Belfast Telegraph

Classy Everton break barren spell with win over Queens Park Rangers

Everton 3 Queens Park Rangers 1

By Eleanor Crooks

Everton ended a run of four games without a win as QPR endured another miserable away day.

Rangers have yet to pick up a single point away from home this season and never looked likely to end that sequence at Goodison Park once Ross Barkley put Everton on the way to a 3-1 victory in the 33rd minute.

The midfielder netted his first goal of the season in spectacular fashion and Kevin Mirallas made it two before half-time, with Steven Naismith adding a third eight minutes after the break.

Everton sat back and allowed QPR to come at them, but Bobby Zamora's tap-in 10 minutes from time was too little, too late.

It was just a third home win of the season for Everton, who climb above Liverpool into 10th place in the Premier League table.

QPR's cause was not helped by leading scorer Charlie Austin being suspended following his red card against Burnley, while defender Steven Caulker was also out of the clash.

For Everton, Naismith returned after a hamstring injury and there was the welcome presence of John Stones and Arouna Kone on the bench.

Boss Roberto Martinez also brought Barkley back into the starting line-up and, in an Everton side that looked to have lost confidence, he stood out from the start.

The Toffees stormed in front through a memorable moment of his individual brilliance in the 33rd minute.

Barkley picked up the ball by the halfway line and drove forward before unleashing a shot that arrowed into the top corner.

Ten minutes later, Joey Barton gave away a free-kick and Mirallas' shot spun off the head of Eduardo Vargas and beyond Rob Green.

The hosts got their third in the 53rd minute after Green and Richard Dunne both made a mess of clearing the ball. It fell to Aidan McGeady and his cross found Naismith to head in.

QPR struck in the 80th minute when Howard could only parry Jordan Mutch's shot to Zamora.

The game had a sour end for Everton when Mirallas was carried off after a poor tackle from Mutch.

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