It took a goal from what should have been a foul by visitors Middlesbrough to wake Everton, but once they were awake they struck back with swift vengeance.
Alvaro Negredo went up for a ball that Maarten Stekelenburg looked like he had, but the forward’s headbutt into the goalie’s arms resulted in the Dutchman dropping the ball into the net. Referee Lee Mason strangely did not call for obstruction or any other of half a dozen violations despite the goalkeeper being in his own six yard box.
Soon after though, Gareth Barry equalized in emphatic style, banging home a loose ball from a corner to mark his 600th Premier League game. Everton were well and truly awake now and controlled play from this point on.
With just three minutes to go to halftime, Seamus Coleman broke off on a mazy run through the defence, and neatly slotted home with his wrong foot with the goalie Victor Valdes stranded.
And then Idrissa Gueye and setup Yannick Bolasie for a left-footed cross that Romelu Lukaku barely got his shoelaces onto, and into the net. 3-1 with seconds to go to halftime and the tide had turned in the home side’s favour.
The second half proved to be mostly uneventful, with Everton content to sit back and allow Middlesbrough to push up and try to attack. Both sides had some half chances but the half faded out with another three points in the bag for the Blues.
Gareth Barry went off in time added on for a rousing round of applause from the Goodison park crowd.
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