Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Yakubu claims Everton winner

Ayegbeni Yakubu

Ayegbeni Yakubu struck his first goal since April to maintain Everton's Barclays Premier League revival as they recorded a 1-0 victory over Stoke.

The Nigeria international, linked with West Ham in the summer and criticised for lacking match fitness early in the campaign, hit the only goal of a cagey Goodison Park encounter after 67 minutes.

The game only came to life in the second half but Everton deserved their victory having dominated possession and created the better of the chances.

Everton did have an early opportunity when Yakubu was tripped after turning Ryan Shawcross on the corner of the area, but Mikel Arteta blasted the free-kick well over.

Kenwyne Jones got an unexpected shooting chance for Stoke after Sylvain Distin had smashed a clearance straight at Arteta, but he sliced wide.

Steven Pienaar then had a shot from distance after collecting a neat flick from Yakubu, but Asmir Begovic comfortably gathered.

Stoke had a rare chance five minutes before the break after winning a corner, when an unmarked Abdoulaye Faye shot well wide after receiving the ball at the back post.

Shawcross spurned a glorious chance from 12 yards, slicing wide after team-mate Robert Huth had a shot blocked.

Tuncay claimed a goal at the far post after bundling the ball over the line, but referee Lee Probert correctly penalised the Turk for barging into the back of Leighton Baines.

Everton finally grabbed the lead after Pienaar broke clear of Danny Collins on the right. Faye chose to let the ball hit his shins instead of clearing and Yakubu nipped in to set up Tim Cahill. The midfielder drove a powerful shot at the base of the post and Yakubu again quickly picked up the loose ball to fire home.

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