With majority owner Farhad Moshiri and club chairman Bill Kenwright present, Everton got 2017 off to a roaring start with a 3-0 win over Southampton.
The first half was a mostly dull affair as the two teams negated each other, especially in the final third. Everton once again looked bereft of ideas though Ross Barkley saw quite a bit of the ball.
Southampton lined up like a team that was trying to avoid defeat, and looked bright on the counter attacks but the Blues defence held firm.
The introduction of Enner Valencia in the second half made the big change, as he was able to create more confusion in the Saints defence playing just off Romelu Lukaku. The Toffees have looked dangerous when Lukaku has someone backing him up, and Valencia nabbed his first goal for the Blues since his loan pouncing on a rebound in the six yard box.
Claude Puel will be frustrated about his side’s inability to capitalize on the couple of chances they had, and were made to pay. Valencia was fouled just inside the box and Leighton Baines slotted home the resulting penalty for a 2-0 lead.
With just minutes to go, Lukaku then hammered home his eleventh Premier League goal of the season to finish off the scoring.
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