a second goal from today when an own goal robbed him of a sure header, but looked very well-composed rounding keeper Costel Pantilimon for his first goal. His cross with the outside of his left boot was sublime and the header from Kone that got his hattrick was on the money too. The bleach-blond head of Kone bobbed about everywhere and had two sublime left-footed finishes for the other two goals.
(Video courtesy of NBC Sports; only viewable in the United States)
After the game, manager Roberto Martinez indicated that Arouna Kone had signed a contract extension of a year, making him an Evertonian through till the summer of 2017.
Here's looking forward to some more attacking performances from Kone for the rest of the season.